Automated Respiratory Event Detection Using Deep Neural Networks

The gold standard to assess respiration during sleep is polysomnography; a technique that is burdensome, expensive (both in analysis time and measurement costs), and difficult to repeat. Automation of respiratory analysis can improve test efficiency and enable accessible implementation opportunities worldwide. Using 9,656 polysomnography recordings from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), we trained a neural network (WaveNet) based on a single respiratory effort belt to detect obstructive apnea, central apnea, hypopnea and respiratory-effort related arousals. Performance evaluation included event-based and recording-based metrics - using an apnea-hypopnea index analysis. The model was further evaluated on a public dataset, the Sleep-Heart-Health-Study-1, containing 8,455 polysomnographic recordings. For binary apnea event detection in the MGH dataset, the neural network obtained an accuracy of 95%, an apnea-hypopnea index $r^2$ of 0.89 and area under the curve for the receiver operating characteristics curve and precision-recall curve of 0.93 and 0.74, respectively. For the multiclass task, we obtained varying performances: 81% of all labeled central apneas were correctly classified, whereas this metric was 46% for obstructive apneas, 29% for respiratory effort related arousals and 16% for hypopneas. The majority of false predictions were misclassifications as another type of respiratory event. Our fully automated method can detect respiratory events and assess the apnea-hypopnea index with sufficient accuracy for clinical utilization. Differentiation of event types is more difficult and may reflect in part the complexity of human respiratory output and some degree of arbitrariness in the clinical thresholds and criteria used during manual annotation.

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