Author(s): Timothy I Morgenthaler, R Nisha Aurora, Terry Brown, Rochelle Zak, Cathy Alessi
These practice parameters are an update of the previously published recommendations regarding the use of autotitrating positive airway pressure (APAP) devices for titrating pressures and treating adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) at an effective setting verified by attended polysomnography is a standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). APAP devices change the treatment pressure based on feedback from various patient measures such as airflow, pressure fluctuations, or measures of airway resistance. These devices may aid in the pressure titration process, address possible changes in pressure requirements throughout a given night and from night to night, aid in treatment of OSA when attended CPAP titration has not or cannot be accomplished, or improve patient comfort. A task force of the Standards of Practice Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has reviewed the literature published since the 2002 practice parameter on the use of APAP. Current recommendations follow: (1) APAP devices are not recommended to diagnose OSA; (2) patients with congestive heart failure, patients with significant lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; patients expected to have nocturnal arterial oxyhemoglobin desaturation due to conditions other than OSA (e.g., obesity hypoventilation syndrome); patients who do not snore (either naturally or as a result of palate surgery); and patients who have central sleep apnea syndromes are not currently candidates for APAP titration or treatment; (3) APAP devices are not currently recommended for split-night titration; (4) certain APAP devices may be used during attended titration with polysomnography to identify a single pressure for use with standard CPAP for treatment of moderate to severe OSA; (5) certain APAP devices may be initiated and used in the self-adjusting mode for unattended treatment of patients with moderate to severe OSA without significant comorbidities (CHF, COPD, central sleep apnea syndromes, or hypoventilation syndromes); (6) certain APAP devices may be used in an unattended way to determine a fixed CPAP treatment pressure for patients with moderate to severe OSA without significant comorbidities (CHF, COPD, central sleep apnea syndromes, or hypoventilation syndromes); (7) patients being treated with fixed CPAP on the basis of APAP titration or being treated with APAP must have close clinical follow-up to determine treatment effectiveness and safety; and (8) a reevaluation and, if necessary, a standard attended CPAP titration should be performed if symptoms do not resolve or the APAP treatment otherwise appears to lack efficacy.