Reproducibility and predictors of the apnea hypopnea index across multiple nights

 In Research Publications

Alshaer H, Ryan C, Fernie GR, Bradley TD, Sleep Sci. 2018 Jan-Feb;11(1):28-33


Attended polysomnography (PSG) is the standard diagnostic test for sleep apnea (SA). However, due to internight variability in SA, a single night PSG may not accurately reflect the true severity of SA. Although internight variability is a well-known phenomenon, its root causes have not been fully elucidated. The objective of this study was to determine factors associated with internight variability in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and its magnitude in the home environment.


Each participant had a full overnight PSG simultaneous with a validated portable sleep apnea monitoring device (BresoDx®) followed by two overnight home tests using the portable monitor only. Patients were stratified into those with variable AHI and consistent AHI (AHI difference ≥10 or <10 between any 2 nights, respectively). Demographics, sleepiness, sleep test variable, and supine-predominant SA (supine-SA) were examined for any association with variable AHI.


Forty patients completed the protocol. The correlation between PSG and simultaneous BresoDx derived AHIs was 93.4%. Inter-class correlation between the three nights’ AHIs was 89.2%. Over two-thirds (67.5%) of patients had consistent AHIs across the three nights while 32.5% had variable AHI. AHI variability was significantly associated with supine-SA (p=0.0014) and correlated with first night’s AHI (r=0.664, p<0.001). None of the other variable, including BMI, sleepiness, gender, or test duration were associated with internight variability.


Although portable monitoring was highly reproducible over three nights in the majority of participants, one third had a variable AHI. Supine-SA and high AHI on the first night were predictors of high internight variability.