Sleep in chronic respiratory disease: COPD and hypoventilation disorders

Eur Respir Rev. 2019 Sep 25;28(153):190064. doi: 10.1183/16000617.0064-2019. Print 2019 Sep 30.


COPD and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) are highly prevalent and different clinical COPD phenotypes that influence the likelihood of comorbid OSA. The increased lung volumes and low body mass index (BMI) associated with the predominant emphysema phenotype protects against OSA whereas the peripheral oedema and higher BMI often associated with the predominant chronic bronchitis phenotype promote OSA. The diagnosis of OSA in COPD patients requires clinical awareness and screening questionnaires which may help identify patients for overnight study. Management of OSA-COPD overlap patients differs from COPD alone and the survival of overlap patients treated with nocturnal positive airway pressure is superior to those untreated. Sleep-related hypoventilation is common in neuromuscular disease and skeletal disorders because of the effects of normal sleep on ventilation and additional challenges imposed by the underlying disorders. Hypoventilation is first seen during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep before progressing to involve non-REM sleep and wakefulness. Clinical presentation is nonspecific and daytime respiratory function measures poorly predict nocturnal hypoventilation. Monitoring of respiration and carbon dioxide levels during sleep should be incorporated in the evaluation of high-risk patient populations and treatment with noninvasive ventilation improves outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Hypoventilation / diagnosis
  • Hypoventilation / epidemiology
  • Hypoventilation / physiopathology*
  • Hypoventilation / therapy
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Pulmonary Ventilation*
  • Respiration*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Sleep*