Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  2008 Dec;15(2):82-86.

Sleep Fragementation Decreases during the nCPAP Titration Night in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

  • 1Center for Sleep and Chronobiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


S: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) not only causes respiratory disturbances during sleep but also decreases the quality of nocturnal sleep through sleep fragmentation and sleep structure change. We aimed at comparing the changes in sleep fragmentation and structure between baseline (diagnostic) nocturnal polysomnography (NPSG) and nCPAP (nasal continuous positive airway pressure) titration trial.
One hundred and three patients with a baseline night of respiratory disturbance index (RDI) of 5 or greater and reduced RDI score during nCPAP titration night were retrospectively selected for the study. Sleep fragementation and sleep structure between baseline NPSG and the NPSG during nCPAP titration were compared. Sleep fragmentation index (SFI) was defined as the total number of awakenings and shifts to stage 1 sleep divided by the total sleep time in hour. SFI and other polysomnographic parameters were statistically compared between the two nights.
SFI during baseline NPSG and nCPAP titration nights were 29.0+/-13.8 and 15.2+/-8.8, respectively, indicating a significant SFI decrease during nCPAP titration (t=9.7, p<0.01). SFI showed significant negative correlations with sleep efficiency (r=-0.60, p<0.01) and total sleep time (r=-0.45, p<0.01) and a positive correlation with RDI (r=0.28, p<0.01).
Use of nCPAP, even during the titration, significantly decreases sleep fragmentation and improves sleep structure in OSAS patients. We suggest that SFI may be utilized as a measure of assessing OSAS severity and nCPAP efficacy.


Obstructive sleep apnea; nCPAP; Sleep fragementation index
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