Heart Rhythm Society
Heart Rhythm Society
May 10, 2017
1 min read

AIRLESS: Algorithm in ICDs may improve diagnosis of sleep apnea

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CHICAGO — A sensor featured in implantable cardioverter defibrillators provided comparable data to diagnose patients with sleep apnea and to improve management compared with polysomnography, according to an abstract presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.

For the AIRLESS study, researchers compared apnea-hypopnea index data from 23 patients (mean age: 60 ± 15 years; 22 men) who had ICD (n = 14) or a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (n = 9) made by Boston Scientific with data from sleep studies. Patients had a mean left ventricular ejection fraction of 30%, 10 patients had CHD and 9 patients had atrial fibrillation, according to the abstract by Pascal Defaye, MD, associate professor of cardiology and head of the arrhythmia department, University Hospital of Grenoble, France, and colleagues.

Pascal Defaye

In the prospective study, polysomnography scoring was completed blinded to the implantable impedance respiration sensor (ApneaScan, Boston Scientific). Researchers defined severe sleep apnea as an apnea-hypopnea index of at least 30 events per hour.

Polysomnography and the implantable sensor produced similar apnea-hypopnea indices, particularly in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (Spearman correlation = 0.78; P < .0001). After Bland-Altman analysis, researchers found a mean bias of 6.3 events per hour in data obtained through polysomnography (23.3 ± 14.6) and the implantable sensor (29.7 ± 13.7).

Polysomnography diagnosed 35% of patients with severe sleep apnea. According to a receiver operator characteristic curve analysis, an optimal cutoff value at 30 events per hour for the implantable sensor yielded 80% specificity and 100% sensitivity. – by Darlene Dobkowski


Defaye P, et al. Abstract C-PO01-19. Presented at: Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions; May 10-13, 2017; Chicago.

Disclosure: Defaye reports receiving a research grant from Boston Scientific.