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Free Content Microarousals in patients with sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome

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Upper airway obstructions during sleep cause recurrent brief awakenings or microarousals. Standard criteria exist for sleep and respiratory event scoring, however, there are different definitions currently used to score microarousals. We therefore compared three definitions of microarousal (ranging from 1.5-3 s in duration) and one of awakening (> 15 s). We examined their occurrence at the termination of apnoeas and hypopnoeas and their correlation with daytime sleepiness in patients with sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (SAHS). Sixty-three patients (aged 49, SD 10) had overnight polysomnography, multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and Epworth Sleepiness Scales (ESS). There were significantly more microarousals by any definition than there were awakenings (P<0.001) and there were more 1.5 s than 3 s microarousals (P<0.001). Significantly more apnoeas and hypopnoeas were terminated by 1.5 s microarousals (83% and 81%) than by 3 s microarousals (75%) (all P<0.001). Apnoea/hypopnoea index (AHI) correlated significantly with objective daytime sleepiness (p = -0.30, P<0.01). There were weakly significant relationships between all three microarousal definitions (-0.24

Keywords: daytime sleepiness; microarousal; sleep apnoea

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Respiratory Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, RIE, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, UK

Publication date: December 1, 1997


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