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Free Content Effect of nasal CPAP treatment on plasma volume, aldosterone and 24-h blood pressure in obstructive sleep apnoea

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Polycythaemia, peripheral oedema formation and hypertension have classically been described in association with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). However, there is very limited information about blood volume in OSA and how it changes during long-term treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP). Plasma (PV) and red-cell volumes (RCV), 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (BP), 24-h natriuresis and morning plasma aldosterone, renin activity and atrial natriuretic peptide in 11 men with a mean age of 47 y (range 37–55), apnoea index (AI) of 55 (22–106), body mass index of 36 (30–43) and seated BP of ≥140/90 mmHg without any medication were measured. BP-measurements were repeated after 3 weeks and all measurements after 3 mo of nCPAP treatment. Aldosterone and 24-h mean heart rates decreased during treatment. Twenty-four-h BP decreased after 3 weeks but that decrease did not persist after 3 mo of treatment. There was a relationship between changes in night-time mean BP and PV and aldosterone. The haematocrit declined in every patient. No significant changes were found in the mean PV or RCV. They were in all instances lower than has earlier been described for normal, non-obese subjects. These data also suggest that OSA causes divergent individual disturbances in blood volume homeostasis which can be corrected by nCPAP.

Keywords: aldosterone; blood pressure; nasal continuous airway pressure; obstructive sleep apnoea; plasma volume

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Tampere University Hospital and University Tampere, Finland 2: Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Tampere University Hospital and University Tampere, Finland 3: Department of Clinical Physiology, Tampere University Hospital and University Tampere, Finland 4: Department of Clinical Chemistry, Tampere University Hospital and University Tampere, Finland

Publication date: January 1, 1996

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