Back to Journals » Nature and Science of Sleep » Volume 2

Obstructive sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation

Authors Todd K, McIntyre WF, Baranchuk A

Published 15 April 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 39—45


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Keith Todd, William F McIntyre, Adrian Baranchuk

Department of Cardiology, Kingston General Hospital, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia. The clinical impact of AF results primarily from its association with stroke, heart failure, and increased overall mortality. Recently there has been increasing evidence of an important association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and AF. OSA is a common breathing disorder affecting an estimated 5% of the population and is highly prevalent in patients with established cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of OSA among patients with AF is remarkable with estimates ranging from 32%–49%. The pathophysiological connection between AF and OSA remains speculative, but appears to be the result of apnea-induced hypoxia, intrathoracic pressure shifts, inflammation, heightened sympathetic activity, and autonomic instability leading to hypertension, diastolic dysfunction, left atrial enlargement, and electrical remodeling. Initial results appear promising that intervention with continuous positive airway pressure may be effective in reducing the burden of AF in this population, however, further investigations are needed. Here, we review the literature on the current epidemiologic data, pathophysiology, and therapeutics linking these two common conditions.

Keywords: cardiac arrhythmia, autonomic imbalance, intrathoracic pressure changes, diastolic dysfunction, hypertension, sleep-disordered breathing

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF] 


Readers of this article also read:

Emerging and future therapies for hemophilia

Carr ME, Tortella BJ

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:245-255

Published Date: 3 September 2015

Acquired hemophilia A: emerging treatment options

Janbain M, Leissinger CA, Kruse-Jarres R

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:143-150

Published Date: 8 May 2015

A new recombinant factor VIII: from genetics to clinical use

Santagostino E

Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2014, 8:2507-2515

Published Date: 12 December 2014

Second case report of successful electroconvulsive therapy for a patient with schizophrenia and severe hemophilia A

Saito N, Shioda K, Nisijima K, Kobayashi T, Kato S

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2014, 10:865-867

Published Date: 16 May 2014

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012