Inflammation and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Pathogenesis: A Working HypothesisHatipoğlu U. · Rubinstein I.
Section of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago and VA Chicago Health Care System, Chicago, Ill., USA
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Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) afflicts about 5% of adults in Western countries and is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disorders and diabetes mellitus. Although the etiology of OSAS is uncertain, intense local and systemic inflammation are present in these patients. In the upper airway, this process may promote oropharyngeal inspiratory muscle dysfunction and amplify upper airway narrowing and collapsibility thereby worsening the frequency and duration of apneas during sleep. The presence of systemic inflammation, characterized by elevated levels of certain potent pro-inflammatory mediators, such as C-reactive protein, leptin, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, reactive oxygen species and adhesion molecules, may predispose to the development of cardiovascular complications observed in patients with OSAS. Treatment with nasal CPAP abrogates, in part, local and systemic inflammation in these patients. Whether therapeutic interventions aimed at abating inflammation could be a useful adjunct in the treatment of OSAS merits further investigation.
© 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel
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