Pan African Medical Journal

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Sleep apnea syndrome: experience of the pulmonology department in Ibn Sina Hospital, Rabat, Morocco

Asmaa Jniene, Mustapha el Ftouh, Mohamed Tawfiq el Fassy Fihry


Introduction Sleep apnea syndrome is a highly prevalent disorder that is still underdiagnosed and undertreated and whose obstructive form is the most common. The diagnosis is suspected on clinical signs collected by interrogation and questionnaires (Berlin questionnaire and Epworth sleepiness scale), then confirmed by objective sleep study findings (polygraphy or polysomnography). It is necessary to conduct studies in each context on the characteristics and management of sleep apnea syndrome comprising the testing of reliability of the questionnaires. Methods Prospective and descriptive study of 104 patients addressed to sleep consultation at pulmononology Department of Ibn Sina Hospital, Morocco over a period of 5 years (January 2006 to December 2010), agreed to participate in the study, responded to a predetermined questionnaire, and benefited from clinical examination and paraclinical tests including a polygraphy or a polysomnography Results 59(56.7%) patients had an obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome with a similar prevalence in both sexes. 32.2% of patients were obese and 28,8% had cardio-vascular diseases. Snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness and witnessed apnea were found in respectively 79.7%, 50.8% and 16.9%. Berlin questionnaire and Epworth sleepiness scale had an acceptable internal consistency against apnea hypopnea index with a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient respectively 0.79 and 0.78. Depending on severity, clinical impact and results of investigations, the adequate treatment has been proposed based on the 2010 recommendations for clinical practice. Conclusion This study has provided an idea about the profile and the management of patients having an obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome and showed that both Berlin questionnaire and Epworth sleepiness scale are two simple and reliable methods in our context. A larger and further study across the country should be considered.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 13:28

AJOL African Journals Online