The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of automated continuous positive airway pressure (Auto-CPAP) in children. Sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBDs) include the clinical spectrum of symptomatic chronic snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea. This spectrum occurs in adults and children. Less data are available for children despite recognition of the condition's prevalence. CPAP has been an established treatment for adults and children. Treatment with Auto-CPAP has been available for adults but has not been reported previously in children.A group of 14 children (8 months to 12 years old) was evaluated prospectively with baseline polysomnographic study and CPAP titration performed with Auto-CPAP under sleep technologist supervision.The results demonstrated that Auto-CPAP is sensitive and effective for children with obstructive sleep apnea in an attended setting. There was 1 subject who did not seem to tolerate Auto-CPAP, but when she was switched to conventional CPAP, she did not tolerate that either. In this subject, the mask never fit well. She was excluded from the analysis. All other patients had a decrease in the number of abnormal breathing events during sleep. The respiratory disturbance index decreased from a mean of 12.6 (SD: 12.4) to 2.6 (SD: 2.7) events per hour. The lowest oxygen saturation improved from a mean of 86% (SD: 10.8) to 93.6% (SD: 3.9).We conclude that Auto-CPAP is safe and effective in an attended environment. Auto-CPAP did not eliminate all the abnormal respiratory events. In subjects 1 and 14, the final respiratory index improved but remained >5 events per hour (5.9 and 7.7, respectively). We suspect that this was because of problems with the masks leaking, which illustrates the importance of follow-up and possible need for retitration in some patients. Proper mask fit is essential for successful treatment. Additional work is needed to evaluate its utility in the home setting. This study was designed to evaluate Auto-CPAP titration in an attended environment. It did not indicate information about the effectiveness in an unattended or home setting. We demonstrate that Auto-CPAP is able to detect abnormal breathing events during sleep in children and may provide the necessary pressure to correct these events. Auto-CPAP can be used safely for pressure titration in an attended setting. Auto-CPAP devices from different manufactures are commercially available for adults. These different devices may have different algorithms and sensitivities to detect abnormal breathing episodes. This study was performed with only 1 specific model of Auto-CPAP. Our results should not be extrapolated to other Auto-CPAP devices without empirical confirmation of the devices' ability to detect and correct events in children. Auto-CPAP can be an alternative treatment for SRBDS in the pediatric population. These results allow for speculation of possible applications for Auto-CPAP in children. A potential advantage of Auto-CPAP includes permitting the initiation of treatment while awaiting a standard CPAP titration. The variable pressure response of Auto-CPAP allows for treatment under different situations such as upper airway infections, different sleeping positions, and changes in weight. As the child grows, the amount of positive pressure needed to maintain airway patency may change. Auto-CPAP may be able to adjust to these changing pressure requirements. Auto-CPAP does not eliminate the need for periodic office visits and evaluations of the clinical course.
View details for PubMedID 15121982