Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation

Interesting information from Dr. Virend Somers at Mayo Clinic today at the AFib Summit portion of the Heart Rhythm Society meeting. He proposed a mechanism that might explain why the left atrium is enlarged in patients with obstructive sleep apnea: the negative intrathoracic pressure generated during periods of apnea repetitively during the evening may cause a dilation and stretch of the left atrium due to a trans-atrial wall pressure gradient.

Sometimes simple explanations may be some of the best....

Perhaps Medtronic could resurrect their Chronicle hemodynamic monitor to look at this, eh?


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