STUDY OBJECTIVES Patients who have experienced heart failure with central sleep apnea/Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSA/CSR) have an impaired prognosis. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and adaptive servoventilation (ASV) as well as nocturnal oxygen (O₂) are proposed treatment modalities of CSA/CSR. The goal of the study is to assess whether and how different treatments of CSA/CSR affect cardiac function.
METHODS Databases were searched up to December 2017 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the effect of any combination of CPAP, ASV, O₂ or an inactive control on left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in patients with heart failure and CSA/CSR. A systematic review and network meta-analysis using multivariate random-effects meta-regression were performed.
RESULTS Twenty-four RCTs (1,289 patients) were included in the systematic review and data of 16 RCTs (951 patients; apnea-hypopnea-index 38 ± 3/h, LVEF 29 ± 3%) could be pooled in a network meta-analysis. Compared to an inactive control, both CPAP and ASV significantly improved LVEF by 4.4% (95% confidence interval 0.3-8.5%, P = 0.036) and 3.8% (95% confidence interval 0.6-7.0%, P = 0.025), respectively, whereas O₂ had no effect on LVEF (P = 0.35). There was no difference in treatment effects on LVEF between CPAP and ASV (P = 0.76). The treatment effect of positive pressure ventilation was larger when baseline LVEF was lower in systolic heart failure.
CONCLUSIONS CPAP and ASV are effective in improving LVEF in patients with heart failure and CSA/CSR to a clinically relevant amount, whereas nocturnal O₂ is not. There is no difference between CPAP and ASV in the comparative beneficial effect on cardiac function.