Original Article

Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 123-131

First online:

Follow-up assessment of CPAP efficacy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea using an ambulatory device based on peripheral arterial tonometry

  • Stephen D. PittmanAffiliated withDivision of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Email author 
  • , Giora PillarAffiliated withSleep Laboratory, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
  • , Richard B. BerryAffiliated withPulmonary Medicine, Malcolm Randall VA Medical CenterPulmonary Medicine, University of Florida
  • , Atul MalhotraAffiliated withDivision of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • , Mary M. MacDonaldAffiliated withDivision of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • , David P. WhiteAffiliated withDivision of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This study aimed to assess the accuracy of a wrist-worn device based on peripheral arterial tonometry (Watch_PAT 100) to detect residual episodes of respiratory disturbance during continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Concurrent polysomnography was used as the reference standard to identify sleep disordered breathing (SDB) events. The study was conducted in three sleep laboratories affiliated with tertiary care academic medical centers. Seventy patients using CPAP to treat obstructive sleep apnea for at least 3 months, following an in-laboratory titration to determine the optimal therapeutic positive airway pressure, participated in this study. Symptoms indicating suboptimal therapy were not required for participation, but self-reported adherence to CPAP therapy was necessary for inclusion. Interventions are not applicable in this study. The accuracy of the PAT-derived respiratory disturbance index (PAT RDI scored by automated algorithm) to detect residual SDB on CPAP was assessed against polysomnography (PSG) using Bland–Altman analysis, receiver–operator characteristic (ROC) curves, and likelihood ratios for increasing (LR+) and decreasing (LR−) the probability of moderate–severe SDB in the study population. Respiratory events on the PSG were quantified using standard criteria for research investigations (“Chicago criteria”) to yield a PSG RDI.C. Based on the PSG results, 19% of the participants had moderate–severe SDB (PSG RDI.C>15 events per hour) on their prescribed pressure. For PAT RDI >15 events per hour, the area under the ROC curve was 0.95 (SE 0.03, p<0.0001, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.00), the LR+ was 8.04 (95% CI 3.64–17.7), and the LR− was 0.17 (95% CI 0.05–0.62). The mean difference between the PAT RDI and PSG RDI.C was three (2SD 14.5) events per hour. Therefore, residual moderate–severe SDB on CPAP was not uncommon in a multicenter population self-reporting adherence to CPAP therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The Watch_PAT device accurately identified participants with moderate–severe SDB while using CPAP in the attended setting of a sleep laboratory.


CPAP Sleep apnea OSA Sleep disordered breathing SDB Peripheral arterial tonometry PAT Disease management