High and Fluctuating Muscle Nerve Sympathetic Activity in the Sleep Apnea Syndrome: A Pathogenetic Mechanism in the Development of Hypertension?

  • Jan Hedner
  • Johan Sellgren
  • Hasse Ejnell
  • Gunnar Wallin


Muscle sympathetic activity was measured in 4 patients with sleep apnea syndrome (SAS). All patients exhibited increased base line sympathetic activity when awake as well, as during sleep, compared to healthy control subjects. Increased sympathetic activity was also measured during central and obstructive apneic events during sleep. Immediately after arousal and initiation of ventilation, the sympathetic activity decreased to very low values. The increased sympathetic autonomic discharge seen in sleep apnea patients may be of pathophysiological importance for the hypertension and nocturnal ventricular arrhythmias reported to occur in SAS patients.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sleep Apnea Sympathetic Activity Muscle Nerve Sympathetic Activity Sleep Apnea Patient 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Hedner
    • 1
  • Johan Sellgren
    • 2
  • Hasse Ejnell
    • 3
  • Gunnar Wallin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PharmacologySahlgren’s University HospitalGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiologySahlgren’s University HospitalGöteborgSweden
  3. 3.Department of Oto-Rhino-LaryngologySahlgren’s University HospitalGöteborgSweden
  4. 4.Department of Clinical NeurophysiologySahlgren’s University HospitalGöteborgSweden

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