Although polysomnographic (PSG) testing is the gold standard for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in children, the number of pediatric sleep laboratories is limited. Developing new screening methods for identifying OSAS may reduce the need for PSG testing.
To evaluate the combined use of the sleep clinical record (SCR) and nocturnal oximetry testing for predicting PSG results in children with clinically suspected OSAS.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Prospective study over 10 months. A cohort of 268 consecutive children (mean [SD], age 6  years) referred for clinically suspected OSAS was studied at a pediatric sleep center at a university hospital. Children with disorders other than adenotonsillar hypertrophy or obesity were excluded.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Mild OSAS (obstructive apnea–hypopnea index [AHI], 1-5 episodes/h) and moderate-to-severe OSAS (AHI, >5 episodes/h) were the main outcome measures. Sleep clinical record scores greater than or equal to6.5 were considered positive, as were McGill oximetry scores (MOS) greater than 1, and these positive scores were the main explanatory variables in our study. Each participant was evaluated by the SCR, followed by pulse oximetry test the first night and PSG test in the sleep laboratory the second night.
Of the total participants, 236 (88.1%) were diagnosed with OSAS, 236 (88.1%) had a positive SCR score, and 50 (18.7%) had a positive MOS. Participants with positive SCR scores had significantly increased risk of an AHI greater than or equal to 1 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 9.3; 95% CI, 3.7-23.2; P < .001). Children with an MOS greater than 1 were significantly more likely to have an AHI greater than 5 episodes/h than children with an MOS equal to 1 (AOR, 26.5; 95% CI, 7.8-89.2; P < .001). A positive SCR score had satisfactory sensitivity (91.9%) and positive predictive value (91.9%) but limited specificity (40.6%) and negative predictive value (40.6%) for OSAS. An MOS greater than 1 had excellent specificity (97.4%) and positive predictive value (94%) but low sensitivity (39.2%) and fair negative predictive value (60.8%) for moderate-to-severe OSAS among children with a positive SCR score. The combination of SCR scores and MOS correctly predicted primary snoring, mild OSAS, or moderate-to-severe OSAS in 154 of 268 (57.4%) participants.
Conclusions and Relevance
The combined use of the SCR score and nocturnal oximetry results has moderate success in predicting sleep-disordered breathing severity when PSG testing is not an option.