Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Postoperative Complications in Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: A Need for Preventive Strategies

Babak Amra, Nasim Niknam, Mohsen Mir Mohammad Sadeghi, Majid Rabbani, Ingo Fietze, Thomas Penzel


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is very frequent and often unrecognized in surgical patients. OSA is associated with perioperative complications. We evaluated the effects of OSA on postoperative complications and hospital outcomes in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

Methods: Candidates of elective CABG were evaluated by the Berlin questionnaire for OSA. After surgery, patients were assessed for postoperative complications, re-admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), duration of intubation, re-intubation, days spent in the ICU and the hospital.

Results: We studied 61 patients who underwent CABG from which 25 (40.9%) patients had OSA. Patients with OSA had higher body mass index (29.5 ± 3.9 vs. 26.0 ± 3.7 kg/m2, P = 0.003) and higher frequency of hypertension (68.0% vs. 30.5%, P = 0.003), dyslipidemia (36.0% vs. 5.5%, P = 0.004), and pulmonary disease (16.0 vs. 2.7%, P = 0.08). Regarding the surgical outcomes, OSA patients had longer intubation duration (0.75 ± 0.60 vs. 0.41 ± 0.56 days, P = 0.03).

Conclusions: Obstructive sleep apnea is frequent, but unrecognized among patients undergoing CABG. In these patients, OSA is associated with prolonged intubation duration. Preventing these problems may be possible by early diagnosis and management of OSA in cardiac surgery patients. Further studies with larger sample of patients and longer follow-ups are required in this regard.

Keywords: Cardiac surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting, coronary artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea

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