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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 768064, 9 pages
Review Article

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Coronary Artery Disease: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Implications

Acute Cardiac Care Unit, Department of Cardiology, La Paz University Hospital, Paseo de la Castellana 261, 28046 Madrid, Spain

Received 3 January 2013; Accepted 11 March 2013

Academic Editor: Félix Del Campo

Copyright © 2013 Fernando De Torres-Alba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coronary artery disease (CAD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are both complex and significant clinical problems. The pathophysiological mechanisms that link OSA with CAD are complex and can influence the broad spectrum of conditions caused by CAD, from subclinical atherosclerosis to myocardial infarction. OSA remains a significant clinical problem among patients with CAD, and evidence suggesting its role as a risk factor for CAD is growing. Furthermore, increasing data support that CAD prognosis may be influenced by OSA and its treatment by continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. However, stronger evidence is needed to definitely answer these questions. This paper focuses on the relationship between OSA and CAD from the pathophysiological effects of OSA in CAD, to the clinical implications of OSA and its treatment in CAD patients.