Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in outpatients with systolic heart failure improves cardiac function. We evaluated the impact of immediate inpatient diagnosis and treatment of OSA in hospitalized patients with acutely decompensated heart failure (ADHF) on in-hospital cardiac outcomes.
A pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted in an academic heart hospital. Patients with ADHF underwent an attended in-hospital sleep study within 2 days of hospital admission to establish the diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing. The participants were 46 consecutive patients with ADHF who had OSA (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI], ≥ 15 events per hour). Participants were randomly assigned to either the intervention arm (n = 23), with in-hospital treatment of OSA using auto-adjusting positive airway pressure along with standard treatment of ADHF, or to the control arm (n = 23), in which they received only standard treatment for ADHF. The primary outcome was the change in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 3 nights postrandomization.
The change in LVEF from baseline to 3 days postrandomization in the intervention arm was significantly superior to that of the control group. The difference in LVEF improvement was 4.6% (p = 0.03). LVEF increased in the intervention group by 4.5% (SE, 1.7%). The LVEF change in the control arm was − 0.3% (SE, 1.5%). The difference in LVEF improvement between the two groups persisted after adjustment for baseline LVEF, type of cardiomyopathy, BMI, AHI, and sex.
An approach of early identification and in-hospital treatment of OSA in patients with ADHF is feasible and resulted in improvement in systolic function. The impact of this approach on out-of-hospital outcomes requires further investigation.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00701038