Current Sleep Medicine Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 221–230 | Cite as

Screening for Sleep Apnea: When and How?

  • Ricardo Luiz de Menezes DuarteEmail author
  • Flavio José Magalhães-da-Silveira
  • David Gozal
Sleep Related Breathing Disorders (L Kheirandish-Gozal, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Sleep Related Breathing Disorders


Purpose of Review

Several models aimed at screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have been published, and most of these are based on questions containing clinical, demographic, and anthropometric features previously identified as OSA risk factors. Here, our main objective was to review the usefulness of some of these screening tools and delineate their performance when attempting to identify subjects at risk for OSA.

Recent Findings

We evaluated some of the most cited screening tools including Sleep Apnea Clinical Score, Berlin and STOP-Bang questionnaires, Four-Variable Screening Tool, NoSAS score, and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Analysis of the predictive performance of the different tools is influenced by the sleep test used, the type of population studied, and the threshold of the apnea/hypopnea index used for OSA diagnosis.


Nowadays, it would appear that the most employed screening instrument is the STOP-Bang questionnaire. It is a mnemonic method with eight questions dichotomized into yes-or-no responses and exhibits high sensitivity at all levels of OSA severity while also having been widely validated in several different populations.


Obstructive sleep apnea Polysomnography Diagnostic test Screening 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ricardo L. M. Duarte, Flavio J. Magalhães-da-Silveira, and David Gozal each declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Luiz de Menezes Duarte
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Flavio José Magalhães-da-Silveira
    • 1
  • David Gozal
    • 3
  1. 1.Sleep - Laboratório de Estudo dos Distúrbios do SonoCentro Médico BarraShoppingRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Doenças do Tórax - Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Pritzker School of Medicine, Biological Sciences DivisionThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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