Impact of obstructive sleep apnea on cardiac organ damage in patients with acute ischemic stroke

Paola Mattaliano, Carolina Lombardi, Davide Sangalli, Andrea Faini, Barbara Corrà, Laura Adobbati, Giovanna Branzi, Davide Mariani, Vincenzo Silani, Gianfranco Parati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: Both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and cardiac organ damage have a crucial role in acute ischemic stroke. Our aim is to explore the relationship between OSA and cardiac organ damage in acute stroke patients. Methods: A total of 130 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke were enrolled. Patients underwent full multichannel 24-h polysomnography for evaluation of OSA and echocardiography to evaluate left ventricle (LV) mass index (LV mass/BSA, LV mass/height 2.7), thickness of interventricular septum (IVS) and posterior wall (LVPW), LV ejection fraction and left atrium enlargement. Information on occurrence of arterial hypertension and its treatment before stroke was obtained from patients' history. Results: 61.9% (70) of patients, mostly men (67.1%), with acute stroke had OSA (AHI > 10). Patients with acute stroke and OSA showed a significant increase (P < 0.05) of LV mass index, IVS and LVPW thickness and a significant left atrial enlargement as compared with patients without OSA. LV ejection fraction was not significantly different in stroke patients with and without OSA and was within normal limits. No relationship was found among cardiac alterations, occurrence of OSA and history of hypertension. Conclusion: Acute stroke patients with OSA had higher LV mass and showed greater left atrial enlargement than patients without OSA. This study confirms the high prevalence of OSA in stroke patients, suggesting also an association between OSA and cardiac target organ damage. Our finding of structural LV abnormalities in acute stroke patients with OSA suggests a potential role of OSA as contributing factor in determining both cerebrovascular and cardiac damage, even in absence of clear link with a history of blood pressure elevation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1359
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018


  • arterial hypertension
  • cardiac organ damage
  • echocardiography
  • left atrial enlargement
  • left ventricular hypertrophy
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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