Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Cardiac Arrhythmias: Role of Intermittent Hypoxia

  • Thomas BitterEmail author


Focusing on the role of intermittent hypoxia, this chapter intends to describe the association between sleep-disordered breathing and cardiac arrhythmias in specific. By showing pathophysiologies of different types of sleep-disordered breathing, we try to give an understanding of why sleep apnea is a common phenomenon among cardiac patients. Moreover, this chapter is intended to point out cardiovascular consequences and mechanisms, which are involved in an enhanced myocardial irritability and predispose patients with evident sleep-disordered breathing to suffer from cardiac arrhythmias. We thereby especially focus on intermittent hypoxia and its major role in the proarrhythmia pathological process. Finally, translating evidences from bench to bedside, we present clinical data that elucidate associations between sleep-disordered breathing and ventricular arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, or conduction disturbances.


Atrial Fibrillation Obstructive Sleep Apnea Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Sudden Cardiac Death Heart Failure Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Atrial fibrillation


Apnea-hypopnea index


Body mass index


Cardiac index


Continuous positive airway pressure


C-reactive protein


Central sleep apnea


Cheyne-Stokes respiration


Left atrial diameter


Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter


Nitric oxide


Non-rapid eye movement


N-terminal pro–brain natriuretic peptide


New York Heart Association


Obstructive sleep apnea


Pulmonary artery pressure


Partial pressure of carbon dioxide


Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure


Cardiorespiratory polygraphy


Partial pressure of oxygen


Cardiorespiratory polysomnography


Pulmonary vein


Pulmonary vein isolation


Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system


Rapid eye movement


Radiofrequency catheter ablation


Reactive oxygen species


Sudden cardiac death


Sleep-disordered breathing


Sinus rhythm


Tumor necrosis factor


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-WestphaliaRuhr University BochumBad OeynhausenGermany

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