Association Between the Severity of Nocturnal Hypoxia in Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Damage
Dogan, Omer Tamer
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Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a major disease that can cause significant mortality and morbidity. Chronic intermittent hypoxia is a potential causal factor in the progression from fatty liver to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Objectives: This study evaluated the association between the degree of liver steatosis and severity of nocturnal hypoxia. Patients and Methods: In this study, between December 2011 and December 2013, patients with ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD evaluated by standart polysomnography were subsequentally recorded. Patients with alcohol use, viral hepatitis and other chronic liver diseases were excluded. We analyzed polysomnographic parameters, steatosis level and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in consideration of body mass index (BMI), biochemical tests and ultrasonographic liver data of 137 subjects. Patients with sleep apnea and AHI scores of <5, 5 -14, 15 - 29 and = 30 are categorized as control, mild, moderate and severe, respectively. Results: One hundred and thirty-seven patients (76 women, 61 men) with a mean age of 55.75 +/- 10.13 years who underwent polysomnography were included in the study. Of 118 patients diagnosed with OSA, 19 (16.1%) had mild OSA, 39 (33.1%) moderate OSA and 60 (50.8%) severe OSA. Nineteen cases formed the control group. Apnea/hypopnea index and oxygen desaturation index (ODI) values were significantly higher in moderate and severe non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) compared to the non-NAFLD group. Mean nocturnal SpO(2) values were significantly lower in mild NAFLD and severe NAFLD compared to the non-NAFLD group. Lowest O-2 saturation (LaSO2) was found low in mild, moderate and severe NAFLD compared to the non-NAFLD group in a statistically significant manner. Conclusions: We assessed polysomnographic parameters of AHI, ODI, LaSO2 and mean nocturnal SpO(2) levels, which are especially important in the association between NAFLD and OSAS. We think that it is necessary to be attentive regarding NAFLD development and progression in patients with OSA whose nocturnal hypoxia is severe.