Post-Stroke Sleep-Disordered Breathing—Pathophysiology and Therapy Options

David Stevens, Rodrigo Tomazini Martins, Sutapa Mukherjee, Andrew Vakulin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), encompassing both obstructive and central sleep apnea, is prevalent in at least 50% of stroke patients. Small studies have shown vast improvements in post-stroke functional recovery outcomes after the treatment of SDB by continuous positive airway pressure. However, compliance to this therapy is very poor in this complex patient group. There are alternative therapy options for SDB that may be more amenable for use in at least some post-stroke patients, including mandibular advancement, supine avoidance, and oxygen therapy. There are few studies, however, that demonstrate efficacy and compliance with these alternative therapies currently. Furthermore, novel SDB-phenotyping approaches may help to provide important clinical information to direct therapy selection in individual patients. Prior to realizing individualized therapy, we need a better understanding of the pathophysiology of SDB in post-stroke patients, including the role of inherent phenotypic traits, as well as the contribution of stroke size and location. This review summarizes the available literature on SDB pathophysiology and treatment in post-stroke patients, identifies gaps in the literature, and sets out areas for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in surgery
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

'Copyright © 2018 Stevens, Martins, Mukherjee and Vakulin. This is an open-access
article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.'


  • stroke
  • sleep apnea
  • hypopnea
  • treatment
  • phenotyping


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