Anti-oxidant treatment in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome

Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci. Jul-Sep 2011;53(3):153-62.

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate whether oral intake of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a treatment option in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS).

Methods: Twenty patients with OSAS were enrolled in the study. After polysomnography (PSG), they were randomly assigned to receive a placebo (n = 10) and NAC (n = 10). A repeat PSG was done after the treatment period of 30 days. Fasting venous samples were collected for various biochemical analysis.

Results: In the patients of NAC group, compared to their baseline values, slow wave sleep as sleep percent time (27.9 +/- 2.7 vs 42.3 +/- 4.2; p < 0.01) and sleep efficiency (90.8 +/- 1.3 vs 94.4 +/- 1.5; p < 0.05) improved considerably. The apnoea-hypopnoea index (61.2 +/- 8.5 vs 43.1 +/- 8.6; p < 0.05), apnoea related arousals (22.2 +/- 7.6 vs 11.6 +/- 4.7; p < 0.05), longest apnoeic episode duration (seconds) (54.9 +/- 7.1 vs 37.8 +/- 5.6; p < 0.01), oxygen desaturation events per hour (51.8 +/- 7.7 vs 37 +/- 7.8; p < 0.01) and epworth sleepiness score (16.6 +/- 0.8 vs 9.2 +/- 0.9; p < 0.001) decreased significantly. The relative snore time (%) (10.2 +/- 2.9 vs 4.9 +/- 1.9; p < 0.01), number of snore episodes (63.8 +/-23.9 vs 28.2 +/- 9.9; p < 0.05) and duration of longest snore episode (min) (2.5 +/- 0.7 vs 0.6 +/- 0.1; p < 0.05) also decreased significantly. Such responses were not evident in the placebo group. N-acetylcysteine produced significant decrease in lipid peroxidation and increase in total reduced glutathione.

Conclusions: Oral NAC administration appears to have a therapeutic potential in the treatment of OSAS. It is proposed that long-term treatment with NAC in patients with OSAS may reduce their dependency on continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antioxidants