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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What percentage of periodic breathing on an auto-cpap should be of concern?

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Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2190 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 11 Feb 2013 in General Health
Question: What percentage of periodic breathing on an auto-cpap should be of concern. I get 1 or 2% every once in a while but not often at all. I just got a 5.6% though and was wondering if that should be investigated further?
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Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 2 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Periodic breathing detected in an auto-cPAP should be a matter of concern only if the person has any co-existing cardiac problems. In patients with chronic sleep apnea and who are on cPAP, and with no cardiac disease, a percentage less than 5% is acceptable.

What is more important to monitor is the average AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index). If this is less tha 5 per hour, then it means that your cPAP treatment is working well.

In your case, you mention that you get readings of 1 or 2% occasionally - which is quite acceptable. A one-off reading of above 5 may not indicate any significant problem. Often, improper positioning of the mask and air leaks can result in the occasional erroneous readings.

So, I would advise you not to worry about this. In case your periodic breathing is recurrently or persistently above 5%, then you need to get investigated further.

Wish you all the best.

Regards,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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