Implantable Pacing Devices and Sleep Apnea: Implications for Diagnosis and Therapy

Alaa A. Shalaby, MD


CHF. 2005;11(2):80-86. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Sleep apnea has been increasingly recognized for its prevalence and its impact on cardiovascular health. The disorder has considerable impact on cardiovascular disease states, particularly congestive heart failure. Implantable cardiac pacing devices may have a role in both the diagnosis and therapy of sleep apnea, which may be of particular importance given the seemingly wide coprevalence of cardiac disorders and sleep apnea.

Despite increased awareness by practicing physicians, sleep apnea (SA) remains underdiagnosed.[1] The disorder is prevalent in the general population, particularly among males and increasingly so with advancing age.[2] SA has been associated with such cardiovascular disorders as hypertension, atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure (CHF). In patients with CHF, SA, particularly central, appears to be quite prevalent, approaching 40%–60%.[d,4] Indeed, the presence of severe central sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) has been found to be a powerful predictor of poor prognosis in such patients.[4] In recent years, there has emerged an interest in the potential role of implantable pacemakers in the management of SA. In this review, the potential use of these devices for both diagnosis and treatment will be explored.


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