Postoperative outcomes in patients with treatment-emergent central sleep apnea: a case series

Ross A. Barman, Amanda R. Fields, Austin J. Eells, Ioanna Kouri, Meghna P. Mansukhani, Bhargavi Gali, Juraj Sprung, Toby N. Weingarten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea (TECSA) is a central sleep-related breathing disorder, characterized by either the persistence or emergence of central sleep apnea during the initiation of positive airway pressure therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. The purpose of this study was to review the perioperative course of patients diagnosed with TECSA. Methods: We reviewed medical records of patients with TECSA who had a procedure or surgery with general anesthesia between January 1, 2009 and May 1, 2018. We describe postoperative outcomes including respiratory complications, unplanned intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and other postoperative outcomes. Results: We identified 150 (116 male, 34 female) patients with TECSA. Of these, 39 (26%) had their anesthesia recovery associated with moderate to profound sedation, 22 (14.7%) required unplanned transfer to ICU (8 for hypoxemia). Compared to patients without ICU admissions, patients with unplanned ICU admissions had higher rates of cardiovascular disease, Charlson comorbid scores, and perioperative benzodiazepines. Within the first 30 postoperative days there were 23 (16%) hospital re-admissions, and 7 (4.6%) deaths. Conclusion: Patients with TECSA have high rates of postoperative complications, characterized by an increased rate of unplanned intensive care admissions and both high 30-day readmission and mortality rates. When dealing with these patients perioperative physicians should implement an increased level of respiratory monitoring, and early postoperative use of their home prescribed non-invasive ventilation devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-848
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anesthesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Anesthetic management
  • Central sleep apnea
  • Postoperative complications
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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