What is the role of sleep studies in the diagnosis of narcolepsy?

Updated: Sep 04, 2019
  • Author: Sagarika Nallu, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Sleep studies are an essential part of the evaluation of patients with possible narcolepsy. The combination of an overnight polysomnogram (PSG) followed by a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) showing sleep latency ≤8 minutes and 2 or more sleep-onset random eye movement periods (SOREMPs) strongly suggests narcolepsy while excluding other sleep disorders. A PSG the night prior to the MSLT is required and should document at least 6 hours of sleep and should rule out other sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An alternative criterion is a cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin level of ≤110 pg/mL.

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