Serotnin as a possible biomarker in obstructive sleep apnea

Melissa C. Lipford, Kannan Ramar, Yao Jen Liang, Chii Wann Lin, Yun Ting Chao, Jen An, Chih Hsien Chiu, Yi Ju Tsai, Chih Hung Shu, Fei Peng Lee, Rayleigh Ping Ying Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a highly prevalent disease which carries substantial public health burden. Polysomnography is the standard procedure used to diagnose OSA. However cost, accessibility, technical requirements, and skilled interpretation needs constrain its widespread use and have a role in the under-diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing. There is a clinical need to develop expedient and widely accessible tools to detect this disorder., Several biochemical markers have recently been proposed as diagnostic tools in OSA. Numerous neurochemicals directly influence the activity of upper airway dilator motor neurons, which subsequently influence respiration during sleep. Serotonin (5-HT) is one such neurochemical that has a key role in ventilatory stimulation. Herein, we review the current evidence demonstrating relationships between multiple biomarkers and sleep disordered breathing and focus on relationships between OSA and 5-HT. We discuss the possibility of biomarker-driven detection technology in the future as a means of diagnosing and monitoring OSA. Finally, we explore the specific role 5-HT may have in the future in both the diagnosis and treatment of OSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Alternative OSA treatments
  • Biomarkers
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Polysomnography
  • Serotonin (5-HT)
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology


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