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Volume 14 No. 10
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Accepted Papers

Case Reports

Treatment of Comorbid Obstructive Sleep Apnea by Upper Airway Stimulation Results in Resolution of Debilitating Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Lukasz A. Myc, MD1; Ian T. Churnin, MD2; Mark J. Jameson, MD, PhD2; Eric M. Davis, MD1
1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia; 2Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

An association between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been suggested for decades but has been questioned in recent years given the apparently similar prevalence of RLS among patients with OSA and the general population. Still, marked improvement in symptoms of RLS has been reported in patients with OSA treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Whether the effect of OSA treatment on RLS extends to modalities of OSA treatment other than CPAP remains an open question. Here, we report the case of a patient with OSA and comorbid debilitating RLS who underwent upper airway stimulation device implantation and subsequently experienced near-resolution of her severe RLS symptoms.

Upper airway stimulation devices may be an option for patients with OSA and severe RLS intolerant to conventional CPAP modalities.


Myc LA, Churnin IT, Jameson MJ, Davis EM. Treatment of comorbid obstructive sleep apnea by upper airway stimulation results in resolution of debilitating symptoms of restless legs syndrome. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(10):1797–1800.

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