Article Text

  1. S vandenBerg1,
  2. M Dalinghaus2,
  3. L Corel1,
  4. K Joosten1
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Intensive Care, Erasmus MC, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Erasmus MC, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


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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