Article

Salivary cortisol in obstructive sleep apnea: the effect of CPAP.

Endocrine Research Laboratory, Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, 2801 W KK River Pky Suite 245, Milwaukee, WI, 53215, USA, .
Endocrine (Impact Factor: 3.53). 04/2011; 40(1):137-9. DOI: 10.1007/s12020-011-9474-1
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a widespread disorder characterized by recurrent, partial, or complete episodes of apnea due to upper airway tract obstruction during sleep. OSAS frequency is likely to increase in hypothyroidism because of obesity, macroglossia, dysfunctional upper respiratory tractus (URT) musculature, deposition of mucopolysaccharides in URT tissues, and decreased ventilatory control. This study examines the relationship between OSAS and thyroid disease in OSAS subjects. This study includes 150 polysomnographically diagnosed OSAS patients (50 mild, 50 moderate, 50 severe OSAS cases) treated at Endocrinology and Metabolism Department of Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital between January 2010 and May 2011 and 32 non-OSAS control subjects. All patients were given serum TSH, free T3 (fT3), free T4 (fT4), anti thyroid peroxidase (Anti-TPO), and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG) tests, as well as thyroid ultrasounds. We did not find any difference in prevalence of hypothyroidism, numbers of nodules and parenchyma heterogenicity determined by ultrasound, between OSAS subgroups and controls (p > 0,05). In this study, functional and ultrasonographic examination of the thyroid gland did not reveal any relationship between OSAS and thyroid disease. We believe hence that long-term follow-up studies can establish the possible significance of routine evaluation of OSAS patients for thyroid disease.
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    ABSTRACT: Partial and largely conflicting data are currently available on the interplay between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity in adult obese men. This study was performed to evaluate the daily trajectories of salivary cortisol, specifically with respect to the salivary cortisol awakening response (CAR), a common method used to assess HPA axis activity. The main findings of this study were that adult male obese subjects who were newly diagnosed with severe OSA showed the following: (1) a flattening of the CAR; (2) levels of cortisol at awakening that were lower than those of the controls; and (3) maintenance of the physiological circadian activity of the HPA axis, with the highest hormone concentrations produced in the morning and the lowest in the evening. This study was also designed to investigate the effects of 3 and 6 mos of treatment with continuous airways positive pressure (CPAP). CPAP use resulted in a significant recovery of the sleep patterns disrupted by OSA; moreover, mild neuropsychological signs of depression and anxiety in severe OSA patients were concomitantly progressively improved by CPAP treatment. Furthermore, this study reports that 3 and 6 mos of CPAP therapy restored the presence of CAR and was able to significantly reduce the difference in the morning cortisol levels between the OSA and control groups. In conclusion, we report here that compared with obese nonapneic matched controls, OSA patients present a dysregulation of HPA axis activity, as shown by the flattening of the diurnal pattern of cortisol production in response to repeated challenge due to hypoxia and sleep fragmentation. This dysregulation was especially detectable in the first hour after awakening and restored after 3 and 6 mos of treatment with CPAP.
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