What are the characteristics of apnea clusters in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

OSA often occurs in clusters. An oxygen desaturation occurs with each apnea. The end of the apnea sequence typically ends with a brief (>3 sec) EEG arousal. In patients with severe OSA, the cluster of apneas occurs throughout sleep. The desaturation from the first apnea event is typically associated with a higher desaturation percentage change than subsequent apneas in the series.


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