Tissue Doppler atrial conduction times and electrocardiogram interlead P-wave durations with varying severity of obstructive sleep apnea

Goksel Cagirci, Serkan Cay, Kevser G Gulsoy, Cilem Bayindir, Mustafa G Vural, Hikmet Firat, Harun Kilic, Ekrem Yeter, Ramazan Akdemir, Sadık Ardic
Journal of Electrocardiology 2011, 44 (4): 478-82

OBJECTIVES: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been reported to be associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation. The aim of this study was to investigate atrial electromechanical couplings in patients with OSA and the relationship between these parameters and P-wave dispersion (Pd).

METHODS: One hundred twenty-six patients were enrolled in this study. All patients underwent polysomnographic examination. The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was defined as the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep. An AHI score of 5 or more was diagnosed as OSA, and an AHI score of less than 5 was diagnosed as OSA (-). Thirty-nine of the patients had an AHI score of less than 5 (group 1), 42 of the patients had AHI score between 5 and 30 (mild and moderate, group 2), 45 of the patients had an AHI score more than 30 (severe, group 3). Atrial electromechanical coupling (PA), intra-atrial, and interatrial electromechanical delay were measured with tissue Doppler imaging. P-wave dispersion was calculated from 12-lead electrocardiogram.

RESULTS: Maximum P-wave duration was higher in group 3 compared with groups 2 and 1 (126.0 ± 16.7 vs 111.0 ± 12.5 [P < .001] and 126.0 ± 16.7 vs 99.9 ± 10.0 [P < .001], respectively). Maximum P-wave duration was higher in group 2 than in group 1 (111.0 ± 12.5 vs 99.9 ± 10.0, P < .001). P-wave dispersion was higher in group 3 compared with groups 2 and 1 (50.9 ± 11.5 vs 37.0 ± 8.6 [P < .001] and 50.9 ± 11.5 vs 27.9 ± 6.8 [P < .001], respectively). P-wave dispersion was higher in group 2 than in group 1 (37.0 ± 8.6 vs 27.9 ± 6.8, P < .001). Minimum P-wave duration did not differ between the groups. Atrial PA at the left lateral mitral annulus (lateral PA), septal mitral annulus (septal PA), and right ventricular tricuspid annulus (RV PA) were significantly higher in group 3 than in group 2 (P < .001, P = .001, and P = .009, respectively). Lateral PA, septal PA, and RV PA were higher in group 2 compared with group 1 (P < .001, P = .003, and P = .009, respectively). Interatrial electromechanical delay (lateral PA - RV PA) was significantly longer in group 3 compared with groups 2 and 1 (33.6 ± 12.1 vs 22.4 ± 9.4 [P < .001] and 33.6 ± 12.1 vs 14.9 ± 9.2 [P < .001], respectively). Interatrial electromechanical delay was longer in group 2 than in group 1 (22.4 ± 9.4 vs 14.9 ± 9.2, P = .001). There was a positive correlation between AHI and Pd, lateral PA, septal PA, RV PA, interatrial electromechanical delay, and left-sided intra-atrial electromechanical delay.

CONCLUSION: Prolongation of electromechanical delay and increased Pd are associated with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and hence the severity of disease.

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