Altered K-complex morphology during sustained inspiratory airflow limitation is associated with next-day lapses in vigilance in obstructive sleep apnea

Ankit Parekh, Korey Kam, Anna E. Mullins, Bresne Castillo, Asem Berkalieva, Madhu Mazumdar, Andrew W. Varga, Danny J. Eckert, David M. Rapoport, Indu Ayappa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Study Objectives: Determine if changes in K-complexes associated with sustained inspiratory airflow limitation (SIFL) during N2 sleep are associated with next-day vigilance and objective sleepiness. Methods: Data from thirty subjects with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea who completed three in-lab polysomnograms: diagnostic, on therapeutic continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and on suboptimal CPAP (4 cmH2O below optimal titrated CPAP level) were analyzed. Four 20-min psychomotor vigilance tests (PVT) were performed after each PSG, every 2 h. Changes in the proportion of spontaneous K-complexes and spectral characteristics surrounding K-complexes were evaluated for K-complexes associated with both delta (∆SWAK), alpha (∆αK) frequencies. Results: Suboptimal CPAP induced SIFL (14.7 (20.9) vs 2.9 (9.2); %total sleep time, p < 0.001) with a small increase in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI3A: 6.5 (7.7) vs 1.9 (2.3); p < 0.01) versus optimal CPAP. K-complex density (num./min of stage N2) was higher on suboptimal CPAP (0.97 ± 0.7 vs 0.65±0.5, #/min, mean ± SD, p < 0.01) above and beyond the effect of age, sex, AHI3A, and duration of SIFL. A decrease in ∆SWAK with suboptimal CPAP was associated with increased PVT lapses and explained 17% of additional variance in PVT lapses. Within-night during suboptimal CPAP K-complexes appeared to alternate between promoting sleep and as arousal surrogates. Electroencephalographic changes were not associated with objective sleepiness. Conclusions: Sustained inspiratory airflow limitation is associated with altered K-complex morphology including the increased occurrence of K-complexes with bursts of alpha as arousal surrogates. These findings suggest that sustained inspiratory flow limitation may be associated with nonvisible sleep fragmentation and contribute to increased lapses in vigilance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberzsab010
    Number of pages10
    JournalSLEEP
    Volume44
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

    Keywords

    • alpha
    • delta
    • EEG
    • inspiratory flow limitation
    • sleep apnea
    • sleep disordered breathing
    • upper airway resistance syndrome
    • vigilance

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