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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 21 (2014), Issue 2, Pages 96-100
Original Article

Use of a Level 3 Portable Monitor for The Diagnosis and Management of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in an Inpatient Tertiary Care Setting

Marcus Povitz and R John Kimoff

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) may impact the course of medical illness among hospitalized patients. Access to testing during hospitalization to assess this may be limited by wait times for laboratory polysomnography. Level 3 portable monitoring (PM) may provide an alternative.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the rate of technically adequate studies, diagnostic information obtained and impact on patient management of inpatient PM studies performed for SDB.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 114 PM (Embletta, Natus Inc, Canada) records from the past two years was performed. Studies were ordered by pulmonologists, initiated by respiratory therapists and performed unattended on inpatient units. Admitting diagnoses, indication for sleep study, diagnostic information obtained from recordings and change in clinical management subsequent to PM were determined from medical charts.

RESULTS: Of 114 studies reviewed, 99 (87%) met predetermined criteria for adequate signal quality and duration. Five studies could not be interpreted due to inadequate data, yielding an overall success rate of 83% (94 of 114). Of 86 studies performed for diagnosis, clinical and PM data supported a new diagnosis of SDB in 55 patients, of which 23 (42%) were started on positive pressure therapy. Thirteen PM studies were performed during SDB treatment. All were technically adequate and six of 13 demonstrated new or persistent SDB. Results from PM testing informed clinical management during hospitalization in 70 (61%) cases.

CONCLUSION: Unattended level 3 PM studies are technically feasible in hospitalized patients and may provide information that influences clinical management.