Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Urine Test May Detect Sleep Apnea in Children

A new study shows that obstructive sleep apnea in children is associated with alterations in urinary concentrations of specific protein clusters.

study evaluated morning urine proteins. It involved 60 children with OSA. They were compared with 30 children who have primary snoring and 30 controls.

The researchers found that the urine concentrations of 16 proteins were altered in children with OSA. Further analysis identified four proteins that have “favorable predictive properties.”

Using cutoff points for these biomarkers they correctly identified 95 percent of the children with OSA. This approach also produced no false-positive results.

"It was rather unexpected that the urine would provide us with the ability to identify OSA," lead author Dr. David Gozal said in a
press release. “"These findings open up the possibility of developing a relatively simple urine test that could detect OSA in snoring children.”

Gozal would like to develop a color-based test that could be done in a doctor’s office or by the parents. But first the results need to be confirmed in a larger sample of children from around the country.

About two percent of young children have sleep apnea. In June the Sleep Education Blog
reported that the causes of sleep apnea in children are complex.

Sleep apnea often occurs when a child has large tonsils and adenoids. But weight and nasal problems also can play a role.

Most children with sleep apnea have a history of snoring. It tends to be loud and may include obvious pauses in breathing and gasps for breath.

In October the Sleep Education Blog
reported that sleep apnea affects heart rate and blood pressure in children. Another study found a high “sibling risk” of OSA in both boys and girls.

Learn more about obstructive sleep apnea in children. Get help at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.
Image by Catherine

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