Nasal inflammation in sleep apnoea patients using CPAP and effect of heated humidification

Medical School of Athens University, Center of Sleep Disorders, Evangelismos Hospital, 45-47 Ipsilandou Str, GR 106 75, Athens, Greece.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 7.13). 03/2011; 37(3):587-94. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00036910
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can cause undesirable nasal symptoms, such as congestion to obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients, whose symptoms can be attenuated by the addition of heated humidification. However, neither the nature of nasal symptoms nor the effect of heated humidification on nasal pathophysiology and pathology are convincingly known. 20 patients with OSA on nasal CPAP who exhibited symptomatic nasal obstruction were randomised to receive either 3 weeks of CPAP treatment with heated humidification or 3 weeks of CPAP treatment with sham-heated humidification, followed by 3 weeks of the opposite treatment, respectively. Nasal symptom score, nasal resistance, nasal lavage interleukin-6, interleukin-12 and tumour necrosis factor-α and nasal mucosa histopathology were assessed at baseline and after each treatment arm. Heated humidification in comparison with sham-heated humidification was associated with decrease in nasal symptomatology, resistance and lavage cytokines, and attenuation of inflammatory cell infiltration and fibrosis of the nasal mucosa. In conclusion, nasal obstruction of OSA patients on CPAP treatment is inflammatory in origin and the addition of heated humidification decreases nasal resistance and mucosal inflammation.

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