Right Ventricular Hypertrophy Detected by Echocardiography in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnea (8)

The importance of these variables is that in patients referred to a sleep laboratory for polysomnography, the clinician should perform echocardiography if frequent, prolonged and marked hypoxemia is demonstrated. If the cardiac abnormality is stopped at RVH, by appropriate treatment, the morbidity of OSA, cor pulmonale, may be attenuated.
In addition, we have shown that patients with RVH have certain characteristics which may help the clinician determine who should have polysomnography. The group of patients with RVH present with apnea were significantly younger and were significantly larger by BSA measurements. In addition, their average oxygen saturation during polysomnography was lower than those without apnea. These variables were all statistically significant with the p values listed in Table 1. If a patient is determined to have RVH, either by echocardiography or other means, and has a large BSA or is obese, then polysomnography may be indicated to determine if this patient has OSA as a complicating factor of his RVH.
Obstructive sleep apnea continues to be a problematic disease entity both in diagnostic and therapeutic measures. We found 56 percent of our patients referred to the sleep laboratory to have OSA.