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Speckle tracking echocardiography in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and overlapping obstructive sleep apnea

Authors Pizarro C, van Essen F, Linnhoff F, Schueler R, Hammerstingl C, Nickenig G, Skowasch D, Weber M

Received 18 March 2016

Accepted for publication 7 May 2016

Published 3 August 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 1823—1834


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Carmen Pizarro,* Fabian van Essen,* Fabian Linnhoff, Robert Schueler, Christoph Hammerstingl, Georg Nickenig, Dirk Skowasch, Marcel Weber

Department of Internal Medicine II, Cardiology, Pneumology and Angiology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: COPD and congestive heart failure represent two disease entities of growing global burden that share common etiological features. Therefore, we aimed to identify the degree of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in COPD as a function of COPD severity stages and concurrently placed particular emphasis on the presence of overlapping obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Methods: A total of 85 COPD outpatients (64.1±10.4 years, 54.1% males) and 20 controls, matched for age, sex, and smoking habits, underwent speckle tracking echocardiography for LV longitudinal strain imaging. Complementary 12-lead electrocardiography, laboratory testing, and overnight screening for sleep-disordered breathing using the SOMNOcheck micro® device were performed.
Results: Contrary to conventional echocardiographic parameters, speckle tracking echocardiography revealed significant impairment in global LV strain among COPD patients compared to control smokers (-13.3%±5.4% vs -17.1%±1.8%, P=0.04). On a regional level, the apical septal LV strain was reduced in COPD (P=0.003) and associated with the degree of COPD severity (P=0.02). With regard to electrocardiographic findings, COPD patients exhibited a significantly higher mean heart rate than controls (71.4±13.0 beats per minute vs 60.3±7.7 beats per minute, P=0.001) that additionally increased over Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stages (P=0.01). Albeit not statistically significant, COPD led to elevated N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels (453.2±909.0 pg/mL vs 96.8±70.0 pg/mL, P=0.08). As to somnological testing, the portion of COPD patients exhibiting overlapping OSA accounted for 5.9% and did not significantly vary either in comparison to controls (P=0.07) or throughout the COPD Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stages (P=0.49). COPD-OSA overlap solely correlated with nocturnal hypoxemic events, whereas LV performance status was unrelated to coexisting OSA.
Conclusion: To conclude, COPD itself seems to be accompanied with decreased LV deformation properties that worsen over COPD severity stages, but do not vary in case of overlapping OSA.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, speckle tracking echocardiography, left ventricular dysfunction, overlap syndrome

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