Effect of continuous positive airway pressure on an atrial arrhythmia in a patient with mild obstructive sleep apnea

J Clin Sleep Med. 2011 Aug 15;7(4):397-8. doi: 10.5664/JCSM.1200.


Cardiac arrhythmias have been reported in up to half of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and have been proposed to be one of the factors contributing to their increased mortality. Several studies have demonstrated evidence of an association between OSA and a number of cardiac arrhythmias. The mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis in OSA may be due to enhanced vagal output triggered by a combination of apnea and hypoxemia. This case demonstrates a dose-dependent reduction in atrial ectopy with increasing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in the setting of mild sleep apnea.

Keywords: Continuous positive airway pressure; atrial arrhythmia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / complications*
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / diagnosis
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / therapy*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome