Central Sleep Apnea and Pacing-Induced Cardiomyopathy

Am J Cardiol. 2021 Jan 15;139:97-104. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.09.027. Epub 2020 Sep 28.


The role of central sleep apnea (CSA) in pacing-induced cardiomyopathy (PICM) remains speculative. In a prospective trial entitled UPGRADE, the presence of CSA was assessed by single-night polysomnography (PSG) in 54 PICM patients within 1 month after left ventricular lead implantation (with biventricular stimulation still not activated). CSA was diagnosed in half of patients (n = 27). Patients with moderate or severe CSA were randomized to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) versus right ventricular pacing (RVP) in a double-blinded cross-over design and re-scheduled for a follow-up PSG within 3 to 5 months. After crossing-over of stimulation mode another PSG was conducted 3 to 5 months later. CRT led to a significant increase in left ventricular ejection fraction and significant reduction in left ventricular end systolic volumes and N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide plasma levels, whereas no significant effects were observed with ongoing RVP. CSA was significantly improved after 3.9 (3.2 to 4.4) months of CRT: apnea-hypopnea index decreased from 39.1 (32.1 to 54.0) events per hour at baseline to 22.2/h (10.9 to 36.7) by CRT (p <0.001). Central apnea index decreased from 27.1/h (17.7 to 36.1) at baseline to 6.8/h (1.1 to 14.4) after CRT activation (p <0.001). Ongoing RVP yielded only a minor improvement in apnea-hypopnea index and central apnea index. Pre-existent CSA did not affect structural response rate and had no impact on mid-term follow-up (median 2.8 years). In conclusion, CSA is highly prevalent in patients with PICM. CRT upgrading significantly improves CSA leading to a similar outcome in PICM patients without pre-existent CSA.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies / etiology*
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / physiopathology
  • Stroke Volume / physiology*
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*