Sleep Disordered Breathing and Stroke


Sleep-related breathing disturbances (SDB) are frequently under diagnosed in stroke patients. SDB, presenting with obstructive, central, or mixed apnoeas, are present in 50–70 % of stroke patients. There is strong evidence from large epidemiological studies that obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) contributes to the risk of stroke partly through the association of known risk factors for stroke such as hypertension and diabetes. It can also cause polycythaemia which increases the risk of stroke. In the post stroke period, severe OSA increases both mortality and stroke recurrence rate in addition to having a detrimental effect on cognitive function. The resulting fatigue can impede progress in rehabilitation. This case explores this association further and outlines a diagnostic and treatment pathway.


Stroke Obstructive sleep apnea Sleep disordered breathing Epworth score Breathing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Sleep UnitOxford University Hospitals NHS TrustOxfordUK
  2. 2.Education UnitNational Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCL Institute of NeurologyLondonUK

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