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[Pulmonary hypertension and sleep-related breathing disorders].

Pneumologie 2005 April
Pulmonary hypertension (PH), i. e. an increase of mean pulmonary artery pressure above 20 mm Hg under resting conditions, can be observed in different forms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) the apnea-associated triggers of hypoxia and intrathoracic pressure swings lead to repetitive rises of pulmonary artery pressure during sleep. In 20 - 30 % of these patients daytime PH occurs. PH in the setting of OSA is usually mild and rarely causes clinically evident cor pulmonale. Effective CPAP therapy has a beneficial influence on pulmonary hemodynamics in OSA. Severe congestive heart failure (i. e. with a LVEF < 40 %) might provoke pulmonary venous hypertension and thereby stimulation of pulmonary stretch and irritant receptors. The ensuing hyperventilation leads to a decrease of pCO (2) levels below the apneic threshold and thus contributes to the emergence of Cheyne Stokes respiration (CSR) in up to one half of the affected patients. Patients suffering from advanced idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) might show a similar breathing pattern while asleep. Possible pathogenetic factors of the nocturnal periodic breathing occurring in end-stage IPAH are prolonged circulation times and hypocapnia. In conclusion, SDB might cause PH (OSA-associated PH). On the other hand, PH might lead to the development of SDB (CSR in congestive heart failure, periodic breathing in IPAH).

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