Choosing Wisely:

Don’t use polysomnography to diagnose restless legs syndrome, except rarely when the clinical history is ambiguous and documentation of periodic leg movements is necessary.

Rationale and Comments: Restless legs syndrome is a neurologic disorder that can be diagnosed based on a patient’s description of symptoms and additional clinical history. Polysomnography generally does not provide additional information necessary to make the diagnosis. If a patient’s clinical history for RLS is ambiguous, PSG to assess for periodic leg movements may be useful to help confirm an RLS diagnosis.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Neurologic
  • References: • Kushida CA, Littner MR, Morgenthaler T, Alessi CA, Bailey D, Coleman J Jr, Friedman L, Hirshkowitz M, Kapen S, Kramer M, Lee-Chiong T, Loube DL, Owens J, Pancer JP, Wise M. Practice parameters for the indications for polysomnography and related procedures: an update for 2005. Sleep. 2005;28(4):499-521.
    • American Academy of Sleep Medicine. International classification of sleep disorders, 3rd ed. Darien, Ill.: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014.

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