Basic Home Study vs. Gold Standard Lab

Gold Standard Lab PSG 

An in-lab sleep study provides a board-certified sleep medicine physician with the most complete evaluation of your sleep. You will be required to stay overnight at one of our sleep centers.

An in-lab sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, records your brain waves, heartbeats and breathing as you sleep. It also charts your eye movements, limb movements and oxygen in your blood. This data will help your doctor make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan

PROS:

  • PSG is the gold standard for diagnosing every type of sleep disorder.
  • Split tests available
  • Most patients only have a copay for gold standard lab study.
  • Board certified director available for results.
  • Test equipment monitored to ensure sensors remain in place during sleep.
  • Covered by Medicaid.
  • Scored and evaluated by professional
  • Sleep stages and sleep position recorded
  • Technician can educate patient about finding optimal pressure and proper mask fitting for CPAP study

CONS:

  • Slightly more expensive.
  • Must schedule to stay over night at the sleep center

Basic Home Study

Home sleep apnea testing provides a board certified sleep medicine physician with the information he or she needs to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. It allows you to sleep at home wearing equipment that collects information about how you breathe during sleep. You will usually set up the testing equipment yourself.

There are a variety of home sleep apnea testing devices that have different sensors and equipment. These devices measure your breathing and blood oxygen level. Some also may measure your heart rate or other information about your body.

PROS:

  • Lower cost
  • Patient can sleep in the comfort of one’s own home
  • Easy scheduling
  • May be a better option for patients at high risk for sleep apnea

CONS:

  • Not covered by Medicaid
  • Do not provide CPAP therapy with first study
  • Does not record the sleep and wake cycles of the patient
  • Cannot detect if patient snores
  • Study scores itself
  • Tests cannot score sleep stages
  • Tests are not as accurate as attended study
  • Not ideal for patients with other sleep disorders
  • Not ideal for patients with other medical problems
  • High risk for patent error in applying and maintaining monitors during study
  • Patient may require multiple home studies due to inability to use equipment properly
  • Can produce a false-negative or -positive score by the unit itself, resulting in additional Gold standard lab study to rule out

In the long run, a full-night attended Gold Standard PSG study is more cost-effective than a home study due to “superior diagnostic accuracy” and limiting of false-positive and false-negative studies that result in unnecessary therapies or untreated cardiovascular risk.