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To investigate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome mechanisms, we developed a device to measure the surface electromyogram (EMG) time latency reflex of the genioglossus muscle stimulated by time and amplitude calibrated negative pharyngeal pressure drops. The reflex signals were found to be disturbed by transient signals that generate false alarms. Thus, to reduce false alarm occurrences we designed an adaptive multiscale method. Continuous wavelet transform (CWT) is widely used in biomedical signal event detection processes. The Berkner transform is an approximation of a CWT that is based on a hierarchical scheme similar to discrete wavelet transform. We used the Berkner transform to build a multiscale detector because it offers the possibility of maxima coefficients linkage that leads to good accuracy in reflex onset localization. As a contribution to this novel approach we used a reconstruction formula to develop an adaptive method for scale range determination in our surface EMG reflex detector. Finally, we characterized our detector in terms of accuracy and robustness, first on synthesized signals and second, on signals acquired on apneic patients and healthy subjects. Preliminary results showed a significant difference (p<0.01) between the two populations regarding the genioglossus muscle mean latency time. These physiological findings may partly explain why the upper airway protective reflex occurring when a negative pressure is applied to the upper airway is ineffective in OSA patients, leading to pharyngeal collapse.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2005