As nocturnal hypoxemia and heart rate variability are associated with excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) related to OSA, we hypothesize that the power spectral densities (PSD) of nocturnal pulse oximetry signals could be utilized in the assessment of EDS. Thus, we aimed to investigate if PSDs contain features that are related to EDS and whether a convolutional neural network (CNN) could detect patients with EDS using self-learned PSD features.
A total of 915 OSA patients who had undergone polysomnography with multiple sleep latency test on the following day were investigated. PSDs for nocturnal blood oxygen saturation (SpO), heart rate (HR), and photoplethysmogram (PPG), as well as power in the 15-35 mHz band in SpO (P) and HR (P), were computed. Differences in PSD features were investigated between EDS groups. Additionally, a CNN classifier was developed for identifying severe EDS patients based on spectral data.
SpO power content increased significantly (p < 0.002) with increasing severity of EDS. Furthermore, a significant (p < 0.001) increase in HR-PSD was found in severe EDS (mean sleep latency < 5 min). Elevated odds of having severe EDS was found in P (OR = 1.19-1.29) and P (OR = 1.81-1.83). Despite these significant spectral differences, the CNN classifier reached only moderate sensitivity (49.5%) alongside high specificity (80.4%) in identifying patients with severe EDS.
We conclude that PSDs of nocturnal pulse oximetry signals contain features significantly associated with OSA-related EDS. However, CNN-based identification of patients with EDS is challenging via pulse oximetry.

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