BackgroundObesity and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) are highly prevalent and frequently overlapping conditions in children that lead to systemic inflammation, the latter being implicated in the various end-organ morbidities associated with these conditions.
AimTo examine the effects of adenotonsillectomy (T&A) on plasma levels of inflammatory markers in obese children with polysomnographically diagnosed OSA who were prospectively recruited from the community.
MethodsObese children prospectively diagnosed with OSA, underwent T&A and a second overnight polysomnogram (PSG) after surgery. Plasma fasting morning samples obtained after each of the two PSGs were assayed for multiple inflammatory and metabolic markers including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-18, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), adiponectin, apelin C, leptin and osteocrin.
ResultsOut of 122 potential candidates, 100 obese children with OSA completed the study with only one-third exhibiting normalization of their PSG after T&A (that is, apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≤1/hour total sleep time). However, overall significant decreases in MCP-1, PAI-1, MMP-9, IL-18 and IL-6, and increases in adropin and osteocrin plasma concentrations occurred after T&A. Several of the T&A-responsive biomarkers exhibited excellent sensitivity and moderate specificity to predict residual OSA (that is, AHI⩾5/hTST).
ConclusionsA defined subset of systemic inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers is reversibly altered in the context of OSA among community-based obese children, further reinforcing the concept on the interactive pro-inflammatory effects of sleep disorders such as OSA and obesity contributing to downstream end-organ morbidities.