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Free Content Naso‐oesophageal probes decrease the frequency of sleep apnoeas in infants

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The objective of the study was to determine whether a naso‐oesophageal probe modifies sleep and cardiorespiratory patterns in infants with repeated obstructive apnoeas. Two polygraphic recording sessions were conducted in random order for 2 nights on 35 infants suspected to have repeated obstructive sleep apnoeas. One sleep study was performed with a pH probe inserted through the nasal passage down to the distal portion of the oesophagus. The other session was conducted without any naso‐oesophageal probe (the baseline study). For the 25 infants who presented repeated obstructive apnoeas during baseline studies, the presence of the probe was associated with a small, but significant, decrease in the number of central apnoeas (median frequency of 18.5 apnoeas per hour without a probe; 16.1 per hour with the probe; P=0.040), and obstructive apnoeas (median of 1.9 apnoeas per hour without a probe; 0.6 per hour with the probe; P=0.016). The presence of the probe was also associated with a small increase in percentage non‐rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep frequency. The changes were statistically significant only for infants who had no obstructive apnoea during baseline studies (29 vs. 31%). The presence of a naso‐oesophageal probe significantly modifies the infants’ respiratory characteristics during sleep. These findings should be considered when reporting and interpreting sleep studies in infants.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Pediatric Sleep Unit, University Children’s Hospital, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: 2000-06-01

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