Stable Breathing in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is Associated With Increased Effort but Not Lowered Metabolic Rate

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de Melo, Camila M. [UNIFESP]
Taranto-Montemurro, Luigi
Butler, James P.
White, David P.
Loring, Stephen H.
Azarbarzin, Ali
Marques, Melania
Berger, Philip J.
Wellman, Andrew
Sands, Scott A.
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Study objectives: In principle, if metabolic rate were to fall during sleep in a patient with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), ventilatory requirements could be met without increased respiratory effort thereby favoring stable breathing. Indeed, most patients achieve periods of stable flow-limited breathing without respiratory events for periods during the night for reasons that are unclear. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that in patients with OSA, periods of stable breathing occur when metabolic rate (VO2) declines. Methods: Twelve OSA patients (apnea-hypopnea index > 15 events/h) completed overnight polysomnography including measurements of VO2 (using ventilation and intranasal PO2) and respiratory effort (esophageal pressure). Results: Contrary to our hypothesis, VO2 did not differ between stable and unstable breathing periods in non-REM stage 2 (208 +/- 20 vs. 213 +/- 18 mL/min), despite elevated respiratory effort during stable breathing (26 +/- 2 versus 23 +/- 2 cmH(2)O, p =.03). However, VO2 was lowered during deeper sleep (244 to 179 mL/min from non-REM stages 1 to 3, p =.04) in conjunction with more stable breathing. Further analysis revealed that airflow obstruction curtailed metabolism in both stable and unstable periods, since CPAP increased VO 2 by 14% in both cases (p =.02,.03, respectively). Patients whose VO2 fell most during sleep avoided an increase in PCO2 and respiratory effort. Conclusions: OSA patients typically convert from unstable to stable breathing without lowering metabolic rate. During sleep, OSA patients labor with increased respiratory effort but fail to satisfy metabolic demand even in the absence of overt respiratory events.
Sleep. Cary, v. 40, n. 10, p. -, 2017.