Sleep-Related Hypoxia, Right Ventricular Dysfunction, and Survival in Patients With Group 1 Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics (PVDOMICS) Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Group 1 pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive fatal condition characterized by right ventricular (RV) failure with worse outcomes in connective tissue disease (CTD). Obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-related hypoxia may contribute to RV dysfunction, though the relationship remains unclear. Objectives: The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the association of the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and sleep-related hypoxia with RV function and survival. Methods: Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) cohort participants (patients with group 1 PAH, comparators, and healthy control participants) with sleep studies were included. Multimodal RV functional measures were examined in association with AHI and percentage of recording time with oxygen saturation <90% (T90) per 10-unit increment. Linear models, adjusted for demographics, oxygen, diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide, pulmonary hypertension medications, assessed AHI and T90, and RV measures. Log-rank test/Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for demographics, oxygen, and positive airway pressure were constructed for transplantation-free survival analyses. Results: Analysis included 186 participants with group 1 PAH with a mean age of 52.6 ± 14.1 years; 71.5% were women, 80.8% were Caucasian, and there were 43 events (transplantation or death). AHI and T90 were associated with decreased RV ejection fraction (on magnetic resonance imaging), by 2.18% (−2.18; 95% CI: −4.00 to −0.36; P = 0.019) and 0.93% (−0.93; 95% CI: −1.47 to −0.40; P < 0.001), respectively. T90 was associated with increased RV systolic pressure (on echocardiography), by 2.52 mm Hg (2.52; 95% CI: 1.61 to 3.43; P < 0.001); increased mean pulmonary artery pressure (on right heart catheterization), by 0.27 mm Hg (0.27; 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.49; P = 0.019); and RV hypertrophy (on electrocardiography), 1.24 mm (1.24; 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.40; P < 0.001). T90, but not AHI, was associated with a 17% increased 5-year risk for transplantation or death (HR: 1.17; 95% CI: 1.07 to 1.28). In non-CTD-associated PAH, T90 was associated with a 21% increased risk for transplantation or death (HR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.34). In CTD-associated PAH, T90 was associated with RV dysfunction, but not death or transplantation. Conclusions: Sleep-related hypoxia was more strongly associated than AHI with measures of RV dysfunction, death, or transplantation overall and in group 1 non-CTD-associated PAH but only with RV dysfunction in CTD-associated PAH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1989-2005
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 21 2023


  • connective tissue disease–associated pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • right ventricular dysfunction
  • sleep-related hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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