Computer-assisted automated scoring of polysomnograms using the somnolyzer system

Naresh M. Punjabi, Naima Shifa, Georg Dorffner, Susheel Patil, Grace Pien, Rashmi N. Aurora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: Manual scoring of polysomnograms is a time-consuming and tedious process. To expedite the scoring of polysomnograms, several computerized algorithms for automated scoring have been developed. The overarching goal of this study was to determine the validity of the Somnolyzer system, an automated system for scoring polysomnograms. Design: The analysis sample comprised of 97 sleep studies. Each polysomnogram was manually scored by certified technologists from four sleep laboratories and concurrently subjected to automated scoring by the Somnolyzer system. Agreement between manual and automated scoring was examined. Sleep staging and scoring of disordered breathing events was conducted using the 2007 American Academy of Sleep Medicine criteria. Setting: Clinical sleep laboratories. Measurements and Results: A high degree of agreement was noted between manual and automated scoring of the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). The average correlation between the manually scored AHI across the four clinical sites was 0.92 (95% confidence interval: 0.90-0.93). Similarly, the average correlation between the manual and Somnolyzer-scored AHI values was 0.93 (95% confidence interval: 0.91-0.96). Thus, interscorer correlation between the manually scored results was no different than that derived from manual and automated scoring. Substantial concordance in the arousal index, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency between manual and automated scoring was also observed. In contrast, differences were noted between manually and automated scored percentages of sleep stages N1, N2, and N3. Conclusion: Automated analysis of polysomnograms using the Somnolyzer system provides results that are comparable to manual scoring for commonly used metrics in sleep medicine. Although differences exist between manual versus automated scoring for specific sleep stages, the level of agreement between manual and automated scoring is not significantly different than that between any two human scorers. In light of the burden associated with manual scoring, automated scoring platforms provide a viable complement of tools in the diagnostic armamentarium of sleep medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1566
Number of pages12
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Automated scoring
  • Polysomnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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