Adaptive servo-ventilation reduces atrial fibrillation burden in patients with heart failure and sleep apnea

Jonathan P. Piccini, Sean D. Pokorney, Kevin J. Anstrom, Olaf Oldenburg, Naresh M. Punjabi, Mona Fiuzat, Gudaye Tasissa, David J. Whellan, Jo Ann Lindenfeld, Adam Benjafield, Holger Woehrle, Amy Blase, Christopher M. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with heart failure and sleep apnea are at increased risk for developing arrhythmias. Whether treatment of sleep apnea reduces arrhythmias is unknown. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) with optimal medical therapy (OMT) reduces atrial fibrillation (AF) and/or ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (VT/VF) burden compared to OMT alone. Methods: We conducted a prospective substudy of patients with pacemakers/defibrillators in the Cardiovascular Improvements with Minute Ventilation-Targeted ASV Therapy in Heart Failure (CAT-HF) trial. Change in arrhythmia burden was compared using a mixed model analysis to account for multiple measurements per patient. Results: Among 35 randomized patients eligible and analyzed (19 ASV, 16 OMT only) in the AF cohort, mean age was 64 ± 12 years, 23% were women (n = 8), 49% had previous AF (n = 17), 89% had reduced ejection fraction (n = 31), and mean apnea hypopnea index was 41 ± 17 events per hour. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. Change in AF burden from baseline to follow-up was –15.8% ± 36.5% with ASV vs +23.7% ± 36.2% with OMT (P =.034). There was no significant change in the AF cohort in the mean number of VT/VF events: +3.3 ± 14.9 events with ASV vs –0.3 ± 7.3 events with OMT (P =.58). Five subjects had appropriate therapies for VT/VF in the ASV arm vs 6 subjects in the OMT arm. Conclusion: This study provides proof of concept that treatment of sleep apnea with ASV leads to reduction in AF burden compared with OMT alone, without an increase in VT/VF events. This hypothesis should be tested in a large outcomes trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiac implanted electronic device
  • Heart failure
  • Randomized clinical trial
  • Sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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