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Questionnaire Poorly Predicts Sleep Apnea in Pregnancy

Apneic episodes not associated with fetal heart rate monitoring abnormalities

FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- The Berlin questionnaire performs poorly in predicting obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in pregnant women compared to polysomnography, according to research published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sofia A. Olivarez, M.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues conducted a prospective trial of 100 women in the third trimester of pregnancy to determine the ability of the Berlin sleep questionnaire to predict OSA. The women all underwent polysomnography with concurrent fetal heart monitoring (FHM).

Overall, the researchers found that 20 percent of the cohort was diagnosed with OSA by polysomnography, considered the diagnostic gold-standard. The Berlin screening questionnaire was 35 percent as sensitive as polysomnography and 63.8 percent as specific in predicting OSA. The snoring-related portion of the Berlin questionnaire correlated well with having episodes of oxygen desaturation below 95 percent, and body mass index acted as a significant confounder. FHM abnormalities were not associated with OSA.

"Further research is needed to optimize the use of OSA screening questionnaires in pregnancy and to investigate the true mechanism by which OSA may lead to adverse pregnancy outcome," the authors write.

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