Domiciliary Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation Safe, Effective for Sleep Apnea

Domiciliary transcutaneous electrical stimulation can be used safely and effectively in patients with OSA.

HealthDay News For patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), domiciliary transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TESLA) can be used safely and effectively, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in eClinicalMedicine.

Deeban Ratneswaran, M.B.B.S., from King’s College London, and colleagues conducted a single-center, randomized, phase 3 trial involving patients with OSA, body mass index of 18.5 to 32 kg/m2, and documented lack of adherence to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to receive TESLA or usual care (CPAP) for at least three months (29 and 27, respectively). Change in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) at three months was measured as the primary outcome.

The researchers found that in an unadjusted analysis, the group difference in the ΔAHI was −11.5 h−1. The difference was ΔAHI −7.0 h−1 in favor of the intervention after adjustment for the baseline value. One participant developed mild headaches related to the intervention.

“Domiciliary TESLA of the submental area is a feasible, safe and effective treatment for patients with OSA who do not tolerate CPAP in the long term, and provides a potential second line alternative treatment for patients to improve pathophysiology and control symptoms,” the authors write.

One author is the named inventor on a patent for an “apparatus for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea”; a second author disclosed ties to Phillips Respironics.

Abstract/Full Text