• Research

Chronic intermittent hypoxia promotes myocardial ischemia-related ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 14;8(1):2997

Morand J, Arnaud C, Pepin JL, Godin-Ribuot D
doi : 10.1038/s41598-018-21064-y


We investigated the effects of intermittent hypoxia (IH), such as that encountered in severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients, on the development and severity of myocardial ischemia-related ventricular arrhythmias. Rats were exposed to 14 days of IH (30?s at 5%O2 and 30?s at 21%O2, 8?h·day?1) or normoxia (N, similar air-air cycles) and submitted to a 30-min coronary ligature. Arterial blood pressure (BP) and ECG were recorded for power spectral analysis, ECG interval measurement and arrhythmia quantification. Left ventricular monophasic action potential duration (APD) and expression of L-type calcium (LTCC) and transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels were assessed in adjacent epicardial and endocardial sites. Chronic IH enhanced the incidence of ischemic arrhythmias, in particular ventricular fibrillation (66.7% vs. 33.3% in N rats, p?<?0.05). IH also increased BP and plasma norepinephine levels along with increased low-frequency (LF), decreased high-frequency (HF) and increased LF/HF ratio of heart rate and BP variability. IH prolonged QTc and Tpeak-to-Tend intervals, increased the ventricular APD gradient and upregulated endocardial but not epicardial LTCC, TRPC1 and TRPC6 (p?<?0.05). Chronic IH, is a major risk factor for sudden cardiac death upon myocardial ischemia through sympathoactivation and alterations in ventricular repolarization, transmural APD gradient and endocardial calcium channel expression.

Published on August 23, 2018