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VOLUME 35, ISSUE 01

TREATMENT OF CENTRAL SLEEP APNEA SYNDROME IN ADULTS
The Treatment of Central Sleep Apnea Syndromes in Adults: Practice Parameters with an Evidence-Based Literature Review and Meta-Analyses

http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.1580

R. Nisha Aurora, MD1; Susmita Chowdhuri, MD2; Kannan Ramar, MD3; Sabin R. Bista, MD4; Kenneth R. Casey, MD, MPH5; Carin I. Lamm, MD6; David A. Kristo, MD7; Jorge M. Mallea, MD8; James A. Rowley, MD9; Rochelle S. Zak, MD10; Sharon L. Tracy, PhD11

1Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; 2Sleep Medicine Section, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; 3Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; 4University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; 5Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH; 6Children's Hospital of NY – Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY; 7University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; 8Mayo Clinic Florida, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Jacksonville, FL; 9Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI; 10Sleep Disorders Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco CA; 11American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Darien, IL



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The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Second Edition (ICSD-2) distinguishes 5 subtypes of central sleep apnea syndromes (CSAS) in adults. Review of the literature suggests that there are two basic mechanisms that trigger central respiratory events: (1) post-hyperventilation central apnea, which may be triggered by a variety of clinical conditions, and (2) central apnea secondary to hypoventilation, which has been described with opioid use. The preponderance of evidence on the treatment of CSAS supports the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Much of the evidence comes from investigations on CSAS related to congestive heart failure (CHF), but other subtypes of CSAS appear to respond to CPAP as well. Limited evidence is available to support alternative therapies in CSAS subtypes. The recommendations for treatment of CSAS are summarized as follows:

  • CPAP therapy targeted to normalize the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is indicated for the initial treatment of CSAS related to CHF. (STANDARD)

  • Nocturnal oxygen therapy is indicated for the treatment of CSAS related to CHF. (STANDARD)

  • Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) targeted to normalize the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is indicated for the treatment of CSAS related to CHF. (STANDARD)

  • BPAP therapy in a spontaneous timed (ST) mode targeted to normalize the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) may be considered for the treatment of CSAS related to CHF only if there is no response to adequate trials of CPAP, ASV, and oxygen therapies. (OPTION)

  • The following therapies have limited supporting evidence but may be considered for the treatment of CSAS related to CHF after optimization of standard medical therapy, if PAP therapy is not tolerated, and if accompanied by close clinical follow-up: acetazolamide and theophylline. (OPTION)

  • Positive airway pressure therapy may be considered for the treatment of primary CSAS. (OPTION)

  • Acetazolamide has limited supporting evidence but may be considered for the treatment of primary CSAS. (OPTION)

  • The use of zolpidem and triazolam may be considered for the treatment of primary CSAS only if the patient does not have underlying risk factors for respiratory depression. (OPTION)

  • The following possible treatment options for CSAS related to end-stage renal disease may be considered: CPAP, supplemental oxygen, bicarbonate buffer use during dialysis, and nocturnal dialysis. (OPTION)

Citation:

Aurora RN; Chowdhuri S; Ramar K; Bista SR; Casey KR; Lamm CI; Kristo DA; Mallea JM; Rowley JA; Zak RS; Tracy SL. The treatment of central sleep apnea syndromes in adults: practice parameters with an evidence-based literature review and meta-analyses. SLEEP 2012;35(1):17-40.

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