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Volume 14 No. 06
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Accepted Papers

Case Reports

Transient Central Sleep Apnea Runs Triggered by Disorder of Arousal in a Child

Lourdes M. DelRosso, MD, FAASM1,2; Kenneth Martin, MD2; Michelle Marcos, RRT, NPS2; Raffaele Ferri, MD3
1University of California, San Francisco, California; 2Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, California; 3Sleep Research Centre, Oasi Research Institute-IRCCS, Troina, Italy

We report the case of a 5-year-old girl with frequent nocturnal episodes of disorder of arousal (confusional arousals, sleep terrors, and sleep walking), occurring at the end of periods of slow wave sleep, followed by return to sleep accompanied by the occurrence of periodic breathing with a run of approximately 10 to 20 central events. The duration of the central events and oxyhemoglobin desaturation were both maximum at the beginning of each run and became progressively less prominent with the development of the sequences. Night episodes disappeared with bedtime clonazepam but behavioral problems occurred as a paradoxical response; thus, clonazepam was stopped. Sleep extension and melatonin were then started, which were followed by a reduction of night episode frequency and intensity. This observation appears to be the first report of central sleep apnea sequences triggered by parasomnia and, if confirmed by additional reports, it might be considered to be a possible new classification of “complex parasomnia.”


DelRosso LM, Martin K, Marcos M, Ferri R. Transient central sleep apnea runs triggered by disorder of arousal in a child. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(6):1075–1078.

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