Association between cerebral small vessel disease and obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome


  • An increase in silent cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) markers is associated with severe obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), particularly enlarged Virchow-Robin perivascular spaces (VRS) in the basal ganglia and centrum semiovale, which may contribute to cognitive impairment.

Why this matters

  • People with OSAHS have an increased risk of cerebrovascular stress and silent cerebral SVD, which may lead to cognitive decline.

  • Markers of silent SVD such as white matter lesions, lacunar infarcts, and VRS may be present in people with OSAHS, and this knowledge could be clinically useful for cognitive impairment treatment; however, this association has not been evaluated.