Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 253–257 | Cite as

Infertility and obstructive sleep apnea: the effect of continuous positive airway pressure therapy on serum prolactin levels

  • Madalina Minciu MacreaEmail author
  • Thomas J. Martin
  • Leon Zagrean
Short Communication



Obstructive sleep apnea disease (OSA) is associated with a myriad of endocrine adverse effects. Changes in the serum prolactin (PRL) secretion in OSA are thought to be related to the hypoxic stress and subsequently to result in reversible changes with effective continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Due to current disagreements on this topic, we investigated the effect of CPAP therapy on the serum PRL in patients with OSA, using the most accurate CPAP compliance assessment to date


Fourteen adults were recruited from those scheduled at the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center for a diagnostic polysomnogram (PSG). Fasting serum PRL, estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone (Test), glucose, cortisol (Cor), and leptin levels were measured at 7 a.m., the morning after PSG, and again in ten of these patients, after 11–39 months of CPAP therapy. Compliance data, for both short-term (mean, 34 days) and long-term follow-up (mean, 304 days), were downloaded.


Except PRL, no other hormone's serum level, including that of FSH, LH, Test, Cor, and Leptin, has changed significantly after the CPAP therapy.


CPAP therapy is associated with a significant decrease in serum PRL levels.


Prolactin Obstructive sleep apnea Continuous positive airway pressure 


Conflict of interest

None to declare.


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Copyright information

© © US Government 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madalina Minciu Macrea
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thomas J. Martin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leon Zagrean
    • 3
  1. 1.Salem Veterans Affairs Medical CenterSalemUSA
  2. 2.University of Virginia Medical SchoolCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physiology“Carol Davila” University of MedicineBucharestRomania

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