Among 4,411 children hospitalized from May 1985 through April 1987, 100 infants (mean age three months) had exhibited an apparently life-threatening event. Management included careful history taking by interviewing parents, a thorough physical evaluation, routine laboratory tests, and cardiorespiratory monitoring. A variety of further investigations were usually performed to look for gastroesophageal reflux (GER), vagal hyperreflectivity, or sleep-related cardiorespiratory disorders. Leading causes, that often occurred in combination, included GER (66 per cent of cases), and vagal hyperreflectivity (13%). Atypical breath-holding spells, ENT causes, and neurological causes were documented in 8%, 6% and 5% of cases respectively. Medical treatment of the GER proved effective in 90% of cases. Metoclopramide (Primperan, 10 drops/kg/d) was effective in 62% of infants with GER and was well tolerated. Diphemanil methylsulfate (Prantal, 10 mg/kg/d) satisfactorily controlled vagal hyperreflectivity. Monitoring was prescribed in 43% of cases.