Catathrenia and Treatment With Positive Airway Pressure in the Pediatric Population

J Clin Sleep Med. 2019 Dec 15;15(12):1853-1857. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.8100. Epub 2019 Nov 9.


Catathrenia, also known as sleep-related groaning, is a relatively rare sleep disorder with characteristics consistent with loud groaning on expiration during sleep. Organic causes of catathrenia are unknown and the decision of whether or not to treat is unclear. Limited research is available concerning appropriate treatment and none of the literature focuses primarily on pediatrics. We report a series of three, male pediatric cases with catathrenia that were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) while identifying and comparing clinical symptoms, polysomnogram findings, treatment, and patient response to treatment. Catathrenia may be associated with abnormal nocturnal oxygenation and ventilation and may lead to negative clinical daytime symptoms which may warrant treatment. If catathrenia leads to sleep disruption and negative daytime symptoms, treatment with CPAP should be considered.

Keywords: CPAP; Catathrenia; continuous positive airway pressure; pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Exhalation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parasomnias / physiopathology*
  • Parasomnias / therapy*
  • Respiratory Sounds / physiopathology*
  • Treatment Outcome