Technique and Preliminary Analysis of Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy With Online Polygraphic Cardiorespiratory Monitoring in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

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Drug-induced sleep endoscopy is a diagnostic technique that allows dynamic evaluation of the upper airway during artificial sleep. The lack of a standardized procedure and the difficulties associated with direct visual detection of obstructive events result in poor intraobserver and interobserver reliability, especially when otolaryngology surgeons not experienced in the technique are involved.


To describe a drug-induced sleep endoscopy technique implemented with simultaneous polygraphic monitoring of cardiorespiratory parameters (DISE-PG) in patients with a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and discuss the technique’s possible advantages compared with the standard procedure.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This prospective cohort study included 50 consecutive patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome who underwent DISE-PG from March 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. A standard protocol was adopted, and all the procedures were carried out in an operation room by an experienced otolaryngology surgeon under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. Endoscopic and polygraphic obstructive respiratory events were analyzed offline in a double-blind setting and randomized order.

Main Outcomes and Measures

The feasibility and safety of the DISE-PG technique, as well as its sensitivity in detecting respiratory events compared with that of the standard drug-induced sleep endoscopy procedure.


All 50 patients (43 men and 7 women; mean [SD] age, 51.1 [12.1] years) underwent DISE-PG without technical problems or patient difficulties regarding the procedure. As expected, polygraphic scoring was more sensitive than endoscopic scoring in identifying obstructive events (mean [SD] total events, 13.3 [6.8] vs 5.3 [3.6]; mean [SD] difference, 8.8 [5.6]; 95% CI, 7.3 to 10.4; Cohen d, –1.5). This difference was most pronounced in patients with a higher apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) at baseline (mean [SD] difference for AHI >30, 27.1% [31.0%]; 95% CI, –36.2% to 90.4%; Cohen d, 0.2; for AH I >40, 76.0% [35.5%]; 95% CI, 4.6% to 147.4%; Cohen d, 0.5; for AHI >50, 92.2% [37.2%]; 95% CI, 17.3% to 167.1%; Cohen d, 0.6) and a high percentage of hypopneas (≥75% of all obstructive events) at baseline (mean [SD] difference, 20.2% [5.4%]; 95% CI, 9.2% to 31.3%; Cohen d, 1.1). No other anthropomorphic or polygraphic features at baseline were associated with the differences between the DISE-PG and baseline home sleep apnea test.

Conclusions and Relevance

The DISE-PG technique is feasible, safe, and more sensitive at detecting an obstructed breathing pattern than is drug-induced sleep endoscopy alone. The DISE-PG technique could be helpful for accurate comprehension of upper airway obstructive dynamics (ie, degree of obstruction and multilevel pattern) and a nonobstructive breathing pattern (ie, central apneas).

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