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Erythropoietin concentrations in obstructive sleep apnoea.
  1. J. M. Goldman,
  2. R. M. Ireland,
  3. M. Berthon-Jones,
  4. R. R. Grunstein,
  5. C. E. Sullivan,
  6. J. C. Biggs
  1. David Read Laboratory, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown NSW, Australia.


    Eight patients with obstructive sleep apnoea and a normal haemoglobin concentration underwent nocturnal studies during which oxyhaemoglobin saturation was recorded continuously with an ear oximeter and serum erythropoietin concentration was measured hourly by means of a radioimmunoassay. Serum erythropoietin concentrations remained within the normal range throughout the study despite falls in oxyhaemaglobin saturation in individuals to 33-78%. There was no relation between the degree of nocturnal hypoxaemia and serum erythropoietin concentrations. The brief cyclical episodes of hypoxaemia typical of obstructive sleep apnoea may not be a sufficient stimulus for erythropoietin secretion.

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