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Liver enzymes in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome

Kanimozhi Sadasivam, Kuldeep Patial, Krishnan Ravi, Saravanan Aiyyavo.


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common form of sleep disordered breathing. OSAS is associated with the cluster of metabolic abbreations that comprise the metabolic syndrome, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Aims and Objectives: We investigated the effects of OSAS and its treatment with short term nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy on serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels.

Materials and Methods: We studied 20 adult males and postmenopausal female aged 50-60 years with OSAS. None had hepatitis B antigen or C antibody positive, autoimmune disease, an alcohol intake higher than 20 g/day or on regular use of hepatotoxic drugs. Abdominal ultrasound was done to establish the presence of fatty liver. Serum levels of AST and ALT were determined at baseline and after nasal CPAP treatment.

Results: The baseline ALT and AST values were within normal limits. There was no significant change in ALT (25.9 ± 4.7 vs. 26.2 ± 3.4 after CPAP, P > 0.05) and AST (27.5 ± 2.0 vs. 24.6 ± 1.8, P > 0.05) values after one night of CPAP treatment.

Conclusion: Serum aminotransferase may have limited use in assessing liver damage in the OSAS patients. Short term CPAP therapy doesn’t seem have beneficial effects on serum aminotransferase levels in patients of OSAS.

Key words: Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome; Continuous Positive Airway Pressure; Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Serum Aminotransferease

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