Domiciliary Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation Safe, Effective for Sleep Apnea

In contrast to CPAP, domiciliary transcutaneous electrical stimulation can be a mode of treatment for 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 3 months (29 and 27, respectively). Change in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) at 3 months was measured as the primary outcome.

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