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Original research
Sleep-disordered breathing and ventilatory chemosensitivity in first ischaemic stroke patients: a prospective cohort study


Rationale Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is highly prevalent after stroke. The clinical and ventilatory chemosensitivity characteristics of SDB, namely obstructive, central and coexisting obstructive and central sleep apnoea (coexisting sleep apnoea) following stroke are poorly described.

Objective To determine the respective clinical and ventilatory chemosensitivity characteristics of SDB at least 3 months after a first ischaemic stroke.

Methods Cross-sectional analysis of a prospective, monocentric cohort conducted in a university hospital. 380 consecutive stroke or transient ischaemic attack patients were screened between December 2016 and December 2019.

Measurements and main results Full-night polysomnography, and hypercapnic ventilatory response were performed at a median (Q1; Q3) time from stroke onset of 134.5 (97.0; 227.3) days. 185 first-time stroke patients were included in the analysis. 94 (50.8%) patients presented no or mild SDB (Apnoea-Hypopnoea Index <15 events/hour of sleep) and 91 (49.2%) moderate to severe SDB, of which 52 (57.1%) presented obstructive sleep apnoea and 39 (42.9%) coexisting or central sleep apnoea. Obstructive sleep apnoea patients significantly differed regarding their clinical presentation from patients with no or mild SDB, whereas there was no difference with coexisting and central sleep apnoea patients. The latter presented a higher frequency of cerebellar lesions along with a heightened hypercapnic ventilatory response compared with no or mild SDB patients.

Conclusion SDB in first-time stroke patients differ in their presentation by their respective clinical traits and ventilatory chemosensitivity characteristics. The heightened hypercapnic ventilatory response in coexisting and central sleep apnoea stroke patients may orientate them to specific ventilatory support.

  • sleep apnoea
  • respiratory measurement

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data collected for the study, including deidentified individual participant data will be made available to others following the publication of this article, for academic purposes (eg, meta-analyses) on request to the corresponding author.

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