4 years ago

Effect of continuous positive airway pressure on carotid intima-media thickness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea: A meta-analysis

Li-Da Chen, Zhi-Ming Cai, Yang-Wu Ou, Li Lin, Yu-Ming Ye, Zhi Wu, Ya-Ping Huang, Qiao-Zhen Xu, Xue-Jun Lin

by Li-Da Chen, Li Lin, Xue-Jun Lin, Yang-Wu Ou, Zhi Wu, Yu-Ming Ye, Qiao-Zhen Xu, Ya-Ping Huang, Zhi-Ming Cai


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), an early marker of atherosclerosis. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the first-line treatment for OSA. A meta-analysis was performed to determine whether CPAP therapy could decrease carotid IMT.


The PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane library were searched before March, 2017. Weighted mean difference (WMD) was calculated to estimate the treatment effects of pre and post-CPAP therapy. Seven studies were examined and the meta-analysis was performed using STATA 12.0.


There was no change of carotid IMT before and after CPAP treatment in OSA patients (WMD = 0.052, 95% confidence interval (CI) = −0.002 to 0.105, z = 1.90, p = 0.057). Meanwhile, meta-analysis of the two RCTs showed that carotid IMT was not changed in CPAP group when compared with control group (WMD = 0.002 95% CI = −0.125 to 0.129, z = 0.03, p = 0.976). Subgroup analyses indicated that carotid IMT was significantly decreased after CPAP use in more severe OSA patients (AHI≥50) (WMD = 0.073, 95% CI = 0.022 to 0.124, z = 2.80, p = 0.005) and patients with therapeutic duration ≥6 months (WMD = 0.121, 95% CI = 0.019 to 0.223, z = 2.32, p = 0.021).


CPAP had no impact on carotid IMT in OSA patients. However, carotid IMT was significantly decreased after CPAP treatment in more severe OSA patients and patients with longer CPAP usage.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184293

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