Nasal CPAP in nonapneic nocturnal asthma

Chest. 1991 Oct;100(4):1024-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.100.4.1024.


Nasal CPAP has been shown to improve nocturnal asthma in those patients with associated sleep apnea. We studied seven nonapneic, nonsnoring asthmatics to determine the effect of CPAP in this patient population. On the CPAP night vs the baseline night, there was a significant worsening of sleep architecture. This included increased awake time and decreased REM sleep. For the group, the overnight decrement in FEV1 was not improved. Of interest, two patients did have a marked improvement in FEV1 associated with improved oxygen saturation on the CPAP night. These individuals were restudied only on supplemental oxygen. This intervention also improved the overnight FEV1 and allowed the patients to have better sleep compared to the CPAP night. We concluded that CPAP is associated with disrupted sleep architecture in nonapneic asthmatics and nocturnal oxygen desaturation may play a role in the development of nocturnal asthma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration*
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology