Cardiac and respiratory rhythms reveal transient phases of phase-locking which were proposed to be an important aspect of cardiorespiratory interaction. The aim of this study was to quantify cardio-respiratory phase-locking in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We investigated overnight polysomnography data of 248 subjects with suspected OSA. Cardiorespiratory phase-coupling was computed from the R-R intervals of body surface ECG and respiratory rate, calculated from abdominal and thoracic sensors, using Hilbert transform. A significant reduction in phase-coupling was observed in patients with severe OSA compared to patients with no or mild OSA. Cardiorespiratory phase-coupling was also associated with sleep stages and was significantly reduced during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep compared to slow-wave (SW) sleep. There was, however, no effect of age and BMI on phase coupling. Our study suggests that the assessment of cardiorespiratory phase coupling may be used as an ECG based screening tool for determining the severity of OSA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)