Sympathetic skin response in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
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Examination of the sympathetic skin response (SSR), a non-invasive method of studying conduction in the sympathetic nervous system was performed in 15 male patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) evaluated by polysomnography who were compared with 7 non-apneic snorers and 26 controls. The aim of the study was to assess sympathetic nervous system function in OSAS, to compare the results with those found in non-apneic heavy snorers, to define the pattern of abnormalities and to study the correlations between SSR results and polysomnographic parameters. In the OSAS group the mean hand latency was significantly longer than in non-apneic snorers and healthy subjects. The most characteristic pattern of abnormalities was an absence of a foot response found in 12 of 15 OSAS patients. There were no correlations between SSR abnormalities and polysomnographic parameters. The SSR method seems to be useful in assessment of the sympathetic nervous system, especially of those parts related to sudomotor function, in OSAS.
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B. Zakrzewska-Pniewska, Department of Neurology, Medical Academy, 1a Banach St., 02-097 Warsaw, Poland