What studies are indicated for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and insomnia?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Patients with a history suggestive of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and insomnia should have oximetry or an arterial blood gas (ABG) test performed to determine whether they are hypoxemic. Insomnia in COPD frequently begins with the development of nocturnal hypoxemia, although nocturnal hypoxemia is not required for insomnia to occur. Oxygen therapy may improve insomnia but rarely eliminates it.

Nocturnal hypoxemia is present if the patient has daytime hypoxemia or, frequently, exercise-related hypoxemia. If the oximetry or ABG result is negative for hypoxemia, an exercise desaturation study or overnight oximetry may be helpful to determine whether the patient needs oxygen.

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