Ambulatory polysomnography using a new programmable amplifier system w on-line digitization of data: technical & clinical findings

A new system for polysomnographic recording at home is

presented. It consists of a 12 to 24-channel amplifier system

with direct digitization of the polygraph signals using a

portable computer. Sampling frequency, amplification and

filter settings can be defined by the user, and the signals

are evaluated at bedside. Technical testing proved a high

signal/noise ratio, linear amplification and a good signal

quality. Clinical testing of the first 100 recordings showed

that they were acceptable for conventional sleep scoring in

98 cases. A comparison of two consecutive recordings was done

in 9 healthy subjects and 11 patients with rheumatic

disorders. Using conventional sleep staging, only a slight

“first night effect” (FNE) was demonstrated in the sleep

architecture. Power spectral analysis using autoregressive

modeling demonstrated only a difference of power between the

2 nights in the beta (14.5-25 Hz) band. In conclusion, the

usability and technical advantages make the system very

suitable for ambulatory recordings and only a minimal FNE

should be considered when results are evaluated.

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