Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic Testing

Dr. Bakker, Sarah E. Jamieson PA-C or your referring physician will likely order diagnostic tests or procedures to help us gain a better understanding of your condition. Some of the testing will be performed in our center and others may need to be done at an outside laboratory, radiology center or even the hospital. Most of the external test results will take a few to several days to be returned to us. We understand that you may be on “pins and needles” when waiting for test results so as soon as we have them, we will call to schedule an appointment to review your results with you and determine the next steps in your treatment plan

Some of the more common diagnostic tests are listed below:

Polysomnogram (PSG) – Conducted at a sleep center, a polysomnogram is a diagnostic sleep study that measures the quality of a person’s sleep by measuring the body’s involuntary functions during sleep, such as breathing and heart rate. This study typically lasts one night. A typical polysomnogram records the following data:

  • Brain waves (electrodes placed on the scalp)
  • Eye movement (electrodes placed on the face, by the eyes)
  • Chin muscle tone (electrodes placed on or under the chin)
  • Heart rate and rhythm (electrodes placed on the chest)
  • Leg movements (electrodes placed on the legs)
  • Breathing (breathing sensor placed near the nose and mouth)
  • Breathing effort (two small belts placed loosely around the chest and abdomen)
  • Oxygen level (small sensor attached to the finger)
  • Audio and video taping

CPAP Titration Study – Conducted at a sleep center, a CPAP titration study is a sleep study used to determine the appropriate pressure to be used with a CPAP machine. During the night of a CPAP titration study, data will be recorded as during a PSG; however, a CPAP mask will be added at the beginning of the night. Through the night, the pressure released from the CPAP machine will be progressively increased, or titrated, until it is shown that the patient reaches restful sleep without interruption due to abnormal breathing patterns. This study typically lasts one night.

Split Night Study – Conducted at a sleep center, a split night study is a combination of a PSG and a CPAP titration study. A PSG is completed for the first 2 hours of the study. If significant sleep apnea is noted, then a CPAP titration study will be initiated.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) – Conducted at a sleep center, an MSLT assesses daytime sleepiness and is used to diagnose narcolepsy. This test may be performed after a PSG. The MSLT consists of a series of 20-minute naps, during which the patient tries to fall asleep. The test is given every two hours throughout the day, with each nap lasting about 20 minutes. During each nap, sensors and electrodes record data on body functions (heartbeat, breathing, eye movement, etc).

Blood Work – Blood tests may be ordered to identify an iron deficiency, thyroid abnormality or other abnormalities which can be linked to poor sleep.