Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





793 - 799


cardiovascular disease, continuous positive airways pressure, intermittent hypoxia, obstructive sleep apnoea, Adrenomedullin, Adult, Aged, Biomarkers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Endothelin-1, Female, Humans, Hypoxia, Inflammation, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Proteins, Patient Compliance, Proteoglycans, Resistin, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A, Ventilator Weaning