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Sleep. 1995 Apr;18(3):188-94.

Platelet function and fibrinolytic activity in hypertensive and normotensive sleep apnea patients.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Sahlgrens and Renströmska Hospital, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


Platelet function and fibrinolytic activity was studied during rest and after ergometric exercise in 13 hypertensive or normotensive patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and in 10 sex- and weight-matched controls. All patients had undergone a complete polysomnography for the diagnosis of OSA. The controls did not undergo any sleep investigation but had no history of snoring or witnessed apneas during sleep. On antihypertensive drug wash-out, two of the patients were normotensive, whereas 11 had mild to moderate hypertension. Platelet aggregation measured by adenosine 5'-diphosphate- or adrenaline-induced aggregation, platelet factor-4 or beta-thromboglobulin did not differ between patients and controls. During exercise beta-thromboglobulin decreased significantly in both OSA patients and controls. Plasma tissue plasminogen activator activity was similar in OSA patients and controls and increased significantly in both groups after exercise. Plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) was 18.4 +/- 3.6 IU/ml in OSA patients compared with 8.2 +/- 1.7 IU/ml in controls (p < 0.029) during rest, indicating decreased fibrinolytic activity. The difference between groups remained after exercise (p < 0.017). Blood pressure elevation was more common and body mass index (BMI) was higher in patients with OSA, but there was no direct relation between blood pressure level or BMI and PAI-1. Nevertheless, differences between groups were smaller when blood pressure and obesity were accounted for. It is concluded that patients with OSA may exhibit decreased fibrinolytic activity. Low fibrinolytic activity may represent a confounding pathophysiological mechanism behind the high incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke in patients with OSA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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