Prognostic value of implantable defibrillator–computed respiratory disturbance index: The DASAP-HF study

Published:October 23, 2020DOI:


      Sleep apnea, as measured by polysomnography, is associated with adverse outcomes in heart failure. The DASAP-HF (Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea in Patient With Heart Failure) study previously demonstrated that the respiratory disturbance index (RDI) computed by the ApneaScan algorithm (Boston Scientific) accurately identifies severe sleep apnea in implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) patients.


      The purpose of the long-term study phase was to assess the incidence of clinical events after 24 months and investigate the association with RDI values.


      Patients with left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35% implanted with an ICD were enrolled and followed-up for 24 months. The RDI calculated at 1 month after implantation was used to stratify patients (below or above 30 episodes/h). The endpoints were all-cause death and a combination of all-cause death or cardiovascular hospitalization.


      Of the 265 enrolled patients, 224 had usable RDI values. Severe sleep apnea (RDI ≥30 episodes/h) was diagnosed in 115 patients (51%). These patients were more frequently male (84% vs 72%; P = .030) and had higher creatinine levels. During median follow-up of 25 months, 19 patients (8%) died. Cardiovascular hospitalizations were reported in 19 patients (8%). The risk of all-cause death was higher in patients with RDI ≥30 episodes/h (hazard ratio [HR] 3.33; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35–8.21; P = .023), as well as the risk of all-cause death or cardiovascular hospitalization (HR 1.94; 95% CI 1.01–3.76; P = .048). At multivariate analysis, independent predictors of death were RDI ≥30 episodes/h (HR 4.02; 95% CI 1.16–13.97; P = .029) and creatinine levels (HR 2.36; 95% CI 1.26–4.42; P = .008).


      In heart failure patients implanted with an ICD, higher RDI values are associated with death and cardiovascular hospitalizations. Device-detected severe sleep apnea independently predicts death.


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