What is hypopnea in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

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

Hypopnea is a 30% or greater decrease in flow lasting at least 10 seconds and associated with a 4% or greater oxyhemoglobin desaturation. An alternative definition is a 50% or greater reduction in flow lasting at least 10 seconds and associated with either a 3% or greater oxyhemoglobin desaturation or an arousal (see the image below).

A 2-minute recording of sleep showing 4 hypopneas A 2-minute recording of sleep showing 4 hypopneas (thick arrows) and associated oxygen desaturations (red arrows). This recording illustrates the recurrent nature of the sleep-disordered breathing observed in many patients.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!