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Postgraduate Education Corner: CONTEMPORARY REVIEWS IN CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE |

Acute Cardiopulmonary Failure From Sleep-Disordered BreathingCardiopulmonary Failure/Sleep-Disordered Breathing

Gordon E. Carr, MD; Babak Mokhlesi, MD, FCCP; Brian K. Gehlbach, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Section of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine (Dr Carr), University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson AZ; the Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care (Dr Mokhlesi), Sleep Disorders Center, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; and the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine (Dr Gehlbach), University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA

Correspondence to: Brian K. Gehlbach, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Dr, C33-GH, Iowa City, IA 52242; e-mail: brian-gehlbach@uiowa.edu


Funding/Support: This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [K23HL088020 to Dr Gehlbach].

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2012 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2012;141(3):798-808. doi:10.1378/chest.11-1389
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Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) comprises a diverse set of disorders marked by abnormal respiration during sleep. Clinicians should realize that SDB may present as acute cardiopulmonary failure in susceptible patients. In this review, we discuss three clinical phenotypes of acute cardiopulmonary failure from SDB: acute ventilatory failure, acute congestive heart failure, and sudden death. We review the pathophysiologic mechanisms and recommend general principles for management. Timely recognition of, and therapy for, SDB in the setting of acute cardiopulmonary failure may improve short- and long-term outcomes.

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