Relationship between sleep apnea and coronary artery calcium in patients with ischemic stroke

Kyoo Ho Cho, Dong Hyun Lee, Kyung Min Kim, Yun Ho Choi, Hyo Suk Nam, Ji Hoe Heo, Kyoung Heo, Young Dae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives: Coronary artery disease is considered to be the major cause of death amongst patients with ischemic stroke. The coronary artery calcium (CAC) score is related not only to sleep-disordered breathing, but also with future risk of cardiovascular mortality. We investigated the association between the severity of sleep-disordered breathing and CAC score in patients with ischemic stroke. Methods: We included 32 patients who underwent coronary multichannel computed tomography and polysomnography (within 2 years of the stroke event) amongst the patients admitted to our clinic due to acute ischemic stroke. We investigated vascular risk factors, polysomnography findings, and sleep questionnaire scores, and their relationships with the CAC score. Results: All patients were found to have sleep apnea of any degree, and 23 (72%) had severe sleep apnea. Twenty-three (72%) patients had a positive CAC score. Higher CAC scores were associated with elevated respiratory disturbance index (RDI), apnea index, oxygen desaturation index, and STOP-BANG test scores. Multivariate analysis after adjusting for potential confounding factors revealed independent relationships between the CAC score and the RDI (β [SE] = 5.3 [2.1], p = 0.01), oxygen desaturation index (β [SE] = 6.8 [2.8], p = 0.02), and STOP-BANG test score (β [SE] = 90.3 [37.7], p = 0.02). Conclusion: Our findings indicate a relationship between coronary atherosclerotic burden measured by the CAC score and the severity of sleep apnea. Performing polysomnography could be useful for investigating the severity of hidden coronary artery disease among these patients. BRIEF SUMMARY Current Knowledge/Study Rationale: The effect of sleep apnea on coronary artery disease in patients with ischemic stroke has not been explored. We investigated the relationship between sleep apnea, its related characteristics and the coronary artery calcium score in patients with stroke. Study Impact: Our findings reveal a close relationship between the atherosclerosis-related burden measured by the coronary artery calcium score and the severity of sleep apnea that persisted after adjusting for confounding variables related to the risk of coronary artery disease. Proper detection and treatment of sleep apnea might mitigate the risk of future coronary events in patients with ischemic stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number819
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2018R1A2A3074996).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Cho, Lee, Kim, Choi, Nam, Heo, Heo and Kim.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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