Guidelines for Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Guidelines for Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Verna L. Rose

New guidelines for the treatment of patients with obstructive sleep apnea have been released by the American College of Chest Physicians. The guidelines, published in the March 1999 issue of Chest, were written by a panel of experts who based their recommendations on peer-reviewed studies and widely accepted clinical practice. Treatment modalities for obstructive sleep apnea with positive airway pressure include continuous positive airway pressure, bilevel or variable positive airway pressure and autotitrating positive airway pressure.

The guidelines cover the following topics: which patients should undergo standard diagnostic techniques (polysomnography, the continuous recording of a number of physiologic functions and events during sleep), what criteria should be met to appropriately define apnea and hypoxia, what conditions warrant use of which type of positive airway pressure therapy, and what efforts should be undertaken to help patients comply with therapy.

According to the panel, the recommendations are meant as an interim guideline until results from research such as the Sleep Heart Health Study and other evidence outcome studies can provide data for more formal consensus recommendations.

COPYRIGHT 1999 American Academy of Family Physicians

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group