Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) who are diagnosed and treated for the condition prior to surgery are less likely to develop serious cardiovascular complications such as cardiac arrest or shock, according to a study published in the October issue of the journal Anesthesiology.
“OSA is a common disorder that affects millions and is associated with an increased risk of surgical complications, but the condition often goes unrecognised,” said Thomas Mutter, MD, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba. “As many as 25% of surgical patients may have OSA, but the vast majority of these patients aren’t treated or don’t know they have the disorder.”
The study compared postoperative outcomes in 4,211 patients with OSA, who were diagnosed by sleep study either before or after surgery, with a matched control group of patients who did not have the condition.
Those who were diagnosed with OSA prior to surgery underwent treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.
Results showed that although patients with untreated OSA were at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular complications, patients who were diagnosed and treated with CPAP therapy before surgery were less than half as likely to experience cardiovascular complications such as cardiac arrest or shock.
In addition, researchers found that respiratory complications were twice as likely to occur in patients with OSA compared with patients without the condition, regardless of when patients were diagnosed or if CPAP therapy was prescribed.
SOURCE: American Society of Anesthesiologists