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Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea requiring intensive care

Department of Internal Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Summary

We reviewed the clinical characteristics, required intervention and short- and long-term outcomes in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients requiring intensive care. A retrospective, single-centre, observational cohort study was undertaken in a multidisciplinary teaching medical and surgical intensive care unit. Adult patients with OSA (apnoea-hypopnoea index of 5 or higher) requiring intensive care from January 2000 to January 2005 were included. Thirty-seven OSA patients (age: 58±14 years, male:female 27:10) were admitted due to respiratory (n=12, 32%), cerebrovascular (n=8, 22%), cardiovascular (n=16, 43%) and infectious events (n=1, 2.7%). Comparing the clinical features, polysomnographic data and outcome among these groups, we found that OSA patients admitted due to respiratory events had significantly higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores, lower arterial blood gas pH, higher PaCO2, a higher incidence of respiratory failure (92%) and required non-invasive ventilation after extubation (73%), and higher intensive care unit readmission rates than patients admitted due to cerebrovascular events and cardiovascular events (P <0.05). No difference was found in the in-hospital and long-term mortality rate.
The most common reason for intensive care unit admission in critically ill OSA patients was a cardiovascular event, followed by respiratory and cerebrovascular events. The baseline polysomnographic data of the OSA patients were not correlated with their clinical features and outcomes in the intensive care unit. A more complicated clinical course and higher intensive care unit readmission rate were encountered in OSA patients admitted due to respiratory events. Further studies would be required to evaluate the efficacy of non-invasive ventilation for facilitation of extubation in OSA patients presenting with hypercapnic respiratory failure.

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