IMR Press / CEOG / Special Issues / sleep_apnea

Sleep Apnea and Pregnancy

Section: Pregnancy
Submission deadline: 30 June 2022
Special Issue Editors
Kathleen Antony, MD
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
Interests: sleep apnea and pregnancy
Mihaela Bazalakova, MD, PhD
Department of Neurology, Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Interests: sleep apnea and pregnancy
Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a complication in 3.6-32% of pregnancies. OSA is characterized by partial or complete airway collapse during sleep, resulting in varying degrees of oxygen desaturation and micro-arousals, with the associated release of catecholamines and reactive oxygen species. This results in increased inflammation, dysregulation of endothelial function, and increased blood pressure. The effects of sleep apnea and its treatment during pregnancy remain poorly understood. Gaps in knowledge exist regarding the best screening tools for OSA during pregnancy, whether sleep apnea that is specific to pregnancy (versus preexisting) is harmful, and whether the treatment of sleep apnea reduces the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with this condition.   
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have demonstrated an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes when OSA is diagnosed. OSA is associated with an increased risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as gestational hypertension or preeclampsia, which are presumably mediated by endothelial dysfunction. OSA also increases the risk of developing gestational diabetes, presumably due to reductions in glucose metabolism and glucose transport, and to increased beta-2 islet cell death within the pancreas. OSA is also associated with intrapartum and postpartum complications, such as operative vaginal delivery, cesarean delivery, post-operative wound complications and neonatal outcomes such as preterm birth and low birthweight. 
The existing screening tools for sleep apnea during pregnancy are limited. Many of the established tools for non-pregnant adults perform poorly during pregnancy. The Berlin Questionnaire and Epworth Sleepiness Scale, for example, performs poorly during pregnancy. STOP-BANG is also limited for the evaluation of pregnant women due to its emphasis on male sex and age over 50 years. 
Whether CPAP helps to reduce the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women with sleep apnea remains to be seen. Some small early studies have demonstrated reduced preeclampsia, and a more recent trial also suggested a reduction in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Other benefits may include pregnancy prolongation, fewer cesarean births, and a higher five-minute Apgar score. However, there is still a lack of published evidence and significant gaps in knowledge remain. 
In this issue we will cover what is known and what remains to be discovered regarding the diagnosis, impact, and treatment of sleep apnea during pregnancy.

Assoc. Prof. Kathleen Antony and Dr. Mihaela Bazalakova

Guest Editors

obstructive sleep apnea
gestational sleep apnea
hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
continuous positive airway pressure treatment
Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted via our online editorial system at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to start your submission. Manuscripts can be submitted now or up until the deadline. All papers will go through peer-review process. Accepted papers will be published in the journal (as soon as accepted) and meanwhile listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, reviews as well as short communications are preferred. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office to announce on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts will be thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. Please visit the Instruction for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) in this open access journal is 1500 USD. Submitted manuscripts should be well formatted in good English.

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