Current Heart Failure Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 175–184

Sleep Apnea in Congestive Heart Failure


DOI: 10.1007/s11897-010-0033-5

Cite this article as:
Brisco, M.A. & Goldberg, L.R. Curr Heart Fail Rep (2010) 7: 175. doi:10.1007/s11897-010-0033-5


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.


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 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiovascular Medicine, Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant ProgramUniversity of Pennsylvania, 2 East Perelman Center for Advanced MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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