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Free Content Circulating adrenomedullin in obstructive sleep apnoea

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Adrenomedullin (AM) is a potent endothelial-derived vasodilator secreted under the influence of various stimuli such as hypoxia, shear stress and cytokines. As all of these stimuli might be active under the conditions of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), we hypothesized that vascular AM production is increased in these patients. The study included 41 consecutive OSA patients and 28 control subjects without sleep-disordered breathing who were recruited from a pool of patients hospitalized for other reasons. Both groups were matched for anthropometric and comorbid factors. In all patients, i.e. OSA and controls, peripheral venous blood samples were taken at 07:00 hours after diagnostic polysomnography. In subsets of OSA patients, this was repeated after two nights of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy (n = 28) and after several months of constant CPAP use (n = 11). The controls and the untreated OSA patients did not have serial blood sampling. In all blood samples, plasma AM levels were measured by an enzyme immunoassay kit. At baseline, the OSA patients had markedly elevated AM concentrations when compared to the controls. There were no differences between normo- and hypertensive OSA patients. After two nights of CPAP therapy, AM levels significantly decreased. Patients on long-term CPAP treatment showed complete normalization of plasma AM concentrations. In conclusion, this pilot study suggests that circulating AM is increased in untreated OSA irrespective of coexistent arterial hypertension and declines after CPAP therapy. AM upregulation might be considered as an adaptive mechanism to counteract the emergence of OSA-related cardiovascular disease.
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Keywords: adrenomedullin; cardiovascular disease; obstructive sleep apnoea

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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