Holter ECG-Based Apnea Hypopnea Index to Screen Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A New Proposal and Evaluation of Feasibility


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common sleep disorder. It has been reported that approximately 40% of patients with moderate or severe OSAS die within the first eight years of disease. In hospitals, OSAS is inspected using polysomnography, which uses a number of sensors. Because of the cumbersome nature of this polysomnography, an initial OSAS screening is usually conducted. In recent years, OSAS screening techniques using Holter electrocardiogram (ECG) have been reported. However, the techniques so far reported cannot perform an OSAS severity assessment. The present study presents a new method to distinguish the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and non-OSA epochs at one-second intervals based on the Apnea Hypopnea Index assessment, defined as the duration of continuous apnea. In the proposed method, the time-frequency components of the heart rate variability and three ECG-derived respiration signals calculated by the complex Morlet wavelet transformation are adopted as features. A support vector machine is employed for classification. The proposed method is evaluated using three eight-hour ECG recordings containing OSA episodes from three subjects. As a result, the sensitivity and specificity of classification are found to reach approximately 90%, a level suitable for OSAS screening in clinical settings.

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Sakai, M. and Wei, D. (2015) Holter ECG-Based Apnea Hypopnea Index to Screen Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A New Proposal and Evaluation of Feasibility. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 3, 33-41. doi: 10.4236/jbm.2015.311004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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