ABSTRACTBackground:Pre-eclampsia is a disorder of pregnancy characterised by hypertension and proteinuria. It is one of the main reasons for foetal and maternal morbidity and mortality. A number of physiological changes occur during pregnancy wich may potentially compromise the respiratory system during sleep and increase the incidence and severity of sleep disordered breathing. Since sleep apnea has been identified as an independent risk factor for the development of hypertension, it is possible that it may contribute to the elevated blood pressure in pre-eclampsia.
Metod: I want to give an up-to-date review of the current incidence of sleep-disordered breathing in pregnancy and look at the relatoinship between sleep apnea and pre-eclampsia to see if there is a possibility to treat pre-eclampsia with Continious Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), wich is the main treatment for sleep apnea.
Results: I found that sleep-disordered breathing is more common in pregnancy. Nearly all the pre-eclamptic females investigated in the studies showed episodes of ”upper airway flow limitation” during sleep, associated with surges in bloodpressure. These were succesfully eliminated by the application of CPAP.
Conclusions: Recent research may indicate that evaluation for sleep-disordered breathing should be a part of the routine prenatal check up with a low threshold for obtaining a polysomnographic sleepstudy. If OSAS/UARS is found it should be treated with CPAP. Until proper research eventually can document that OSAS is of major importance in pre-eclampsia, one should ask the pregnant women about sleeping habits, snoring, restless sleep and related subjects, and then act according to the answers.