, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 611-613
Date: 12 Sep 2010

Obstructive and central sleep apnoea in Arnold–Chiari malformation: resolution following surgical decompression

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Airways abnormalities as well as disorders of sleep and breathing have been reported in association with the Arnold–Chiari malformation (ACM). Both obstructive and central sleep apnoea have been reported in association with ACM [13]. We report the case of a young patient with type I Arnold–Chiari malformation who presented with a lung abscess and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea. After an initial limited polysomnography suggested obstructive sleep apnoea, she was commenced on nasal continuous positive airway pressure without improvement of her symptoms. Subsequent full polysomnography demonstrated central sleep apnoea. Her central apnoeas resolved following craniotomy and decompression of the craniocervical junction.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a highly prevalent disorder and the standard diagnostic technique of attended polysomnography is expensive. As such, the use of simplified diagnostic techniques is very appealing, including the use of limited channel devices or e