Our goal was to investigate the evolution of prevalence, severity, and type of sleep apnea among patients who had an ischemic stroke, with or without treatment with thrombolysis after 6 months.
We prospectively studied 204 patients who had an ischemic stroke (110 in the thrombolysis and 94 in the non-thrombolysis group). After follow-up, 177 patients were eligible for a final analysis (98 in the thrombolysis group and 79 in the non-thrombolysis group). An unattended sleep study with a three-channel portable device was performed both on admission and after the 6-month follow-up.
The patients receiving thrombolysis were younger than those in the non-thrombolysis group (mean 65.5 versus 69.6 years P = .039). Sleep apnea, defined as a respiratory event index (REI) ≥ 5 events/h, was diagnosed in 92.7% patients, 93.9% versus 91.1% (P = .488) in the thrombolysis and non-thrombolysis groups, respectively. The prevalence remained unchanged during follow-up. Mild sleep apnea progressed to moderate or severe sleep apnea in 69.2% of the patients. Globally, mean central apneas per hour increased by 2.2% (P = .002), whereas obstructive apneas declined by 1.7% (P = .014). The mean change of oxygen desaturation index was −6.1% (P < .001) in the thrombolysis group, −1.8% (P = .327) in the non-thrombolysis group, and 4.2% (P = .001) in the whole group. In the non-thrombolysis group, the risk for new sleep apnea incidence increased by 6.1-fold (P = .024) at follow-up when compared to the thrombolysis group.
Sleep apnea prevalence remained high in patients who had an ischemic stroke at 6 months post-stroke. The risk for developing sleep apnea after stroke was significantly lower among patients undergoing thrombolysis.
Huhtakangas JK, Saaresranta T, Bloigu R, Huhtakangas J. The evolution of sleep apnea six months after acute ischemic stroke and thrombolysis. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(12):2005–2011.