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1.  Morbidity in nocturnal asthma: sleep quality and daytime cognitive performance. 
Thorax  1991;46(8):569-573.
Most patients with asthma waken with nocturnal asthma from time to time. To assess morbidity in patients with nocturnal asthma nocturnal sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and daytime cognitive performance were measured prospectively in 12 patients with nocturnal asthma (median age 43 years) and 12 age and intellect matched normal subjects. The median (range) percentage overnight fall in peak expiratory flow rate (PEF) was 22 (15 to 50) in the patients with nocturnal asthma and 4 (-4 to 7) in the normal subjects. The patients with asthma had poorer average scores for subjective sleep quality than the normal subjects (median paired difference 1.1 (95% confidence limits 0.1, 2.3)). Objective overnight sleep quality was also worse in the asthmatic patients, who spent more time awake at night (median difference 51 (95% CL 8.1, 74) minutes), had a longer sleep onset latency (12 (10, 30) minutes), and tended to have less stage 4 (deep) sleep (-33 (-58, 4) minutes). Daytime cognitive performance was worse in the patients with nocturnal asthma, who took a longer time to complete the trail making tests (median difference 62 (22, 75) seconds) and achieved a lower score on the paced serial addition tests (-10 (-24, -3)). Mean daytime sleep latency did not differ significantly between the two groups (2 (-3, 7) minutes). It is concluded that hospital outpatients with stable nocturnal asthma have impaired sleep quality and daytime cognitive performance even when having their usual maintenance asthma treatment.
PMCID: PMC463276  PMID: 1926025
3.  Salmeterol in nocturnal asthma: a double blind, placebo controlled trial of a long acting inhaled beta 2 agonist. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1990;301(6765):1365-1368.
OBJECTIVE--To determine whether inhaled salmeterol, a new long acting inhaled beta adrenergic agonist, reduces nocturnal bronchoconstriction and improves sleep quality in patients with nocturnal asthma. DESIGN--Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover study. SETTING--Hospital outpatient clinics in Edinburgh. SUBJECTS--Twenty clinically stable patients (13 women, seven men) with nocturnal asthma, median age 39 (range 18-60) years. INTERVENTIONS--Salmeterol 50 micrograms and 100 micrograms and placebo taken each morning and evening by metered dose inhaler. Rescue salbutamol inhalers were provided throughout the run in and study periods. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Improvement in nocturnal asthma as measured by peak expiratory flow rates and change in sleep quality as measured by electroencephalography. RESULTS--Salmeterol improved the lowest overnight peak flow rate at both 50 micrograms (difference in median values (95% confidence interval for difference in medians) 69 (18 to 88) l/min) and 100 micrograms (72 (23 to 61) l/min) doses twice daily. While taking salmeterol 50 micrograms twice daily patients had an objective improvement in sleep quality, spending less time awake or in light sleep (-9 (-4 to -44) min) and more time in stage 4 sleep (26 (6-34) min). CONCLUSIONS--Salmeterol is an effective long acting inhaled bronchodilator for patients with nocturnal asthma and at a dose of 50 micrograms twice daily improves objective sleep quality.
PMCID: PMC1664533  PMID: 1980220
4.  Atrial natriuretic peptide levels in the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome. 
Thorax  1994;49(9):920-921.
BACKGROUND--Patients with the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome have increased salt and water excretion at night which has been reported to be associated with an increase in plasma levels of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP). A study was performed to determine whether any rise in plasma ANP levels was related to nocturnal hypoxaemia. METHODS--Nine patients with sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome were studied on two nights, one breathing air and the other 28% oxygen, the order being randomised. Venous levels of ANP, aldosterone, and renin activity were measured. RESULTS--No decrease in plasma ANP levels on oxygen was seen, and, indeed, there was no evidence of an overnight increase in ANP levels. CONCLUSION--Oxygen therapy does not diminish nocturnal plasma ANP levels in patients with sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome.
PMCID: PMC475196  PMID: 7940435
6.  Erythropoietic protoporphyria and lead intoxication: the molecular basis for difference in cutaneous photosensitivity. I. Different rates of disappearance of protoporphyrin from the erythrocytes, both in vivo and in vitro. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1975;56(6):1519-1527.
In lead intoxication photosensitivity is usually absent, despite concentrations of protoporphyrin in the erythrocytes equal to or greater than in erythropoietic protoporphyria. Profound differences in the distribution of protoporphyrin in aging erythrocytes were demonstrated by age-dependent fractionation of cells on discontinuous density gradients. In erythropoietic protoporphyria the concentration of protoporphyrin declined extremely rapidly with erythrocyte age; the bulk of the protoporphyrin was lost in less than 3 days and the concentration of fluorescent erythrocytes in the gradient paralleled the decline of protoporphyrin. In lead intoxication the protoporphyrin concentration declined only slightly with cell aging and erythrocytes of all ages fluoresced. In the bone marrow from a patient with erythropoietic protoporphyria all reticulocytes, but only occasional late normoblasts, fluoresced, suggesting a single population. Sterile incubation in plasma (pH 7.5) demonstrated rapid diffusion of protoporphyrin from the erythrocytes in erythropoietic protoporphyria, but not in lead intoxication. Plasma protoporphyrin was elevated in erythropoietic protoporphyria, but not in lead intoxication. Estimates of the daily loss of protoporphyrin from erythropoietic tissue in erythropoietic proporphyria suggested an order of magnitude similar to the total blood protoporphyrin. Therefore, it is not necessary to postulate a preponderant extraerythropoietic source to explain the amount of fecal excretion. A significant amount of the diffused protoporphyrin probably reaches the skin with resulting photosensitivity. In contrast, in lead intoxication protoporphyrin remains within the erythrocyte throughout its life span ; there is no diffusion into the plasma and hence no photosensitivity.
PMCID: PMC333130  PMID: 1202082

Results 1-6 (6)