Due to the limited published information on complications that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients experience during and after cardiac surgery, we are investigating OSA as a risk factor for post-operative outcomes.
This project utilized the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group’s data collected between 2011 and 2017 based on the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database Data Collections form. A retrospective analysis of 1,555 patients with OSA and 10,450 patients without OSA, across 5 medical centers undergoing isolated CABG, isolated valve, combined CABG valve surgery was conducted. We used 1:1 nearest neighbor propensity score matching with no replacement to balance characteristics among patients with and without OSA.
There was a statistically significant increased risk of post-operative pneumonia, increased length of total and post-operative stay, and time to initial extubation. Two outcomes trended towards significance: intra- and post-operative IABP use. Outcomes that failed to show statistical significance included: surgical site infection, atrial fibrillation cerebrovascular accident, permanent pacemaker placement, and blood products given. A chart review conducted on a subset of the study cohort revealed that more than 40% of OSA patients did not receive CPAP or BiPAP therapy post-operatively during their hospitalization.
Our study aligns with the literature in concluding that OSA has deleterious effects on post-operative outcomes of cardiac surgery patients. Further research to better stratify OSA patients by severity are still needed. Additionally, heightened awareness of the need to screen, diagnose, and properly treat patients for OSA is needed.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.