Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common syndrome in patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Epicardial fat thickness (EFT), an indicator of visceral adiposity, is a novel parameter for studying patients with OSA. Our aim was to investigate the effects of continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) therapy on EFT.
A total of 162 subjects (68 women and 94 men) were included and divided into three groups: Group I: Apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) < 5 (n = 45), Group II: AHI 5–15 (n = 22), and Group III: AHI > 15 (n = 95). All participants underwent full-night polysomnography and transthoracic echocardiography. There were 28 symptomatic patients with AHI > 15 who received compliant CPAP therapy for 24 weeks.
MetS was more frequent, and systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), blood glucose were higher in Group III compared with I (p < 0.05). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels were lower in Group III compared with I (p < 0.05). Triglyceride levels and waist circumference were higher in Group III compared with I and II (p < 0.05). EFT was higher in Group III compared with I and higher in Group II compared with I (p < 0.05). EFT was predicted by MetS and AHI. After CPAP therapy high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and EFT were reduced (p < 0.05).
EFT was significantly higher in patients with AHI > 15 and predicted by MetS and AHI. CPAP therapy reduced hsCRP levels and EFT.