Sleep Apnea in Heart Failure

  • MuChun Tsai
  • Rami Khayat
Heart Failure (W Tang, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Heart Failure


Purpose of review

In this review, we discuss the current treatment options for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in patients with heart failure (HF). We address the role of positive airway pressure (PAP) devices and other emerging therapies. The review includes discussion of recent trials that reported negative consequences for the PAP devices in patients with heart failure.

Recent findings

Optimal guideline-directed medical therapies of HF and PAP devices have been the mainstay treatments for HF patients with SDB. Recently, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluated the effect of PAP on clinical outcomes in patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease and heart failure and found no benefit in decreasing fatal and non-fatal CV events. The Sleep Apnea Cardiovascular Endpoints (SAVE) trial evaluated continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilation in patients with CV disease and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and did not observe any improvement in CV effect. In patients with HF and central sleep apnea (CSA), adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) was hypothesized to help HF outcomes, but the Adaptive Servo-Ventilation for Central Sleep Apnea in Systolic Heart Failure (SERVE-HF) trial did not show any mortality benefit. Instead, the trial suggested an increase in all-cause and CV mortality in the treatment arm.


currently, studies have not shown the use of PAP therapy to improve any risks of CV outcomes or death in HF patients with sleep apnea, but some associations with improvements in symptoms from OSA have been observed.


Sleep-disordered breathing Central sleep apnea Obstructive sleep apnea Heart failure Ejection fraction Adaptive servo ventilation Continuous positive airway pressure 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and SleepThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.The Sleep Heart ProgramThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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