Effect of OSA on hypoxic and inflammatory markers during CPAP withdrawal: Further evidence from three randomized control trials.
Turnbull CD., Rossi VA., Santer P., Schwarz EI., Stradling JR., Petousi N., Kohler M.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with cardiovascular disease. Intermittent hypoxia, endothelial dysfunction and adipose tissue-mediated inflammation have all been linked to cardiovascular disease in OSA. We therefore explored the effect of OSA on relevant associated blood markers: adrenomedullin (ADM), endocan, endothelin-1 (ET-1), resistin and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). METHODS: Patients with OSA, established on and compliant with continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) therapy for >1 year were included from three randomized controlled trials, conducted at two centres. Patients were randomized to either continued therapeutic CPAP or sham CPAP (CPAP withdrawal) for 2 weeks. Blood markers were measured at baseline and at 14 days and the treatment effect between sham CPAP and therapeutic CPAP was analysed. RESULTS: A total of 109 patients were studied (therapeutic CPAP n = 54, sham CPAP n = 55). Sham CPAP was associated with a return of OSA (between-group difference in oxygen desaturation index (ODI) 36.0/h, 95% CI 29.9-42.2, P < 0.001). Sham CPAP was associated with a reduction in ADM levels at 14 days (-26.0 pg/mL, 95% CI -47.8 to -4.3, P = 0.02), compared to therapeutic CPAP. Return of OSA was not associated with changes in endocan, ET-1, resistin or VEGF. CONCLUSION: Whilst CPAP withdrawal was associated with return of OSA, it was associated with an unexpected significant reduction in the vasodilator ADM and not with expected increases in hypoxia-induced markers, markers of endothelial function or resistin. We propose that the vascular effects occurring in OSA may be brought about by other mechanisms, perhaps partly through a reduction in ADM.