Which polysomnography (PSG) findings are characteristic of 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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The following PSG findings are characteristic of OSA:

  • Apneic episodes occur in the presence of respiratory muscle effort.

  • Apneic episodes lasting 10 seconds or longer are considered clinically significant.

  • Apneic episodes are most prevalent during REM sleep. In some patients, they may occur exclusively during REM sleep.

  • Patients may have a combination of apneas and hypopneas, or they may have one or the other exclusively.

  • Mixed apneas may occur.

  • Sleep disruption due to arousals is usually seen at the termination of an episode of apnea.

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