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A Review of the Evidence for Use of the Home Sleep Apnea Test or Portable Monitoring in the Evaluation of Central Sleep Apnea


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to discuss the current available evidence and potential role of home sleep apnea tests and portable monitoring in the diagnosis and management of central sleep apnea (CSA) in both ambulatory and hospital settings. The ability to diagnose central apnea using a home or portable device may offer considerable advantages at the home environment such as reduced cost, improved access, and more convenience and comfort for the patient.

Recent Findings

There are limited published articles evaluating the utility and accuracy of home testing in CSA patients. In this article, we review the use of different portable devices including ApneaLink, Watch-PAT, Alice PDx, and SOMNOcheck to diagnose or screen central apnea among patients in the hospital and outpatient settings.


More research and validation of the role of these devices in detecting CSA is necessary due to a variety of limitations as compared to in lab sleep polysomnography including limited ability to detect central hypopneas or measure sleep. However, growing evidence does suggest they can be a potential tool as a screening test in patients with risk factors for central apnea. Ultimately, an attended in-lab polysomnography will likely be necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine optimal treatment for sleep-disordered breathing.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raman K. Malhotra.

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Conflict of Interest

Kaung San declares no conflict of interest. Raman Malhotra reports serving on the board of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Sleeping and Breathing

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San, K.H., Malhotra, R.K. A Review of the Evidence for Use of the Home Sleep Apnea Test or Portable Monitoring in the Evaluation of Central Sleep Apnea. Curr Pulmonol Rep 10, 129–134 (2021).

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  • Central sleep apnea
  • Home sleep apnea test
  • Portable monitoring
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure