What is the role of routine lab testing in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Routine laboratory tests usually are not helpful in OSA in the absence of a specific indication. A thyrotropin test should be performed on any patient with possible OSA who has other signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism, particularly in elderly individuals.

A study by Cintra et al studied 150 subjects (75 patients and 75 control subjects, matched for age and sex). They determined that cysteine levels were higher in patients with OSA compared with control subjects, and levels were reduced after effective OSA treatment. [140] Thus, cysteine may be a potential biomarker of OSA.


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