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Sleep Med Rev. 2009 Apr;13(2):133-48. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Sleep and neuromuscular disorders in children.

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Department of Neurology, University of São Paulo Medical School, HC-FMUSP, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Children suffering from neuromuscular diseases are at an increased risk of sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD) such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and hypoventilation as well as central sleep apnea, which is frequent in these patients due to diaphragmatic weakness. They are at higher risk for developing complications of nocturnal hypoxemia, including pulmonary hypertension, cor pulmonale and neurocognitive dysfunction. Neuromuscular disorders and OSAS are both prevalent disorders and frequently overlap. Sleep-related hypoventilation/hypoxemia due to neuromuscular diseases may be exacerbated in the presence of OSAS; these children are likely to experience greater severity and duration of sleep-related hypoxemia than are children with either disorder alone. Additionally, some of these children have reduced central neural chemoresponsiveness. The development of SRBD in these patients further impairs their quality of life and worsens their respiratory status. We review the literature on the diagnosis and treatment of SRBD in children with a variety of neuromuscular disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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