This review aimed to evaluate the effects of oral appliance (OA) therapy on serum inflammatory cytokines in adults diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Seven electronic databases and partial gray literature were searched without restrictions through March 2021. Articles evaluating the levels of serum inflammatory cytokines in patients with OSA after OA treatment were included. The risk of bias (RoB) was assessed using the before-and-after tool or RoB 2.0. The level of certainty was assessed using the GRADE tool.
Five studies met the eligibility criteria. One was a randomized clinical trial (RCT), while four were non-randomized clinical trials (NRCTs). Among the studies, C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, IL-10, IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) were investigated. The RCT reported no significant differences in marker levels after 2 months of OA therapy, while the NRCTs showed improvement on CRP, TNF-α, and IL-1β levels after longer follow-up periods. The RoB was evaluated as showing some concern in the RCT. Three NRCTs presented good RoB, and one showed a fair RoB. The level of certainty was graded as moderate quality for inflammatory marker levels assessed in the RCT The levels of certainty evaluated in NRCTs were classified as very low.
Although limited, existing scientific evidence showed that OA therapy may improve serum cytokine levels in adults with OSA. However, short treatment periods are not effective in reducing markers of systemic inflammation which may require extended time and a decrease of in apneic events to improve.
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Mecenas, P., Miranda, G.H.N., Fagundes, N.C.F. et al. Effects of oral appliances on serum cytokines in adults with obstructive sleep apnea: a systematic review. Sleep Breath 26, 1447–1458 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-021-02485-y