Obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) and glaucomatous optic neuropathy.

Obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is becoming widely accepted as a risk factor for glaucoma. We discuss the proposed mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of glaucoma in OSAHS, and review the published data on the association between these two conditions, as well as papers regarding functional and structural tests related with glaucomatous damage. There is increasing evidence that the prevalence of glaucoma is higher in OSAHS patients, especially in those with severe disease with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) >30, and also that sleep disorders may be more frequent in patients with glaucoma, especially in those with normal tension glaucoma (NTG). Several ophthalmic signs and symptoms have been associated with this condition. Raised intraocular pressure (IOP), possibly related to increased body mass index, thinning of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), and alteration of visual field (VF) indices has been demonstrated in many studies, in patients with no history of glaucoma or evidence of glaucomatous changes in the ophthalmic examination. A correlation of AHI with RNFL and VF indices has been described in some studies. Finally, corneal thinning, suspicious glaucomatous disc changes and anomalies in electrophysiological tests such as multifocal visual evoked potential have been described in patients with OSAHS, even in patients with normal findings in the optic nerve and VF, suggesting subclinical optic nerve involvement not detectable in conventional ophthalmic examinations. The pathogenesis of optic nerve involvement has been related to vascular and mechanical factors. Vascular factors include recurrent hypoxia with increased vascular resistance, autonomic deregulation, oxidative stress and inflammation linked to hypoxia and subsequent reperfusion, decreased cerebral perfusion pressure and direct hypoxic damage to the optic nerve. Proposed mechanical factors include increased IOP at night related to supine position and obesity, raised intracranial pressure and elastic fiber depletion in the lamina cribosa and/or trabeculum. In conclusion, ophthalmic evaluation should be recommended in patients with severe OSAHS, and the presence of sleep disorders should be investigated in patients with glaucoma, especially in NTG patients and in those with progressive damage despite controlled IOP, as treatment with continuous positive airway pressure may contribute to stabilizing the progression of glaucomatous damage.
AuthorsConsuelo Pérez-Rico, Esperanza Gutiérrez-Díaz, Enrique Mencía-Gutiérrez, María Josefa Díaz-de-Atauri, Román Blanco
JournalGraefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv für klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie (Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol) Vol. 252 Issue 9 Pg. 1345-57 (Sep 2014) ISSN: 1435-702X [Electronic] Germany
PMID24859387 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review)
  • Body Weight
  • Glaucoma (complications, diagnosis, physiopathology)
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Nerve Fibers (pathology)
  • Optic Nerve (pathology)
  • Optic Nerve Diseases (complications, diagnosis, physiopathology)
  • Polysomnography
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells (pathology)
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive (complications, diagnosis, physiopathology)
  • Tonometry, Ocular

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