Public Release:  Home sleep test for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea deemed reliable

New research released at world's largest ENT meeting

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Chicago, IL - A small, portable device used for the home diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea has been deemed very reliable, according to new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.

According to the study, authored by researchers with the New York Otolaryngology group, 120 patients over a four-month period used Holter oximeters for home sleep testing, registering a 97 percent data recovery rate during that period. Furthermore, patients reported an average comfort score of 2 (on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the most comfortable). As a result, the authors have determined that Holter oximetry represents a new, easy to use, and reliable device for the home diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, useful in measuring outcomes for the surgical and non-surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in adults and children.

Sleep apnea, which affects over 10 million Americans, with an estimated additional 10 million undiagnosed, is characterized by loud snoring interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing (obstructive sleep apnea). Serious episodes last more than ten seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder.

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changed their national coverage determination to include Type II, III, and IV devices for home sleep testing for sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea.

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Title: Reliability of Holter Oximetry for Home Sleep Apnea Testing
Presenters: Jordan C. Stern, MD (presenter); Conor Heneghan, PhD; Redmond Shouldice, BE, PhD
Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 10:48 am (all times CDT)

Information for the Media:

The AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO newsroom will be located in Room 265, Lakeside Level 2, McCormick Place Convention Center. Hours of operation: Saturday, September 20, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday - Tuesday, September 21 - 23, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, September 24, 7:30 am to 2 pm. The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the media and credentialed public relations staff. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event.

About the AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (http://www.entnet.org), one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's vision: "Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care."

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