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Individual periodic limb movements with arousal are temporally associated with nonsustained ventricular tachycardia: a case-crossover analysis.

Sleep 2019 October 22
STUDY OBJECTIVES: Both periodic limb movements during sleep (PLMS) and arousals are associated with sympathetic nervous system activation and may be arrhythmogenic. We hypothesize a temporal relationship exists between individual PLMS, particularly with arousal, and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) events.

METHODS: A bidirectional time-stratified case-crossover design was used to assess temporal associations between PLMS and NSVT during sleep in 49 Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Sleep Study participants with NSVT in a community-based cohort (n = 2,911). Sleep time was divided into approximate 30-min segments. For each NSVT (n = 141), we selected a preceding 30-s hazard period and three randomly chosen 30-s control periods from sleep within the same segment and evaluated for PLMS, respiratory events, minimum saturation, and arousals. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals-OR (95% CI)-were determined by conditional logistic regression; covariates included EEG arousals, minimum saturation, and respiratory events in the same hazard/control period.

RESULTS: Participants with NSVT were 79.5 ± 6.2 years with a PLMS index of 32.1 (IQR: 10.1, 61.4) and apnea-hypopnea index of 17.1 (IQR: 9.4, 26.1). PLMS without arousal were not significantly associated with NSVT (OR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.41-1.59). PLMS with arousal were associated with NSVT in unadjusted analyses (OR = 2.50, 95% CI: 1.11-5.65) and after adjustment (OR = 2.31, 95% CI: 1.02-5.25). Arousals associated with PLMS were associated with NSVT in unadjusted (OR = 2.84, 95% CI: 1.23-6.56) and adjusted analyses (OR = 2.61, 95% CI: 1.13-6.05).

CONCLUSIONS: PLMS with (but not without) arousals are temporally associated with a greater than twofold higher odds of subsequent NSVT episodes. PLMS-related arousals may be physiologically important ventricular arrhythmia triggers.


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