A systematic comparison of factors that could impact treatment recommendations for patients with Positional Obstructive Sleep Apnea (POSA)


Objective/Background: Systematically compare four criteria for Positional Obstructive Sleep Apnea (POSA) based on AASM 2007 and 2012 hypopnea scoring definitions.

Patients/Methods: 142 records acquired by in-home polysomnography (Sleep Profiler PSG2™) were retrospectively analyzed using AHI based on the American Academy Sleep Medicine 2007 and 2012 criteria (AHI2007 and AHI2012). Positional obstructive sleep apnea (POSA) was characterized using four criteria: Amsterdam Positional OSA Classification (APOC), supine AHI twice the non-supine AHI (Cartwright), Cartwright plus the non-supine AHI < 5 (Mador), and the overall AHI severity at least 1.4 times the non-supine severity (Overall/NS-AHI).

Results: Correlations between the Cartwright and Overall/NS-AHI criteria increased with the inclusion of a more relaxed definition of hypopneas (AHI2007 ¼ 0.79 and AHI2012 ¼ 0.86, P < 0.00001). The prevalence of POSA based on the Cartwright and Overall/NS-AHI criteria was approximately 60% in those with at least mild OSA by AHI2007and AHI2012. A 16% reduction in POSA prevalence for AHI2012 vs. AHI2007 was attributed to the increased incident of mild OSA. For identification of those expected to have 25% or 35% reductions in SDB severity with positional therapy, Cartwright and Overall/NS-AHI exhibited the strongest sensitivity and Overall/NS-AHI and Mador the best specificity.

Conclusions: The four criteria used to identify POSA have similarities and differences. While there were similarities between the Cartwright and Overall/NS-AHI criteria in the detection of POSA prevalence across both scoring criteria, the Overall/NS-AHI provided the most consistent detection of those most likely to demonstrate important reductions in sleep disordered breathing severity if supine sleep is avoided.

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