Which measures are provided by polysomnography in the workup of childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2019
  • Author: Mary E Cataletto, MD; Chief Editor: Denise Serebrisky, MD  more...
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Polysomnography provides the following measures:

  • Sleep state (≥2 EEG leads)

  • Electrooculogram (right and left)

  • Submental electromyelogram (EMG)

  • Airflow at nose and mouth (thermistor, capnography, or mask and pneumotachygraph)

  • Chest and abdominal wall motion (impedance or inductance plethysmography)

  • Electrocardiogram (preferably with R-R interval derivation technology)

  • Pulse oximetry (including a pulse waveform channel)

  • End-tidal carbon dioxide (sidestream or mainstream infrared sensor)

  • Video camera monitor with sound montage (analog or digital)

  • Transcutaneous oxygen and carbon dioxide tensions (in infants and children < 8 y)

Polysomnographic normal standards differ between children and adults. In the pediatric age range, abnormalities include oxygen desaturation under 92%, more than one obstructive apnea per hour, and elevations of ET CO2 measurements of more than 50 mm Hg for more than 9% of sleep time or a peak level of greater than 53 mm Hg.

See Workup for more detail.

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