The prevalence of perioperative complications in patients with and without obstructive sleep apnoea: a prospective cohort study

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21454/rjaic.7518/232.pec

Tatiana Ambrosii, Serghei Şandru, Adrian Belîi
State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemiţanu”, Republic of Moldova


Background and aims: Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) have a high risk of postoperative complications. The purpose of the study was to record the spectrum and frequency of postoperative complications in patients with OSA versus (vs.) without OSA depending on the type of surgery and type of anaesthesia in a large cohort of patients.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, descriptive study (n = 400). Ethics Committee approval was obtained and written informed consent was signed. The Berlin screening questionnaire was used for OSA screening (77.2% – OSA [+]). Adverse events and complications were recorded postoperatively (AOS [+] vs. AOS [-]). Statistics: Chi square test.

Results: The highest rate of complications was found in patients who had underwent surgery in the abdominal cavity under general anaesthesia, AOS [+] vs. AOS [-]: cardiovascular [56.4%] vs. [7.5%], respiratory [17.6%] vs. [3.5%], stroke [0.7%] vs. [0.0% ], prolonged awakening from anaesthesia [2.5%] vs. [0.0%], postoperative fever [1.4%] vs. [0.3%], difficult orotracheal intubation [3.5%] vs. [0.3% ], unscheduled transfer to the intensive care unit [5.7%] vs. [0.0%].

Conclusions: OSA [+] patients who underwent abdominal surgery under general anaesthesia had a higher rate of complications compared to OSA [-] patients, and also compared to patients who had undergone peripheral limb surgery. Surgery on the musculoskeletal system is much better tolerated by patients with OSA, suffering a lower number and range of events and postoperative complications. Loco-regional anaesthesia should be considered a priority in patients with OSA.

Keywords: obstructive sleep apnoea, postoperative complications