Ultrasonographic evaluation of abdominal wall fat index, carotid intima-media thickness and plaque score in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Med Ultrason. 2019 Nov 24;21(4):422-426. doi: 10.11152/mu-1949.


Aims: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is strongly related with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases andvisceral obesity. Abdominal wall fat index (AFI) is an indicator of visceral fat accumulation determined by ultrasonography(US). Carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) and carotid plaque score (C-PS) are the indicators of cardiovascular risk. Theaim of this study was to investigate the relation between OSAS and AFI, C-IMT or C-PS.

Materials and methods: One-hundred and four subjects (31 females, 73 males) between 23-73year-old, candidate for polysomnography (PSG) with suspect of OSAS and without other atherosclerotic risk factor, were evaluated by US. AFI, C-IMTmean and C-PS values were determined and the subjects were grouped according to their apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) values as follows: no OSAS (<5), mild OSAS (5-15), moderate OSAS (15-30) and severe OSAS (>30).

Results: There was a statistically significant correlation between AFI and AHI (p=0.019). The C-IMTmean values of subjects with OSAS (AHI >5) were significantly higher than those without OSAS (AHI <5) (p=0.035). C-PS was not correlated with AHI (p=0.345) and also there was not a statistically significant difference between OSAS groups in terms of C-PS (p=0.775).

Conclusions: This study revealed that AFI correlates with AHI and C-IMT increases in OSAS. The two parameters could be used as indicators of risk of metabolic disorders and atheroscleroticdiseases in subjects with sleep apnea in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abdominal Wall / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / complications*
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult