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"I'm confused by my sleep study results, should I get a second opinion sleep study?"

ZocdocAnswersI'm confused by my sleep study results, should I get a second opinion sleep study?


I was referred for a sleep study because of palpitations, fatigue. I've seen cardiology and have had extensive testing; SVT was diagnosed. I went for the sleep study and was awaken at 2 am by the technician and a nurse from the ER. They said my heart rate was in the 130s and they faxed a copy of my ECG to the adjoining ER for review. The ER doc subsequently wanted another ECG. My heart rate came back down into normal range and I was allowed to go back to sleep. Not sure if I really went off into a deep sleep after this incident, however; they told me that I'd have to go to the ER if I "did this again". When I got the report, everything was noted to be "normal" and there was absolutely no mention of the tachycardia incident on the report! My symptoms have continued. I can get no clear explanation of why the report made no mention of this incident. Should I get a second opinion sleep study?


I am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with SVT (supra-ventricular tachycardia) by your cardiologist, and that you recently underwent a sleep study and were awaken by the technical who then called an emergency medicine physician because you went into a high heart rate. I am happy to give you some information about what I think might have been going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment with a sleep medicine specialist. They will be able to take more of a medical history, sleep history, and examine you to get an accurate diagnosis. When a sleep study is done, it is typically trying to examine the different stages of sleep to determine any abnormalities that may be present. It also evaluates whether there are any desaturations (drops in blood oxygen level), or any changes in your heart rate. It is possible that you have sleep apnea (a disorder that causes drops in your blood oxygen level), and that this bounced you into SVT. This however should have shown up on the sleep study. This is another reason why I would recommend that a sleep medicine specialist go over your sleep study to read it. They will be able to tell you if you should repeat it or not.

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