Background The prevalence of central sleep apnoea–hypopnoea (CSA-H) in adult patients with chronic heart failure is remarkably high. No studies so far are done in children with cardiomyopathy to investigate the prevalence of CSA-H.
Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of CSA-H in a pilot of eight children with severe cardiomyopathy.
Patients and Methods Between January 2007 and January 2008 eight children (seven females, one male; mean age 13 years 5 months (9.3 years to 16.9 years)), admitted to the hospital for treatment of cardiomyopathy and/or screening for heart transplantation, were tested by cardiorespiratory polysomnography for the presence of CSA-H. CSA-H was scored by using standard definitions (apnoea: no signal >10 s, hypopnoea: decrease signal >50%, >10 s) and defined according to the apnoea–hypopnoea index (AHI) as: no CSA-H: <1/h, mild: 1–5/h, moderate: 5–15/h, and severe >15/h.
Results At the time of the polysomnography three children (n = 2 severe, n = 1 mild CSA-H) were treated with inotropic medication, one patient (mild CSA-H) was on a left ventricular assistant device. CSA-H was present in six of the eight children (mild n = 2, moderate n = 2, severe n = 2).
Conclusions This is the first study that reports central hypoventilation in a subgroup of children with severe cardiomyopathy. Screening for CSA-H should be part of every heart failure work-up. Therapeutic modalities for CSA-H in children with cardiomyopathy should be developed.
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