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Chest. 2005 Oct;128(4):2123-9.

Continuous positive airway pressure treatment in sleep apnea prevents new vascular events after ischemic stroke.

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Pneumology Unit, Requena General Hospital, Paraje Casa Blanca s/n, 46320-Requena, Valencia, Spain.



A study was made of the role of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment in the prevention of new vascular events following ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.


Prospective study.


Demographic data, vascular risk factors, clinical manifestations associated to sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome, and neurologic parameters were recorded in a group of patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke at least 2 months previously. A polygraphic study was carried out 2 months after the acute episode in all patients, with the prescription of CPAP in the event of an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) > or = 20. Two groups were defined: patients who could tolerate CPAP (group 1), and patients who could not tolerate CPAP after 1 month of initial adaptation (group 2). Patients with an AHI < 20 were excluded. The incidence of new vascular events was evaluated throughout follow-up (18 months) in all patients, with an analysis of the role of CPAP in protecting the patients against such events.


Ninety-five patients were studied. Fifty-one patients (53.7%; mean age, 72.7 +/- 9.4 years [+/- SD]) presented with an AHI > or = 20, and 15 patients (29.4%) tolerated CPAP. The incidence of new vascular events was greater in group 2 (6.7%) vs group 1 (36.1%; long-rank, p = 0.03). Intolerance of CPAP increased the probability of a new vascular event fivefold (odds ratio, 5.09) adjusted for other vascular risk factors and neurologic indexes.


We concluded that CPAP treatment during 18 months in patients with an AHI > or = 20 afforded significant protection against new vascular events after ischemic stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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