Effect of cardiac pacing on sleep-related breathing disorders: a systematic review
Anastasopoulos, Dimitris L.
Chalkias, Athanasios F.
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Sleep-related breathing disorders are commonly encountered in the middle-aged population, negatively affecting quality of life. Central sleep apnea is associated with congestive heart failure, whereas obstructive sleep apnea is related to different pathophysiologic mechanisms, such as the total or partial occlusion of upper airway tract. Both sleep-related disorders have been associated with increased morbidity, and hence, they have been a target of several treatment strategies. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the effect of different types of cardiac pacing on sleep-related breathing disorders in patients with or without heart failure. The PubMed and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were examined from April 2015 to January 2016. Of the initial 360 studies, 22 eligible trials were analyzed. The included studies were classified according to the type of sleep disorder and the intervention undertaken. The evidence shows that cardiac resynchronization therapy but not atrial overdrive pacing can reduce apneic events in central sleep apnea patients. However, their effect on obstructive sleep apnea is controversial. It can be assumed that pacing cannot be used alone as treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders. Further research is needed in order to elucidate the effect of these interventions in sleep apnea patients.