Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 1239–1244 | Cite as

Gender, nocturnal hypoxia, and arousal influence brainstem auditory evoked potentials in patients with obstructive sleep apnea

  • Wei WangEmail author
  • Jiao Su
  • Delei Kong
  • Jian Pang
  • Jian Kang
Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article



Brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) outcomes in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) patients are inconsistent in some studies because the affecting factors are not well controlled. This study aimed to evaluate BAEP of male and female patients with moderate and severe OSAS and further assess the possible factors influencing BAEP abnormalities.


Polysomnography were applied to 118 subjects, composed of 84 OSAS patients and 34 control subjects (22 male, 12 female), during the night. OSAS groups included 40 moderate (32 male, 8 female) and 44 sever (36 male, 8 female) OSAS patients. Binaural BAEPs were performed for every subject before polysomnography. The comparison of BAEP among control, moderate, and severe OSAS groups was performed according to different gender. Independent sample t test was used to examine the difference between male and female groups. Pearson’s correlation was applied between BAEP parameters and age, body mass index, and sleep-related data in OSAS group.


Prolonged latencies of waves I, III, and V were observed in OSAS patients. They were significantly correlated with apnea hypopnea index, arousal index, and hypoxia-related parameters. Compared to female patients, male patients had longer latencies of waves III and V. For severe male OSAS patients, BAEP of right ear showed additional prolongations of IPLs of I–III and I–V than that of left ear, and the IPL of I–III was correlated with the severity of hypoxia.


Moderate and severe OSAS patients showed abnormal BAEP which could be influenced by gender, nocturnal hypoxia, and arousal.


Brainstem auditory evoked potential Chronic intermittent hypoxia Gender Obstructive sleep apnea Arousal 



Brainstem auditory evoked potentials


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome


Apnea and hypopnea index


Epworth Sleepiness Scale questionnaire




Interpeak latencies


Oxygen desaturation index


Mean oxygen saturation during the night


Lowest oxygen saturation during the night


Percent of total sleep time spent under 90 % oxygen level


Arousal index


Body mass index


Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional (the First Hospital of China Medical University) research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.


The National Natural Science foundation of China provided financial support in the form of National Natural Science fund (81270146). Liaoning Province S&T Department provided financial support in the form of Liaoning Province S&T Project (2012225021). The sponsors had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jiao Su
    • 1
  • Delei Kong
    • 1
  • Jian Pang
    • 2
  • Jian Kang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Respiratory Diseasethe 1st Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyang CityChina
  2. 2.the 463rd Hospital of the Chinese PLAShenyang CityChina

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