Journal of Neurology

, Volume 262, Issue 5, pp 1247–1254 | Cite as

Obstructive sleep apnea is independently associated with arterial stiffness in ischemic stroke patients

  • Chung-Yao ChenEmail author
  • Chia-Ling Chen
  • Chung-Chieh Yu
Original Communication


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a predictor of all-cause mortality and recurrent vascular events following stroke. However, few studies have investigated the pathophysiology of OSA in ischemic stroke patients. Whether OSA independently increases arterial stiffness in ischemic stroke patients is determined by measuring the carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and via the central augmentation index (AIx). This cross-sectional study consecutively recruited 127 subacute ischemic stroke patients who were admitted to a teaching hospital for inpatient rehabilitation (median age, 61.3 years; IQR 53.6–72.7 years). Vascular measurements were performed following polysomnography. Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to determine the relationship between arterial stiffness and OSA. Patients with severe OSA were significantly older, had significantly higher PWV and mean blood pressure, and a significantly higher risk of hypertension than those with non-severe OSA. The significant bivariate correlation between AIx@75 and the desaturation index (DI) (Spearman’s ρ = 0.182, P = 0.040) became insignificant by multivariate regression analysis. The PWV was significantly correlated with the apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) (Pearson’s r = 0.350, P = 0.000) and DI (Spearman’s ρ = 0.347, P = 0.000). The correlation between PWV and OSA parameters, including presence of severe OSA, AHI and DI, remained significant by multivariate regression analysis with age, systolic blood pressure, diabetic mellitus, hypertension and the Barthel index as potential confounders. Arterial stiffness is independently associated with OSA, and PWV can be applied as an intermediate endpoint in further intervention trials of ischemic stroke patients with OSA.


Obstructive sleep apnea Ischemic stroke Arterial stiffness Pulse wave velocity Augmentation index 



Ted Knoy is appreciated for his editorial assistance. The authors would like to thank the Chang Gung Medical Research Council for financially supporting this research under Contract No. CMRPG2E0011.

Conflicts of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

Study protocol was approved from the local ethics committee, and all patients or their next-of-kin when a patient's communication was impaired gave informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chung-Yao Chen
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Chia-Ling Chen
    • 3
    • 5
  • Chung-Chieh Yu
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationChang Gung Memorial HospitalKeelungTaiwan
  2. 2.Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineChang Gung Memorial HospitalKeelungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationChang Gung Memorial HospitalTaoyuanTaiwan
  4. 4.School of Medicine, College of MedicineChang Gung UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan
  5. 5.Graduate Institute of Early Intervention, College of MedicineChang Gung UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan

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