Special Issue: Care of Patients with Sleep Disorders| Volume 48, ISSUE 4, P321-324, July 2019

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Balloon pulmonary angioplasty attenuates sleep apnea in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension



      Balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) improves pulmonary hemodynamics in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) patients. However, whether it affects the severity of sleep apnea (SA) remains unknown. We investigated the effect of BPA on the severity of SA in CTEPH patients.


      We studied 13 patients with CTEPH who had an apnea hypopnea index (AHI) > 10 before BPA and underwent a second polygraph test 6 months after the last BPA session.


      BPA decreased pulmonary vascular resistance, mean pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), and plasma B-type natriuretic peptide levels, and increased the 6-minute walking distance. BPA decreased the AHI (from 20.9 [13.9–35.7] to 16.3 [7.7–21.8] times/hour, P = 0.023) and hypopnea index (from 13.2 [8.4–22.5] to 6.4 [3.8–10.9] times/hour, P = 0.013), but not the obstructive, central, or mixed apnea index. The change in AHI correlated with that in mean PAP, but not with the change in body mass index or other parameters of hemodynamics.


      BPA-induced improvement in hemodynamics was associated with the attenuation of SA in patients with CTEPH and SA. Therefore, close attention should be paid to SA in CTEPH patients, and SA should be re-evaluated after BPA to avoid overestimating its severity.


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