Sleep and Vigilance

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 181–184 | Cite as

OSA Delaying Diagnosis of Narcolepsy

  • Nileena Namboodiripad Kakkattu Mana
  • Nagarajan Ramakrishnan
Case Report


Narcolepsy is a disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, cataplexy, hypnopompic or hypnagogic hallucinations. The possibility of narcolepsy in a patient may be overlooked owing to its low prevalence, symptomatology and coexistent disorders. Nevertheless, it can cause significant impairment in functioning of an individual. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the disorders which can be comorbid with narcolepsy and result in delay in diagnosis. OSA also presents with excessive daytime symptoms and is easily considered as a differential diagnosis due to its higher prevalence. Residual symptoms even after correction of OSA can be due to various reasons. The possibility of a missed narcolepsy should be deliberated even in the absence of the classic tetrad. In this case report, we describe a young male who presented with excessive daytime sleepiness and was diagnosed of OSA initially. Persistence of symptoms warranted a re-evaluation and patient was eventually diagnosed as a case of narcolepsy, established by appropriate studies in the sleep laboratory.


Obstructive sleep apnea Narcolepsy without cataplexy Excessive daytime sleepiness Multiple sleep latency test 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nileena Namboodiripad Kakkattu Mana
    • 1
  • Nagarajan Ramakrishnan
    • 1
  1. 1.Nithra Institute of Sleep SciencesChennaiIndia

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