Acute hypercapnic respiratory failure in patients with sleep apneas

Gabriel Sampol, Gloria Rodés, José Ríos, Odile Romero, Patrícia Lloberes, Ferran Morell

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Acute hypercapnic respiratory failure (AHRF) is a serious condition observed in some patients with sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (SAHS). The objective of the present study was to study the clinical characteristics of SAHS patients who develop AHRF and their prognosis. Patients and method: A total of 70 consecutive SAHS patients who survived an AHRF episode and 70 SAHS patients paired by age with no previous history of AHRF were prospectively studied and followed up for 3 years. Results: The deterioration of lung function due to obesity or concomitant chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) was common in SAHS patients with AHRF. In the multivariate analysis, the risk factors associated with AHRF were baseline PaO2, the theoretical percentage value of the forced vital capacity, alcohol consumption, and benzodiazepines. The mortality during follow up was higher among patients who had AHRF than in the control group. The main cause of death was respiratory, and the coexistence of COPD was identified as a mortality risk factor. Conclusions: The development of AHRF in SAHS patients is associated with a deterioration in lung function and with alcohol and benzodiazepine consumption. The patients had a higher mortality after the AHRF episode, mainly a respiratory cause. New studies are required that evaluate the different available therapeutic options in these patients. © 2010 SEPAR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-472
JournalArchivos de Bronconeumologia
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Hypercapnia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Sleep
  • Sleep apnea


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