Assessment and interpretation of sleep disordered breathing severity in cardiology: Clinical implications and perspectives

Dominik Linz, Mathias Baumert, Peter Catcheside, John Floras, Prash Sanders, Patrick Lévy, Martin R. Cowie, R. Doug McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is highly prevalent in patients with atrial fibrillation, heart failure and hypertension and is associated with increased risk of mortality, cardiovascular (CV) events and arrhythmias. Current assessment of the severity of SDB is mainly based on the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) representing the number of hypopneas and apneas per hour of sleep. However, this event-based parameter alone may not sufficiently reflect the complex pathophysiological mechanisms underlying SDB potentially contributing to CV outcome risk. In this review article, we highlight important limitations and pitfalls of current assessment, quantification and interpretation of SDB-severity in patients with CV disease and will discuss pathophysiological considerations from preclinical and clinical mechanistic studies and possible clinical implications.

Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018


  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart failure
  • Hypoxia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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