Mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in obstructive sleep apnea
Amy Atkeson, Sanja Jelic
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
Abstract: Endothelial activation and inflammation are important mediators of accelerated atherogenesis and consequent increased cardiovascular morbidity in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Repetitive episodes of hypoxia/reoxygenation associated with transient cessation of breathing during sleep in OSA resemble ischemia/reperfusion injury and may be the main culprit underlying endothelial dysfunction in OSA. Additional factors such as repetitive arousals resulting in sleep fragmentation and deprivation and individual genetic suseptibility to vascular manifestations of OSA contribute to impaired endothelial function in OSA. The present review focuses on possible mechanisms that underlie endothelial activation and inflammation in OSA.
Keywords: endothelial, obstructive sleep apnea, inflammation, dysfunction
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