Study Objectives: People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) remain undiagnosed because of the lack of easy and comfortable screening tools. Through this study, we aimed to compare the diagnostic accuracy of chest wall motion and cyclic variation of heart rate (CVHR) in detecting OSA by using a single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) patch with a 3-axis accelerometer. Methods: In total, 119 patients who snore simultaneously underwent polysomnography with a single-lead ECG patch. Signals of chest wall motion and CVHR from the single-lead ECG patch were collected. The chest effort index (CEI) was calculated using the chest wall motion recorded by a 3-axis accelerometer in the device. The ability of CEI and CVHR indices in diagnosing moderate-to-severe OSA (apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15) was compared using the area under the curve (AUC) by using the DeLong test. Results: CVHR detected moderate-to-severe OSA with 52.9% sensitivity and 94.1% specificity (AUC: 0.76, 95% confidence interval: 0.67-0.84, optimal cutoff: 21.2 events/h). By contrast, CEI identified moderate-to-severe OSA with 80% sensitivity and 79.4% specificity (AUC: 0.87, 95% confidence interval: 0.80-0.94, optimal cutoff: 7.1 events/h). CEI significantly outperformed CVHR regarding the discrimination ability for moderate-to-severe OSA (ΔAUC: 0.11, 95% confidence interval: 0.009-0.21, P = .032). For determining severe OSA, the performance of discrimination ability was greater (AUC = 0.90, 95% confidence interval: 0.85-0.95) when combining these two signals. Conclusions: Both CEI and CVHR recorded from a patch-type device with ECG and a 3-axis accelerometer can be used to detect moderate-to-severe OSA. Thus, incorporation of CEI is helpful in the detection of sleep apnea by using a single-lead ECG with a 3-axis accelerometer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2020


  • Apnea-hypopnea index
  • Chest wall motion
  • Cyclic variation of heart rate
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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