What every clinician should know about polysomnography

Susheel P. Patil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Polysomnography studies are an essential tool for the sleep physician and aid in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Polysomnography refers to the recording, analysis, and interpretation of multiple physiologic signals collected simultaneously. Rapid advancements in technology have transformed the field from a time when analog studies were collected on paper to computer-assisted collection of digitally transformed studies. Sleep clinicians, whether physicians, respiratory therapists, or sleep technologists, must therefore have an understanding of a broad array of principles underlying the collection of the various signals. In addition, an understanding of basic technical rules in the evaluation of polysomnography studies is necessary for both the scoring and interpretation of such studies. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a new manual for the scoring of sleep and associated events in 2007. These changes included modifications to the visual scoring of sleep, the scoring of sleep-disordered breathing events, and movement disorders during sleep. A few early studies have evaluated the effects of the changes in scoring guidelines to the previous Rechtschaffen and Kales (R&K) rules for sleep and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine rules for respiratory events. Some controversy regarding the scoring of respiratory events continues to exist and requires further studies to be performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1195
Number of pages17
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • AASM scoring manual
  • Aliasing
  • Amplifiers
  • Arousals
  • Filters
  • Movement disorders
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Polysomnography
  • Sampling rate
  • Sleep staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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