Relationship between severity of nocturnal desaturation and adaptive thermogenesis: preliminary data of apneic patients tested in a whole-body indirect calorimetry chamber

Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Mar;30(3):574-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803159.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of a relationship between the severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and adaptive thermogenesis. Daily energy expenditure (DEE) and sleeping metabolic rate (SMR) were measured in apneic and a priori nonapneic subjects who were tested in a whole-body indirect calorimetry chamber for 24 h. The apneic patients were diagnosed by nocturnal home oximetry to determine the percentage of total recording time spent below 90% arterial oxygen saturation (% TRT <90% SaO(2)). Reference equations established from body weight and age in nonapneic subjects were used to predict DEE and SMR in apneic patients. The predicted values of the apneic patients were then compared to their measured values. No significant difference was found between predicted and measured values in SMR nor in DEE. We observed a significant relationship between the severity of nocturnal desaturation and the difference between predicted and measured DEE in apneic patients (r = -0.74, P < 0.05) and a similar negative trend with SMR (r = -0.65, P = 0.08). These preliminary data suggest that a nocturnal hypoxia may influence adaptive thermogenesis in apneic patients and complicate their body weight regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / blood
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Thermogenesis*


  • Oxygen