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Circulation Journal
Vol. 72 (2008) No. 7 p. 1100-1105



Clinical Investigation

Background Cheyne-Stokes respiration with central sleep apnea (CSR-CSA) is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with heart failure (HF). However, some patients do not respond to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), so other therapeutic modalities should be considered, such as bi-level positive airway pressure (PAP), which also assists respiration and might be effective for such patients. Methods and Results The 20 patients with HF because of left ventricular systolic dysfunction were assessed: 8 had ischemic etiology, and all had severe CSA according to the apnea - hypopnea index (AHI) determined by polysomnography. All diagnosed patients underwent repeat polysomnography using CPAP. The AHI improved significantly in 11 (AHI <15), but only slightly in 9, in whom the AHI remained high (≥15). Bi-level PAP titration significantly improved the AHI in the latter group. Those who were unresponsive to CPAP had significantly lower PaCO2, higher plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), longer mean duration of CSR and fewer obstructive episodes than CPAP responders. After 6 months of positive airway support with either CPAP (n=9) or bi-level PAP (n=7), BNP levels significantly decreased and left ventricular ejection fraction significantly increased. Conclusions Bi-level PAP could be an effective alternative for patients with HF and pure CSR-CSA who are unresponsive to CPAP. (Circ J 2008; 72: 1100 - 1105)


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