Cheyne-Stokes breathing (CSB) has been associated with heart failure (HF) patients for many years; however, its true prevalence and its prognostic implications are still obscure.


The goal of this study was to investigate the prevalence and the possible prognostic implications of nocturnal CSB in advanced heart failure patients.


We performed single night full polysomonography ambulatory sleep studies in 71 HF patients. We analyzed the patients' sleep studies, clinical and laboratory data, and 6 month mortality.


A total of 71 chronic systolic HF patients were analyzed, 60 males, 11 females, age 65 ± 13 years. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 27% ± 11%. Short episodes of CSB (at least 3 min duration) were present in all patients, and mean CSB duration was 1 hour. CSB duration was associated significantly with both high serum levels of N-terminal prohormone brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) as well as with 6 month mortality. Log CSB time had a significant correlation with log NT-proBNP (r = 0.5, P<.0001). Based on median CSB duration, the Kaplan-Meier survival curve analysis showed significant association with 6 month mortality (P = .03).


CSB prevalence in advanced HF patients is higher than previously reported and is associated with increased serum levels of NT-proBNP and higher 6 month mortality. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.