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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

New device for sleep apnea seen easier to tolerate

July 1, 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The use of a flexible CPAP
(continuous positive airway pressure) device that adjusts
pressure with inhalation and exhalation can boost adherence to
CPAP therapy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, research
shows.

People who experience sleep apnea, brief episodes when
breathing stops during sleep, are often treated with CPAP to
help them breathe properly during the night. Standard CPAP
devices deliver air at a constant pressure, which can be
uncomfortable and lead people to give up using it.

The flexible CPAP device, known as C-Flex, alternates
airway pressure on a breath-by-breath basis, which is thought
to improve patient comfort and, in turn, treatment adherence.

In their study, Dr. Mark S. Aloia, from Butler Hospital in
Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues treated 89 patients
with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea with standard
CPAP or C-Flex and followed them for 3 months.

Compared with standard CPAP, use of C-Flex was associated
with higher mean treatment adherence, the investigators note.
Specifically, after 3 months, the standard CPAP group was using
the device for an average of 3.1 hours per night, while the
C-Flex users stayed on the device for 4.8 hours.

Although CPAP with C-Flex did not improve clinical
outcomes, users of the device may feel more confident in their
ability to adhere to treatment, the investigators note in the
medical journal Chest

“Further randomized controlled trials will be necessary to
compare this to other flow-delivery patterns to assess the
impact on both short-term and long-term outcomes,” the authors
state.

C-Flex is produced by Murraysville, Pennsylvania-based
Respironics.

SOURCE: Chest June 2005.