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Sleep Disorders
Volume 2013, Article ID 406157, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Oximetry Signal Processing Identifies REM Sleep-Related Vulnerability Trait in Asthmatic Children

1Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010, USA
2Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA
3Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia
4Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, Universidad El Bosque, Bogota, Colombia
5Research Unit, Military Hospital of Colombia, Bogota, Colombia
6Department of Electronics Engineering, Javeriana University, Bogota, Colombia
7Department of Integrative Systems Biology and Center for Genetic Medicine Research, Children’s National Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20010, USA

Received 30 June 2013; Revised 6 September 2013; Accepted 10 September 2013

Academic Editor: Giora Pillar

Copyright © 2013 Geovanny F. Perez et al. 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.


Rationale. The sleep-related factors that modulate the nocturnal worsening of asthma in children are poorly understood. This study addressed the hypothesis that asthmatic children have a REM sleep-related vulnerability trait that is independent of OSA. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of pulse-oximetry signals obtained during REM and NREM sleep in control and asthmatic children ( ). Asthma classification was based on preestablished clinical criteria. Multivariate linear regression model was built to control for potential confounders (significance level ). Results. Our data demonstrated that (1) baseline nocturnal respiratory parameters were not significantly different in asthmatic versus control children, (2) the maximal % of SaO2 desaturation during REM, but not during NREM, was significantly higher in asthmatic children, and (3) multivariate analysis revealed that the association between asthma and REM-related maximal % SaO2 desaturation was independent of demographic variables. Conclusion. These results demonstrate that children with asthma have a REM-related vulnerability trait that impacts oxygenation independently of OSA. Further research is needed to delineate the REM sleep neurobiological mechanisms that modulate the phenotypical expression of nocturnal asthma in children.