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  AN UPDATE ON OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA SYNDROME 

Minerva Pneumologica 2007 September;46(3):191-204

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Diagnosis of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Thurnheer R.

Pulmonary Division Kantonsspital Münsterlingen, Switzerland


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Daytime sleepiness, impaired cognitive performance and quality of life lead patients to seek for medical help. The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is an important cause of daytime hypersomnolence. OSAS is now well recognized by general practitioners who will refer their patients to pulmonologists with experience in sleep medicine or specialized sleep laboratories. Tools to non-invasively diagnose obstructive sleep apnea are widely available. In most cases, a typical history and an overnight cardiorespiratory monitoring point to the correct diagnosis. Cardiorespiratory monitoring can be done at patients’ home in their habitual environment. Occasionally, in-laboratory polysomnography is required to diagnose subtle breathing disturbance leading to sleep fragmentation. As an increasing body of evidence points to an association of OSAS and adverse cardiovascular risk, the importance of OSAS has also been recognized as a prognostic factor. Data from prospective trials on the protective cardiovascular effects of treatment of OSAS are not yet available. However, all patients with sleep-disruptive snoring, witnessed apneas and daytime hypersomnolence should be considered for an overnight study of cardiorespiratory parameters.

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