Long-term acceptance of nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy in 70 patients with sleep apnea over a 6-month treatment period
Becker, H.; Faust, M.; Fett, I.; Kublik, A.; Peter, J.H.; Riess, M.; von Wichert, P.
Pneumologie 43 Suppl. 1: 643-646
NCPAP therapy is considered to be an effective method of treatment in cases of obstructive and mixed sleep apnea (SA). We investigated its effectiveness during initiation of therapy, and the acceptance of the ambulatory long-term treatment. Here we present the first 70 patients (68 m, 2f) treated with nCPAP for at least six to a maximum of 20 months (on average: eleven months). Sixty-seven of the 70 patients were effectively treated with a nCPAP pressure of 5-15 mbar. The apnea index was reduced from 49 apnea episodes per hour (range 12-125) to 2 episodes per hour (range 0-8) on average. Therapy failed in one case (anatomical defect of the nasopharynx) and had to be abandoned in two cases (claustrophobia, acute rhinitis). Sixty-three patients, decided in favour of ambulatory long-term therapy. These patients were asked to complete a questionnaire about their experience with nCPAP. Four patients abandoned therapy (all within the first four weeks because of intolerance towards the apparatus), and one patient died 10 days after terminating treatment of an infection of the upper airway. Fifty-eight patients (82% of all) are still undergoing treatment. Eighty-eight per cent of these are using nCPAP for 5-7 nights a week throughout the entire sleep period, or at least for five hours. All patients report a marked reduction in or elimination of subjective symptoms. Mild local side effects occur quite frequently, but can be greatly reduced or eliminated in most cases. In individual cases they lead to a shortening of the nocturnal duration of application.