Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Simple Saliva Test for Sleep Apnea.

A abstract published in the SLEEP abstract supplement "AMYLASE mRNA IS ELEVATED IN SALIVA OF SUBJECTS
WITH OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA" by Thimgan M1, Gottschalk L1, McLeland JS2, Toedebusch C2, Duntley S2, uses a measure of amylase mRNA to test for sleep apnea.

The authors conclude that " Saliva is a readily accessible biofluid that offers a source
of analytes that can be used to assess sleepiness" I believe this is false but it can be used to assess amount of sleep apnea, sleepiness is a subjective symptom of sleep apnea........ The authors also conclude that "Salivary Amylase is a practical and objective test that can be used, in conjunction with other indicators, to encourage patients to visit the sleep lab for testing and treatment of OSA.

I believe this is ideal. If a simple 2 second swab can predict apnea we now have an excellent method of selecting patients who definitively need sleep evaluation. We must consider that there will be some false positives that sleep studies will be normal or show another sleep disorder other than apnea causing the rise in saliva measures. The false negatives would be a larger concern if a sleep test wasw not given due to low saliva levels and a serios problem was missed.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 11:31 AM