Purpose: Sleep apnoea syndrome (SAS) is often associated with glaucoma, and intermittent hypoxia, present in SAS, can contribute to glaucoma pathogenesis. However, the relationships between SAS, high systemic oxidative stress and the speed of glaucoma progression are unclear. Thus, we investigated these relationships in glaucoma patients with and without SAS. Methods: Peripheral blood samples were collected from 166 eyes of 166 Japanese patients: 42 controls, 109 open-angle glaucoma (OAG) patients without SAS and 15 OAG patients with SAS. Prognostic factors for visual field defect progression were determined with logistic regression. Diacron reactive oxygen metabolites (dROM) and biological antioxidant potential (BAP) were measured with a free radical analyser. Clinical parameters were also recorded. Intergroup comparisons used the Mann–Whitney U test. Results: Multiple regression analysis showed that SAS was a statistically significant contributing factor to fast visual field defect progression, defined as mean deviation (MD) slope ≤−2.0 dB/Y (SAS: odds ratio (OR) = 14.48; p = 0.002). The non-SAS and SAS groups had similar age, sex, intraocular pressure (IOP), axial length and antiglaucoma drug use. The SAS group had a significantly higher dROM level (p = 0.001), BAP level (p = 0.038) and steeper MD slope (p = 0.001) than the non-SAS group. Conclusion: Glaucoma patients with SAS have higher dROM, as well as steeper MD slope, than patients without SAS, suggesting that SAS may induce systemic oxidative stress and promote glaucomatous visual field defect progression.
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