New neural network enables easy screening of sleep apnoea in patients with cerebrovascular disease

January 26, 2021

A new neural network developed by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital enables an easy and accurate assessment of sleep apnoea severity in patients with cerebrovascular disease. The assessment is automated and based on a simple nocturnal pulse oximetry, making it possible to easily screen for sleep apnoea in stroke units.

Up to 90% of patients experiencing a stroke have sleep apnoea, according to earlier studies conducted at Kuopio University Hospital. If left untreated, sleep apnoea can reduce the quality of life and rehabilitation of patients with stroke and increase the risk for recurrent cerebrovascular events.

"Although screening of sleep apnoea is recommended for patients with cerebrovascular disease, it is rarely done in stroke units due to complicated measurement devices, time-consuming manual analysis, and high costs," Researcher Akseli Leino from the University of Eastern Finland says.

In the new study, researchers developed a neural network to assess the severity of sleep apnoea in patients with acute stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA) by using a simple nocturnal oxygen saturation signal. The apnoea-hypopnea index, which represents the number of apnoea and hypopnea events per hour, is commonly used in the diagnostics of sleep apnoea. When the researchers compared the results of manual scoring and those obtained using the new neural network, the median difference was only 1.45 events per hour. The neural network was also 78% accurate in classifying patients into four different categories on the basis of sleep apnoea severity (no sleep apnoea, mild, moderate, severe). The neural network was able to identify moderate and severe sleep apnoea, both of which require treatment, in patients with acute stroke or TIA with a 96% specificity and a 92% sensitivity.

"The neural network developed in the study enables an easy and cost-effective screening of sleep apnoea in patients with cerebrovascular disease in hospital wards and stroke units. The nocturnal oxygen saturation signal can be recorded with a simple finger pulse oximetry measurement, with no time-consuming manual analysis required," Medical Physicist Katja Myllymaa from Kuopio University Hospital points out.
The study was conducted in collaboration between the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and the Department of Neurology at Kuopio University Hospital, and the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Eastern Finland. The study was funded by the Academy of Finland, Business Finland, Kuopio University Hospital, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Kuopio Area Respiratory Foundation, the Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases, the Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association Foundation, Päivikki & Sakari Sohlberg Foundation, Paulo Foundation, and Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation.

For further information, please contact:

Early Stage Researcher Akseli Leino, MSc (Tech),

Docent, Medical Physicist Katja Myllymaa, PhD,

Research article:

Leino A, Nikkonen S, Kainulainen S, Korkalainen H, Töyräs J, Myllymaa S, Leppänen T, Ylä-Herttuala S, Westeren-Punnonen S, Muraja-Murro A, Jäkälä P, Mervaala E, Myllymaa K. Neural network analysis of nocturnal SpO2 signal enables easy screening of sleep apnea in patients with acute cerebrovascular disease. Sleep Med 2020;79.

University of Eastern Finland

Related Stroke Articles from Brightsurf:

Stroke alarm clock may streamline and accelerate time-sensitive acute stroke care
An interactive, digital alarm clock may speed emergency stroke care, starting at hospital arrival and through each step of the time-sensitive treatment process.

Stroke patients with COVID-19 have increased inflammation, stroke severity and death
Stroke patients who also have COVID-19 showed increased systemic inflammation, a more serious stroke severity and a much higher rate of death, compared to stroke patients who did not have COVID-19, according a retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study of 60 ischemic stroke patients admitted to UAB Hospital between late March and early May 2020.

'Time is vision' after a stroke
University of Rochester researchers studied stroke patients who experienced vision loss and found that the patients retained some visual abilities immediately after the stroke but these abilities diminished gradually and eventually disappeared permanently after approximately six months.

More stroke awareness, better eating habits may help reduce stroke risk for young adult African-Americans
Young African-Americans are experiencing higher rates of stroke because of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, yet their perception of their stroke risk is low.

How to help patients recover after a stroke
The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients' brains.

Kids with headache after stroke might be at risk for another stroke
A new study has found a high incidence of headaches in pediatric stroke survivors and identified a possible association between post-stroke headache and stroke recurrence.

High stroke impact in low- and middle-income countries examined at 11th World Stroke Congress
Less wealthy countries struggle to meet greater need with far fewer resources.

Marijuana use might lead to higher risk of stroke, World Stroke Congress to be told
A five-year study of hospital statistics from the United States shows that the incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period.

We need to talk about sexuality after stroke
Stroke survivors and their partners are not adequately supported to deal with changes to their relationships, self-identity, gender roles and intimacy following stroke, according to new research from the University of Sydney.

Standardized stroke protocol can ensure ELVO stroke patients are treated within 60 minutes
A new study shows that developing a standardized stroke protocol of having neurointerventional teams meet suspected emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) stroke patients upon their arrival at the hospital achieves a median door-to-recanalization time of less than 60 minutes.

Read More: Stroke News and Stroke Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to