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[Association between plasma interleukin-18 levels and atherosclerosis in patients with sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome]

Chong Li, Xi-Long Zhang, Hao Liu, Zhi-Gang Wang, Kai-Sheng Yin
Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2007, 30 (12): 908-11

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between plasma interleukin-18 (IL-18) levels and atherosclerosis in patients with obstructive obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS).

METHODS: Based on apnea hypopnea index (AHI) during sleep monitored by polysomnography, 52 male patients with OSAHS were recruited and divided into a mild OSAHS group (n = 16), a moderate group (n = 18), and a severe group (n = 18). Eighteen healthy subjects were selected as the control group. Twenty patients with moderate-to-severe OSAHS underwent continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. HDL5000 color Doppler ultrasound was used to measure intima-media thickness (IMT) of the jugular arteries. Plasma IL-18 levels were measured by ELISA. Analysis of variance, paired-samples T test and Pearson correlation analysis were used for statistics.

RESULTS: Compared with the plasma IL-18 levels in the control group [(250 +/- 76) ng/L], there was a significant increase in the mild OSAHS group [(352 +/- 76) ng/L], moderate group [(600 +/- 84) ng/L], and severe OSAHS group [(798 +/- 110) ng/L (all P < 0.01)]. Moreover, there was a significant difference in plasma IL-18 levels among three OSAHS groups (P < 0.01). The jugular arterial IMT was significantly greater in severe OSAHS group than that in mild OSAHS group (P < 0.01). The plasma IL-18 levels were positively correlated with jugular arterial IMT (r = 0.486, P < 0.001) and with AHI (r = 0.865, P < 0.001) respectively. After CPAP treatment, plasma IL-18 levels were significantly decreased but the jugular arterial IMT did not change significantly.

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated that jugular arterial IMT and plasma IL-18 levels were significantly increased and closely correlated. The elevation of plasma IL-18 levels was correlated with the severity (AHI and miniSaO(2)) of OSAHS.


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