We would like to test the effect of opioid medication on pain sensitivity in subjects who
have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) compared to
other subjects without OSA. Patients with OSA may have an altered sensitivity to the
sedative, analgesic, and respiratory depressant effects of opioids.
The purpose of the study is to test the hypothesis that patients who suffer from
moderate-to-severe OSA have increased pain thresholds and are more sensitive to the
analgesic effects of opioids compared to patients with normal sleep-related breathing
physiology. We will evaluate the effect of remifentanil, a short acting mu-opioid receptor
agonist, on pain using an experimental heat and cold-induced pain tests, and compare it
between volunteers with and without a polysomnography (PSG)-based diagnosis of obstructive
Inclusion Criteria:1. Male 2 .18 - 55 years of age 3. Body mass index (BMI) lower or equal
to 30 kg/m2 4. Absence of severe systemic disease that results in functional limitations
(i.e. poorly controlled hypertension, angina pectoris, prior myocardial infarction,
pulmonary disease that limits activity) 5.Subjects must be able to comprehend spoken and
Exclusion Criteria:1. Major psychiatric, neurological, or neuromuscular disorder 2. Known
diabetes mellitus or thyroid disease 3. Allergy to study medication (remifentanil) 4.
History of addiction 5. Alcohol consumption which exceeds 2 drinks per day and /or drug
abuse. 6. Chronic or acute use of opioids, or other medications affecting the CNS.