Sleep & breathing = Schlaf & Atmung 2017 11 22() doi 10.1007/s11325-017-1594-2
Home sleep apnea tests (HSATs) are an alternative to attended polysomnograms (PSGs) when the pre-test probability for moderate to severe OSA is high. However, insurers often mandate use anytime OSA is suspected regardless of the pre-test probability. Our objective was to determine the ability of HSATs to rule in OSA when the pre-test probability of an apnea hypopnea index (AHI) in the moderate to severe range is low.
Patients who underwent HSATs were characterized as low or high pre-test probability based on the presence of two symptoms of the STOP instrument plus either BMI > 35 or male gender. The odds of HSAT diagnostic for OSA dependent on pre-test probability was calculated. Stepwise selection determined predictors of non-diagnostic HSAT. As PSG is performed after HSATs that do not confirm OSA, false negative results were assessed.
Among 196 individuals, pre-test probability was low in 74 (38%) and high in 122 (62%). A lower percentage of individuals with a low versus high pre-test probability for moderate to severe OSA had HSAT results that confirmed OSA (61 versus 84%, p = 0.0002) resulting in an odds ratio (OR) of 0.29 for confirmatory HSAT in the low pre-test probability group (95% CI [0.146, 0.563]). Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated that age ≤ 50 (OR 3.10 [1.24-7.73]), female gender (OR 3.58[1.50-8.66]), non-enlarged neck circumference (OR 11.50 [2.50-52.93]), and the absence of loud snoring (OR 3.47 [1.30-9.25]) best predicted non-diagnostic HSAT. OSA was diagnosed by PSG in 54% of individuals with negative HSAT which was similar in both pre-test probability groups.
HSATs should be reserved for individuals with high pre-test probability for moderate to severe disease as opposed to any individual with suspected OSA.