J Pediatr Biochem 2016; 06(04): 199-208
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1598638
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Biomarkers for Sleep Apnea

Michal Gur1, *, Yazeed Toukan1, 2, *, Lea Bentur1, 2, Fahed Hakim1, 2
  • 1Pediatric Pulmonology Institute and CF Center, Ruth Rappaport Children's Hospital, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel
  • 2Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Further Information

Publication History

03 January 2017

08 January 2017

Publication Date:
14 February 2017 (eFirst)


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a substantial medical problem with significant morbidity, both in the pediatric population and in adults. The gold standard for diagnosis and assessment of response to treatment has been overnight polysomnography. However, it is costly, time-consuming, and inconvenient to the patients. Thus, there is an emerging need for markers that would identify patients with OSA, especially those at risk for complications who require closer surveillance and more aggressive treatment. In recent years, a large number of studies have been conducted to search for the ideal biomarker in the blood and other body fluids, mainly urine, saliva, and exhaled breath. We present a literature review of current literature on biomarkers of OSA. We conclude that the ideal sole biomarker has not been found yet, but several markers have the potential to serve as screening tools; an array of markers, as well as analysis of epigenetic factors, could serve in diagnosis and in tailoring the best specific treatment for the single patient.

* These authors contributed equally to this study.