University of Louisville researcher Dr. Saeed Jortani has developed a urine test that could soon be used to screen or diagnose children with obstructive sleep apnea. He says children have been difficult to diagnose because of the required overnight stay in a sleep clinic.
Jortani says they looked for another way to screen children, so fewer would have to get tested, and found the answer in urine.
“Whatever the body does throughout the day, urine is basically a record of what’s going on for the previous several hours,” says Jortani, “and we thought if the child is under stress or if the child is having difficulty breathing, that has to affect some of the proteins in their body.”
Jortani says children who suffer from the sleep disorder have a high level of stress-related protein in their urine. He says in the future, children who test positive in the urine test will then go on to tests in a sleep clinic.
He says in future research, he may develop the test for adults.