Can a sleep clinic diagnosis heart problems? (please note, sleep apnea is NOT the problem)?

Question by miraclethree: Can a sleep clinic diagnosis heart problems? (please note, sleep apnea is NOT the problem)?
My three year old niece was sent to a sleep clinic because sleep apnea was suspected. After the test the nurse told her mother she saw no signs of it. A few days later she received a call that she must come in April 9 to discuss some serious results. My niece has a heart murmur so we’re wondering if the test could have detected problems with her heat.

Best answer:

Answer by Lindsey G
I think you are better off going to a cardiologist

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Heart Failure and Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is characterized by the temporary absence of a signal to breathe from the brains respiratory center. When this happens, there is no effort to breathe made by the individual.

Any type of sleep disordered breathing is a serious health problem that impacts the heart and whole cardiovascular system. There is evidence to show that, in persons with heart failure, there is a high incidence of sleep disordered breathing. Most frequently that disorder being obstructive or central sleep apnea.

When a patient with heart failure has central sleep apnea (CSA) they typically also exhibit a form of breathing called Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR). CSR is associated with severe dysfunction of the left ventricle of the heart and patients with CSR are in a high risk category for cardiac transplantation.

Patients with CSA and Cheynes-Stokes Respirations have a very poor prognosis. There is data available that shows that survival rates decrease by 50% in patients with heart failure and CSA.

Various methods have been used to treat CSA - oxygen therapy, CPAP, BiLevel ventilation and, most recently, Adaptive Ventilatory Support (ASV).

There have been some long term advantages found by treating patients with central sleep apnea and CSR with ASV. There have been fewer respiratory disturbances when a patient is asleep and also improved sleep quality.

The conventional PAP therapies like CPAP and BIPAP have shown mixed results in dealing with patients with central sleep apnea and CSR. A unit like the Resmed VPAP Adapt SV is the first PAP device cleared by the FDA to treat central sleep apnea and CSR in the home environment.

ASV therapy has demonstrated the ability to improve clinical outcomes and the quality of life in heart failure patients.

I have worked in the field of sleep medicine for 20 years and can give you some first hand information about sleep disorders. Visit to learn more.

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