The objective of this study is to investigate the factors associated with postoperative severity of sleep-disordered breathing. Three hundred seventy-six patients completed polysomnography on preoperative and postoperative night 1. Preoperative apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was 12 (4, 26) (median [25th, 75th percentile]) events per hour. Thirty-five patients had minor surgeries, 292 intermediate surgeries, and 49 major surgeries, with 210 general anesthesia and 166 regional anesthesia. The 72-h opioid dose was 55 (14, 85) mg intravenous morphine-equivalent dose.
Patients with a higher preoperative AHI were predicted to have a higher postoperative AHI. Preoperative AHI, age, and 72-h opioid dose were positively associated with postoperative AHI. Preoperative central apnea, male sex, and general anesthesia were associated with postoperative central apnea index.
Patients with preoperative polysomnographic evidence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may experience greater changes in these parameters than patients without OSA. Consented patients underwent portable polysomnography preoperatively and on postoperative nights (N) 1, 3, 5, and 7 at home or in hospital. The primary and secondary outcome measurements were polysomnographic parameters of sleep-disordered breathing and sleep architecture.
AHI was increased after surgery in both OSA and non-OSA patients (P < 0.05), with peak increase on postoperative N3 (OSA vs. non-OSA, 29 [14, 57] vs. 8 [2, 18], median [25th, 75th percentile], P < 0.05). Hypopnea index accounted for 72% of the postoperative increase in AHI. The central apnea index was low (median = 0) but was significantly increased on postoperative N1 in only non-OSA patients. Sleep efficiency, rapid eye movement sleep, and slow-wave sleep were decreased on N1 in both groups, with gradual recovery.
Postoperatively, sleep architecture was disturbed and AHI was increased in both OSA and non-OSA patients. Although the disturbances in sleep architecture were greatest on postoperative N1, breathing disturbances during sleep were greatest on postoperative N3.