Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by repetitive upper airway obstructions during sleep, and it might cause cardiovascular complications such as heart failure, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, systemic and pulmonary hypertension. Objectives: To determine right ventricular diameters and myocardial performance index (MPI) reflecting ventricular global function in uncomplicated OSA patients. Methods: 49 subjects without hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or any cardiac or pulmonary disease referred for evaluation of OSA had overnight polysomnography and complete echocardiographic assessment. According to the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), subjects were divided into three groups: group 1: control subjects (AHI <5, n = 20), group 2: patients with mild OSA (AHI: 5–14, n = 11), and group 3: moderate-severe OSA (AHI ≧15, n = 18). Right ventricular free wall diameter was measured by M mode, and right ventricular MPI was calculated as (isovolumic contraction time + isovolumic relaxation time)/pulmonary ejection time. Results: There were no differences of age, body mass index, heart rates, systolic and diastolic blood pressures among the groups (p > 0.05). Right ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic diameters were not statistically different between the groups, and were within normal limits. Also, right ventricular free wall diameter was not significantly different between the groups of control, mild OSA and moderate-severe OSA (6.7 ± 0.9, 6.9 ± 1.0, 7.1 ± 1.1 mm, p > 0.05). Right ventricular diastolic dysfunction was shown only in group 3 patients. Right ventricular MPI was statistically higher in group 3 (0.62 ± 0.18) than in group 2 patients (0.50 ± 0.10), and group 1 patients (0.48 ± 0.08, p < 0.001). Conclusions: It wassuggested that patients with moderate-severe OSA had a right ventricular global dysfunction, in addition to the presence of a diastolic dysfunction.

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