Purpose: Primary (idiopathic) central sleep apnea (PCSA) is a rare central sleep-related breathing disorder characterized by increased chemoreceptor sensitivity to partial pressure of carbon dioxide, which manifests as hyperventilation followed by apnea during non-rapid eye movement sleep. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe the postoperative course of patients who had PCSA and underwent procedures requiring anesthetic management. Methods: Patients who received a diagnosis of PCSA at our institution and required procedural anesthesia between 1 January 2010 and 1 June 2016 underwent a comprehensive review of their health records with a focus on identifying respiratory complications. Results: Ten patients (nine males, one female) underwent 47 procedures requiring anesthetic management: 20 (43%) under general anesthesia, 25 (53%) with monitored anesthetic care, and two (4%) with regional anesthesia. Procedures were complicated by second-degree heart block in one patient and pneumonia in another two (one had Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy and the other bronchoscopy to evaluate worsening lung infiltration). Hypoxemia (oxyhemoglobin saturation < 90% for three minutes) developed in three patients during anesthesia recovery. One was possibly due to PCSA—a 73-yr-old male with alcoholic cirrhosis who was moderately sedated and hypoxemic after orthopedic surgery; his oxygenation improved with an adaptive servoventilator positive airway pressure device and supplemental oxygen. His underlying medical condition or level of sedation may have contributed to hypoxemia. The other patients became hypoxemic after bronchoscopy. No other cases were complicated by postoperative respiratory compromise. Conclusions: No major adverse outcomes were related to PCSA postoperatively. Nevertheless, continuation of home positive airway pressure therapy during anesthesia recovery was useful in one patient who had cirrhosis and postoperative hypoxemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine