Mal-effects of obstructive sleep apnea on the heart
This study aims to examine the impact of chronic intermittent hypoxia on hearts in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Two hundred twenty patients were divided into groups based on (1) severity of the disease, (2) years of disease history, and (3) with or without secondary hypertension. All subjects underwent blood pressure measurements, polysomnogram monitoring, and cardiac Doppler ultrasound examinations.
The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), fractional shortening (FS), and the ratio of early to late diastolic filling (E/A) in patients with severe OSA were lower than in those with moderate OSA and in healthy controls. The inner diameters of the main pulmonary artery (inD of MPA), the inner diameters of the right cardiac ventricle (inD of RV), and the thickness of anterior wall of the right ventricle (TAW of RV) were increased in patients with severe OSA compared to those with moderate disease and worsened as a function of time with disease. The tissue Doppler imaging-derived Tei index and pulmonary artery systolic pressure were also increased along with the severity of OSA. LVEF and FS in patients who had suffered from OSA for >10 years were decreased compared with those suffering from OSA for a shorter time. LVEF and FS in patients with secondary hypertension were decreased significantly relative to non-hypertensive OSA patients and healthy controls. E/A was decreased in OSA patients whether they had secondary hypertension or not.
OSA affected the left ventricular diastolic function in the early stage of the disease. Extended exposure to OSA resulted in left ventricular dysfunction with increased hypertension. Right ventricle dysfunction and abnormalities became more severe as the disease progressed.