Severity of nocturnal hypoxia and daytime hypercapnia predicts CPAP failure in patients with COPD and obstructive sleep apnea overlap syndrome

Zuzana Kuklisova, Ruzena Tkacova, Pavol Joppa, Emiel Wouters, Manuel Sastry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. In patients with OSA and concurrent COPD, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy improves survival. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of such patients do not tolerate CPAP. The aim of the present study was to analyze early predictors of CPAP failure in patients with OSA and concurrent COPD, and to evaluate the effects of bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) in this high-risk group of patients.

Methods: A post hoc analysis from the database of 2100 patients diagnosed with OSA between 2012 and 2014 identified 84 subjects as having concomitant COPD and meeting inclusion criteria. Demographic data, pulmonary function tests, OSA parameters, blood gases, response to CPAP and BiPAP titration, and two months of therapy were collected. A multivariate model was generated to find determinants of CPAP failure.

Results: Primary CPAP failurewas found in 23% of patientswhoweremore obese (p = 0.018), had worse lung function, lower PO2 (p = 0.023) and higher PCO2 while awake (p <0.001), and more sleep time with an SpO(2) <90% (CT90%) (p <0.001) compared to those who responded to CPAP. In multivariate analysis, PCO2 while awake [ odds ratio (OR) 29.5, confidence interval (CI) 2.22-391, p = 0.010] and CT90% (OR 1.06, CI 1.01-1.11, p = 0.017) independently predicted CPAP failure after adjustments for covariates. The BiPAP therapy was well tolerated and effectively alleviated hypercapnia in all patients with primary CPAP failure.

Conclusions: Daytime hypercapnia and nocturnal hypoxia are independent predictors of early CPAP failure in patients with the OSA-COPD overlap syndrome. (C) 2016 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • OSA
  • COPD
  • CPAP
  • BiPAP
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypercapnia


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