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Title: Polysomnography and Sleep Disorder Centers.
Agency: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research/Center for Health Care Technology
(Formerly, the Office of health Technology Assessment).
Contact: Ira Green, M.D., Medical Officer; Thomas V. Holohan, M.D., Director, CHCT.
Status: Technology Assessment: Published, 1992.
Primary Objective: To assess the usefulness of polysomnography (PSG) and sleep disorder
centers (SDC) for the diagnosis and treatment of certain disorders of sleep.
Methods Used: Review of the literature, consultation with U.S. Public Health Service, NIH and
FDA; obtaining expert opinion from individuals and organizations.
Data Identification: References were selected that examined whether PSG was useful in making
a more accurate diagnosis in various sleep disorders and whether these results altered therapy that
lead to more effective outcomes.
Data Extraction: Trial design, patient selection criteria, the response to treatment and evidence
for increased diagnostic accuracy.
Key Findings: Current published data permit the conclusion that PSG performed in SDC is
useful for the evaluation of sleep related breathing disorders, and may be useful in suspected cases
of narcolepsy, parasomnias, and nocturnal epilepsy, especially in cases wherein other findings are
inconclusive or contradictory. In other types of sleep disorders, such as chronic insomnia, the data
do not permit firm conclusions regarding the clinical effectiveness of PSG.
Conclusions: PSG is useful for evaluating and treating some, but not all, types of sleep disorders.