Mount Sinai Hospital Center and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Patients with unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis (UDP) have been reported to have varied respiratory symptoms and often reduced lung function. We sought to describe the polysomnographic respiratory characteristics in patients with UDP without obstructive sleep apnea.
We prospectively collected 5 cases with clinical investigation regarding symptoms, lung function, and nocturnal polysomnography. The respiratory sleep characteristics were analyzed with standardized scoring of respiratory events in 30-sec epochs and comparison according to sleep-wake stages and body position with respect to oximetry. The cases were compared to 5 controls matched for age, gender, and body mass index.
Three of 5 patients had significant awake lung restriction with a mean (range) forced vital capacity of 1.89 (1.48-2.24) liters, 72% (45% to 102%) predicted. All had REM sleep with few apneas and episodes of prolonged hypopneas characterized by important desaturation noted on oximetry. These desaturations were greatest during REM sleep when the patients slept supine with a mean (SD) saturation of 90.8% (4.5%) and minimum of 64% or on the side unaffected by UDP with a mean saturation of 87.8% (5.3%) and minimum of 67% (p < 0.0001 compared to same positions awake). Other sleep stages had few, if any significant desaturations and these events rarely occurred when the patient slept in the supine position. Saturation was lower in all sleep-wake stages and sleep positions compared to controls (p < 0.0001).
Patients with UDP demonstrate position-dependent hypopneas in REM sleep with frequent desaturations.
Baltzan MA; Scott AS; Wolkove N. Unilateral hemidiaphragm weakness is associated with positional hypoxemia in REM sleep. J Clin Sleep Med 2012;8(1):51-58.