In this issue of CHEST (see page 66), Skinner and colleagues from New Zealand attempted to prospectively screen patients admitted to a coronary care unit over a 2-month period using unattended respiratory monitoring during the hours of sleep. The device employed (Embletta; Medcare; Reykjavik, Iceland) is well validated for respiratory monitoring, but does not include EEG monitoring to determine sleep staging, which would have been extremely interesting data as well.
Of 101 consecutively admitted hospital patients, 41 met entry criteria and 29 agreed to participate. Good data were obtained on 26 of 29 patients, a noteworthy success rate, implying this monitoring in the coronary care unit setting may be quite practical. Sleep-disordered breathing was diagnosed in approximately one half. A follow-up study was performed in 18 patients at least 6 weeks after discharge from the hospital; in these patients, 6 did not have the diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing confirmed, and 1 patient had a new diagnosis.