Central sleep apnea in atrial fibrillation: Risk factor or marker of untreated underlying disease?

Dominik Linz, Jeroen Hendriks

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

7 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common clinically significant breathing abnormality during sleep is prevalent in up to 70% of patients with atrial fibrillation. Data from non-randomized studies in patients with AF suggest that treatment of OSA by continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may help to maintain sinus rhythm after electrical cardioversion and improve catheter ablation success rates. Accordingly, screening for OSA as part of the comprehensive assessment of concomitant risk factors in AF management, is recommended in the 2020 AF guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology and treatment of OSA may be considered to reduce AF incidence, AF progression, AF recurrences, and symptoms. Whilst the relationship between OSA and AF has been established, the pathophysiological link between central sleep apnea (CSA) or Cheyne Stokes respiration (CSR) and AF is less clear. Accordingly, CSA/CSR is not mentioned and no specific treatment recommendations are included in the current AF guidelines. This is, why the article by Sanchez et al. published in this issue of the IJCHV is of great importance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100650
Number of pages2
JournalIJC Heart and Vasculature
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


  • sleep apnea
  • atrial fibrillation (AF)
  • risk factor
  • underlying disease
  • non-randomized studies


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