Article

Current Heart Failure Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 175-184

First online:

Sleep Apnea in Congestive Heart Failure

  • Meredith A. BriscoAffiliated withCardiovascular Medicine, Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program, University of Pennsylvania, 2 East Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
  • , Lee R. GoldbergAffiliated withCardiovascular Medicine, Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program, University of Pennsylvania, 2 East Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine Email author 

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Abstract

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a form of sleep disordered breathing in which pharyngeal muscle relaxation leads to recurrent nighttime apneas and hypopneas that, through increased afterload, intermittent hypoxia, and excess sympathetic activity, weaken the already failing heart. This review presents the current evidence regarding the complex relationship between OSA and heart failure (HF), including support for OSA as both a cause and consequence of HF. The impact of OSA on other cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease and arrhythmias, as they relate to HF development or exacerbation, also are reviewed.

Keywords

Obstructive sleep apnea Congestive heart failure Sleep disordered breathing Cardiovascular disease Arrhythmias Continuous positive airway pressure Pulmonary hypertension Hypertension Coronary artery disease Sudden cardiac death Sympathetic nerve activity Atrial fibrillation Ventricular tachycardia