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[Changes and clinical implications of the levels of serum NO and VEGF and HIF-1alpha in patients with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Affiliated Hospital, Medical College of Qingdao University, Qingdao 266003, China.



To observe the levels of nitrogen oxide (NO), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) in patients with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) and to discuss their roles in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in patients with OSAHS.


NO, VEGF and HIF-1alpha levels were measured in 60 OSAHS patients and 26 healthy subjects; OSAHS patients were divided into mild, moderate and severe groups according to AHI.


NO levels in the moderate and severe OSAHS groups were significantly lower than that in the control group, but the levels of VEGF and HIF-la were increased compared with the control group (P < 0.05). The serum level of NO was negatively correlated with AHI (P < 0.01) and positively correlated with the lowest SaO2 (P < 0.01); the serum level of VEGF was positively correlated with AHI (P < 0.01) and negatively correlated with the lowest SaO2 (P < 0.01); No significant correlations were observed between HIF-1alpha and AHI and the lowest SaO2 (P > 0.05); NO levels showed negative correlations with VEGF levels (P < 0.01).


The serum level of NO was reduced in response to the acceleration of hypoxia, while the level of VEGF was increased with the hypoxia. The results indicate that the levels of both NO and VEGF are associated with the severity of the disease. Decreasing NO levels and increasing VEGF are both the factors leading to endothelial dysfunction, which play an important role in the physiopathological process of the cardiovascular diseases in OSAHS patients.

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