CPAP in chronic heart failure

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F. Lari *
G.P. Bragagni
G. Pilati
N. Di Battista
(*) Corresponding Author:
F. Lari |


BACKGROUND Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) represents worldwide a clinical condition with increasing prevalence, high social, economical and epidemiological impact. Even if new pharmacological and non-pharmacological approachs have been recently used, mortality remains high in general population and quality of life is poor in these patients.
DISCUSSION The association between CHF and sleep disorders is frequent but still undervalued: sleep apnoeas in CHF produce negative effects on cardiovascular system and an aggravation of prognosis. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is commonly used to treat sleep apnoeas in patients without cardiac involvement and it is also used in first line treatment of acute cardiogenic pulmonary oedema thanks to its hemodynamic and ventilatory effects. The addition of nightly CPAP to standard aggressive medical therapy in patients with CHF and sleep apnoeas reduces the number of apnoeas, reduces the blood pressure, and the respiratory and cardiac rate, reduces the activation of sympathetic nervous system, the left ventricular volume and the hospitalization rate; besides CPAP increases the left ventricular ejection fraction, amd the oxygenation, it improves quality of life, tolerance to exercise and seems to reduce mortality in patients with a higher apnoeas suppression.
CONCLUSIONS These implications suggest to investigate sleep apnoeas in patients with CHF in order to consider a possible treatment with CPAP. Further studies need to be developed to confirm the use of CPAP in patients with CHF without sleep disorders.

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