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Long-term effects of nasal continuous positive airway pressure on ventilatory patterns of patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome



Long-term effects of nasal continuous positive airway pressure on ventilatory patterns of patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome



Archivos de Bronconeumologia 33(4): 172-178



We studied 20 patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) prospectively, before and after administering continuous positive airway pressure through a nasal mask (CPAPn) at night for 10 months, with the aim of determining the effects of ventilatory pattern of long-term treatment with CPAPn in OSAS patients. The following data were collected for all patients: anthropometric variables, lung function test results, arterial gasometric readings at rest, oxygen alveolar-arterial differential [Dif(A-a)O2)], central respiratory function variables at rest and during hypercapnic stimulus. Mean duration (range) of treatment with CPAPn was 12.5 (10-18) months. We observed a significant increase in PaO2 (p = 0.01) and a decrease in PaCO2 (p = 0.02) with slight variations in body weight and no changes in lung mechanics or in Dif(A-a)O2. The ventilatory pattern at rest showed an increased in VE and in respiratory frequency (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.033, respectively) with non significant changes in VT. The VT/Ti ratio increased (p = 0.015) and P0.1 decreased slightly (p = 0.025). We found no significant changes in the CO2 response slopes of VE or P0.1. In conclusion, CPAPn improves hypoxemia and hypercapnia in OSAS patients, above all by increasing baseline basal ventilation. The exact mechanisms implicated are poorly understood, but our data suggest a certain direct or indirect effect on respiratory muscles, reducing muscle fatigue, thus favoring greater availability during sleep.

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Accession: 046568842

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PMID: 9280559


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