Abstract 5809: Reduced Aortic Distensibility and Increased Atheroma Burden in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Objective: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with arterial stiffness, hypertension and atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the presence of OSA in middle aged to older subjects with cardiovascular risk factors exerts additional proatherogenic effect as assessed by CMR measures of aortic distensibility (AD) and aortic atheroma burden.
Methods: 67 subjects [41 OSA patients and 26 control subjects with no history of OSA matched for age, sex, body mass index, waist hip ratio, cardiovascular risk factors and medication] underwent MR imaging of the aorta. AD was assessed at three levels; the ascending and proximal descending aorta at the level of the pulmonary artery and the distal descending (upper abdominal) aorta. High resolution black blood turbo spin echo imaging was used to quantify mean plaque index (PI) (PI=cross-sectional wall area/total vessel cross sectional area) of the descending aorta in the thorax and upper abdomen.
Results: OSA was associated with a significant reduction in AD at all three levels. The ascending aorta was associated with the relatively largest reduction in aortic distensibility compared to more distal regions (figure 1⇓. a). The mean aortic PI was significantly increased in OSA patients in relation to controls (figure 1⇓. b).
Conclusion: Obstructive sleep apnoea is associated with reduced aortic distensibility and increased aortic atheroma burden. These results suggest that the presence of OSA affects vascular function and structure and has implications for cardiovascular risk stratification and risk reduction strategies.