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Minerva Pneumologica 2008 December;47(4):175-81

language: English

Endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases associated with obstructive sleep apnea

Padeletti M. 1, Jelic S. 2

1 Division of Cardiovascular Diseases University of Siena, Siena, Italy
2 Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA


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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a highly prevalent disorder, with significant economic impact, and is associated with excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. OSA is characterized by transient episodes of cessation of breathing followed by arousals from sleep. Repetitive hypoxia/reoxygenation and sleep fragmentation associated with OSA promote endothelial activation and inflammation. Endothelial activation and inflammation are important mediators of accelerated atherogenesis and consequent increased cardiovascular morbidity in OSA. The present review focuses on possible mechanisms that underlie endothelial activation and inflammation in OSA.

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