A detection dog for obstructive sleep apnea
We sought to assess whether a dog can be trained to distinguish obstructive sleep apnea patients from healthy controls based on the olfactory detection of urine.
Urine samples were collected from 23 adult male obstructive sleep apnea patients and from 20 voluntary adult male volunteers. Three dogs were trained through reinforced operant conditioning.
Two of the three dogs correctly detected two thirds of obstructive sleep apnea patients (p < 0.000194 and p < 0.000003, respectively).
We found that dogs can be trained to distinguish obstructive sleep apnea patients from healthy controls based on the smell of urine. Potentially, dogs could be utilized to identify novel biomarkers or possibly screen for obstructive sleep apnea.
KeywordsCanine Diagnostics Olfactory detection Screening
This study was financially supported by grants from the Finska Läkaresällskapet and the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation. The sponsors had no role in the design or conduct of this research.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were carried out in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (Helsinki University Hospital, 168/13/03/00/16) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.
Animal experiments, ethical approval
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were carried out in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
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