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Urine Test May Help Detect Sleep Apnea in Children

Last Updated: December 09, 2009.

Concentrations of certain proteins and protein combinations in the urine of children may be useful in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Concentrations of certain proteins and protein combinations in the urine of children may be useful in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

David Gozal, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues took morning urine samples in children with OSA confirmed by polysomnograph, matched children with primary snoring, and a control group. The urine was analyzed for the presence of proteins or protein clusters differentially expressed by the children with OSA.

The researchers identified 16 proteins characteristic of the children with OSA, of which seven were verified using either enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or immunoblot. After analysis, urinary concentrations of uromodulin, urocortin-3, orosomucoid-1, and kallikrein were found to be predictive for OSA. Analyzed in combination, the presence of high concentrations of three or more of the proteins had a sensitivity of 95 percent and a specificity of 100 percent for OSA.

"Proteomic approaches reveal that pediatric OSA is associated with specific and consistent alterations in urinary concentrations of specific protein clusters. Future studies aiming to validate this approach as a screening method of habitually snoring children appears warranted," the authors write.

The study was supported by Merck and Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Two study authors reported receiving grants or lecture fees from pharmaceutical companies.

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