Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 479–485 | Cite as

Quality of life, compliance, sleep and nasopharyngeal side effects during CPAP therapy with and without controlled heated humidification

  • Karl-Heinz Ruhle
  • Karl-Josef Franke
  • Ulrike Domanski
  • Georg Nilius
Original Article



To determine the effect of a controlled heated breathing tube humidifier (cHH) on the quality of life (QOL), compliance and nasopharyngeal side effects during continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in comparison with conventional CPAP.


In this prospective randomised cross-over study, 44 patients with OSAS were investigated. During the first two consecutive treatment nights monitored by polysomnography, patients were randomly assigned to receive CPAP with or without cHH. Patients were then randomised to receive one of the treatment modalities at home for 4 weeks. Compliance was recorded and questionnaires assessing side effects and QOL were administered.


Sleep parameters measured during the nights in the sleep laboratory did not change. The same result applied to QOL and compliance measured after 4 weeks. During the first two nights we found significant differences between CPAP with and without cHH for dryness of mouth (2.0 ± 1.4 vs. 1.4 ± 1.6) in favour of cHH (p < 0.05). Evaluation of coldness of the face showed improvement whereas waking up due to wetness on the face (0.3 ± 0.6 vs. 0.6 ± 0.8; p < 0.05) was slightly increased. Data after 4 weeks confirmed these findings with further subjective improvement in the reduction of side effects.


By the using of the technology of cHH QOL and compliance did not improve. The side effects of CPAP therapy without humidification with respect to nasopharyngeal dryness, however, was reduced immediately as well as during the first weeks of treatment.


Sleep apnea CPAP Heated humidification Side effects Compliance QOL 


Conflict of interest

K-H. Ruhle and G. Nilius received research funding from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Heinen und Löwenstein, ResMed and Weinmann. This funding has gone into department funds. The author’s study was supported by a grant from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Germany GmbH & Co. KG, 73636 Welzheim, Germany.

Karl-Josef Franke and Ulrike Domanski have no financial or other potential conflict of interest associated with this investigation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl-Heinz Ruhle
    • 1
  • Karl-Josef Franke
    • 1
  • Ulrike Domanski
    • 1
  • Georg Nilius
    • 1
  1. 1.HELIOS-Klinik Ambrock, Department of PneumologyUniversity Witten-HerdeckeHagenGermany

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