Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome as a rare presentation in a young girl with a central nervous system tumor.

Fern Buller, Muhammad A. Kamal, Samantha K Brown , Emma Carruthers, Mary-Louise Montague, Daniel Ochieng, Lesley A Simpson, Thomas C Williams, Chandrasekaran Kaliaperumal, Don Urquhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep related breathing disorders (SRBDs) are a common problem in infancy and childhood. The most common type of SRBD in this age group is obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), generally caused by factors affecting airway patency, such as tonsillar hypertrophy or obesity. However, in adults OSAS can also be caused by processes affecting the brainstem, such as central nervous system
tumors. This report describes a 2-year-old girl who presented with symptoms of snoring, restless sleep, repeated night-time waking, and apneic events whilst asleep. She had no co-morbidities, and examination revealed normal sized tonsils. A sleep study demonstrated severe OSAS with an obstructive apnea/hypopnea index of 34. Her OSAS completely resolved on excision of the tumor. The case highlights the importance of neurological examination as part of evaluation of OSAS, especially in cases where tonsils are not enlarged and there are no other risk factors for OSAS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211–1214
JournalJournal of clinical sleep medicine
Issue number4
Early online date7 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Dec 2021


  • sleep-disordered breathing
  • obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
  • brain tumor


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