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Leukoaraiosis on MRI in patients with minimally symptomatic obstructive sleep apnoea


Schulz, Ursula G; Mason, Rebecca H; Craig, Sonya E; Howard, Sally; Nicoll, Deborah J; Kohler, Malcolm; Rothwell, Peter M; Stradling, John R (2013). Leukoaraiosis on MRI in patients with minimally symptomatic obstructive sleep apnoea. Cerebrovascular Diseases, 35(4):363-369.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with hypertension, nocturnal blood pressure (BP) surges, and increased risk of stroke. It may therefore also be associated with a higher risk of developing leukoaraiosis. Only few data about the prevalence of leukoaraiosis in patients with OSA, and any association between degrees of severity of either condition, exist.
METHODS: We studied patients who were part of a clinical trial (MOSAIC) in minimally symptomatic OSA. All patients had brain MRI (T2, FLAIR) at baseline. A single observer assessed the images for the presence and severity of leukoaraiosis (ARWMC-score). We related the extent of leukoaraiosis to the severity of OSA (measured by oxygen desaturation index [ODI]) and the presence of other vascular risk factors.
RESULTS: 183 patients (156 men, 85.2%; mean age ± SD = 57.7 ± 7.4 years; median oxygen desaturation index = 9.6, interquartile range = 4.6-16.0) took part in the study. Although 135 (74%) patients had some leukoaraiosis, this was generally mild. We confirmed the well-known risk factor associations between leukoaraiosis, increasing age (p < 0.0001) and hypertension (p = 0.003), but we did not find any association between OSA and leukoaraiosis (p = 0.33), despite both conditions being associated with increasing current BP and a history of hypertension.
CONCLUSION: Our data confirm the well-known association between leukoaraiosis, age and increasing BP. However, we found no association between OSA and leukoaraiosis despite some shared risk factor associations. Our findings suggest that OSA is not a strong independent risk factor for leukoaraiosis. Confounding by hypertension may explain any apparent association in previously reported studies of patients with severer OSA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with hypertension, nocturnal blood pressure (BP) surges, and increased risk of stroke. It may therefore also be associated with a higher risk of developing leukoaraiosis. Only few data about the prevalence of leukoaraiosis in patients with OSA, and any association between degrees of severity of either condition, exist.
METHODS: We studied patients who were part of a clinical trial (MOSAIC) in minimally symptomatic OSA. All patients had brain MRI (T2, FLAIR) at baseline. A single observer assessed the images for the presence and severity of leukoaraiosis (ARWMC-score). We related the extent of leukoaraiosis to the severity of OSA (measured by oxygen desaturation index [ODI]) and the presence of other vascular risk factors.
RESULTS: 183 patients (156 men, 85.2%; mean age ± SD = 57.7 ± 7.4 years; median oxygen desaturation index = 9.6, interquartile range = 4.6-16.0) took part in the study. Although 135 (74%) patients had some leukoaraiosis, this was generally mild. We confirmed the well-known risk factor associations between leukoaraiosis, increasing age (p < 0.0001) and hypertension (p = 0.003), but we did not find any association between OSA and leukoaraiosis (p = 0.33), despite both conditions being associated with increasing current BP and a history of hypertension.
CONCLUSION: Our data confirm the well-known association between leukoaraiosis, age and increasing BP. However, we found no association between OSA and leukoaraiosis despite some shared risk factor associations. Our findings suggest that OSA is not a strong independent risk factor for leukoaraiosis. Confounding by hypertension may explain any apparent association in previously reported studies of patients with severer OSA.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Health Sciences > Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:11 Feb 2014 13:30
Last Modified:30 Jul 2020 12:13
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:1015-9770
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000348845
PubMed ID:23635945

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