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Acta Paediatr. 1997 Apr;86(4):381-4.

Elevated sleep arousal thresholds in enuretic boys: clinical implications.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa Nephrology Service, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada.


Enuretic children are described as difficult to arouse from sleep. We studied auditory sleep arousal thresholds in enuretic boys and report on the clinical implications of these findings. Fifteen enuretic and 18 control subjects (7-12-year-old males) were studied in a sleep laboratory for four consecutive nights using standard polysomnographic recording techniques. Sleep was undisturbed for the initial two nights and waking thresholds were measured on the following two nights. Enuretic children wet most frequently in the first two-thirds of the night. Arousal attempts were successful 39.7% of the time in controls and only 9.3% of the time in enuretics. In conclusion, enuretic males were more difficult to arouse than age-matched controls. The elevated arousal thresholds may be due to delayed maturation. Treatment programmes that rely on awakening should be aware of these features.

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