APAP, BPAP, CPAP, and New Modes of Positive Airway Pressure Therapy

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Article, Peer-reviewed

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Positive airway pressure (PAP) is the primary treatment of sleep-disordered breathing including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and sleep-related hypoventilation. Just as clinicians use pharmacological mechanism of action and pharmacokinetic data to optimize medication therapy for an individual, understanding how PAP works and choosing the right mode and device are critical to optimizing therapy in an individual patient. The first section of this chapter will describe the technology inside PAP devices that is essential for understanding the algorithms used to control the airflow and pressure. The second section will review how different comfort settings including ramp and expiratory pressure relief and modes of PAP therapy including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), autotitrating CPAP, bilevel positive airway pressure, adaptive servoventilation, and volume-assured pressure support control the airflow and pressure. Proprietary algorithms from several different manufacturers are described. This chapter derives its descriptions of algorithms from multiple sources including literature review, manufacture publications and websites, patents, and peer-reviewed device comparisons and from personal communication with manufacturer representatives. Clinical considerations related to the technological aspects of the different algorithms and features will be reviewed.

Keywords: Adaptive servoventilation; Adherence; AutoPAP; Bilevel positive airway pressure; Central sleep apnea; Continuous positive airway pressure; Expiratory pressure relief; Flow limitation; Hypopnea; Mask; Obstructive sleep apnea; Ramp; Respiratory cycle; Sleep disordered breathing; Volume assured pressure support.