The following article is part of conference coverage from the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis 2020 Forum in West Palm Beach, Florida. Neurology Advisor‘s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from the ACTRIMS 2020 Forum.


WEST PALM BEACH, FL — In multiple sclerosis, a STOP-Bang (for Snoring, Tiredness, Observed apneas, high blood Pressure, BMI, Age, Neck circumference, Gender) cutoff score of 3 or greater produces a sensitivity similar to that seen in patients without multiple sclerosis (MS), according to study results presented at the 2020 Forum for Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis held February 27-29, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Obstructive sleep apnea is closely associated with MS, based on the STOP-Bang screening tool that assesses characteristics known to confer the risk for obstructive sleep apnea. The STOP-Bang tool has been widely used across a variety of patient samples but has not yet been validated in patients with MS. Researchers of the study assessed the sensitivity and specificity of the STOP-Bang tool in patients with MS.

Researchers of the study used data from an ongoing randomized controlled trial examining the effects of obstructive sleep apnea and its treatment on cognition in patients with MS. Inclusion criteria were patients with MS aged 18 through 70 years with a STOP-Bang score of 2 or greater, or with a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea regardless of STOP-Bang score. All patients underwent STOP-Bang assessments and in-lab polysomnography. Researchers calculated specificities and sensitivities for all STOP-Bang scores and compared them with results from the overnight polysomnography.


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Researchers revealed that among the 113 patients included, a STOP-Bang score of 3 or greater yielded a sensitivity of 81%, 87%, and 92% to detect an apnea hypopnea index of 5 or greater, 15 or greater, and 30 or greater, respectively. The specificities of these STOP-Bang scores were comparatively low at 33%, 65%, and 26%.

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The study researchers concluded that a STOP-Bang cutoff score of 3 or greater in patients with MS produces a sensitivity similar to that seen in patients without MS, though specificity is poor in comparison.

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Reference

Singh M, Washnock-Schmid E, Dunietz G, Chervin RD, Braley TJ. Validation of the stop-bang questionnaire for obstructive sleep apnea screening in adults with multiple sclerosis. Presented at: 5th Annual Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum; February 27-29, 2020; West Palm Beach, FL. Abstract P087.