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Sleep Breath. 2014 Dec;18(4):775-80. doi: 10.1007/s11325-014-0942-8. Epub 2014 Jan 29.

DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with OSAHS.

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Department of Geriatrics, The Affiliated Yixing Hospital of Jiangsu University, Yixing, China.



Obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is characterized by intermittent hypoxia during sleep time, followed by oxidative stress. Hypoxia-induced oxidative stress can lead to DNA damage, which is related to chromosome aberrations and micronuclei. The purpose of this study is to investigate the level of DNA damage in peripheral blood of patients with OSAHS.


Thirty patients with OSAHS diagnosed by polysomnography and 28 healthy volunteers were assessed by the Epworth sleepiness scale. The levels of DNA damage were investigated through the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus assay.


In the group of patients with OSAHS, the mean frequency of binucleated cells with micronuclei were significantly higher than that in the control group (P<0.01), and the frequency of micronuclei among the patients in mild, moderate, and severe stages differed significantly (P<0.05). The mean frequency of nucleoplasmic bridge in OSAHS group was also higher than that in the control group (P<0.05). Nasal continuous positive airway pressure treatment decreased the frequencies of binucleated cells with micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridge, and nuclear buds.


Oxidative DNA damage increased in peripheral blood lymphocytes of OSAHS patients. It may be related to oxidative stress induced by intermittent hypoxia and may be involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and other target organ injuries.

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