Obstructive sleep apnoea presenting as a stroke mimic

BMJ Case Rep. 2023 Feb 21;16(2):e253364. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2022-253364.


Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is never considered the aetiology of focal neurological symptoms or in the differential of stroke-like symptoms. Although it is a risk factor for stroke and can produce global neurological symptoms, such as confusion and decreased consciousness, it has never been reported to produce focal neurology. This case describes a patient with OSA, diagnosed through polysomnography, who had multiple presentations of focal stroke-like symptoms and signs, despite initial optimal post-stroke management. Symptomatic cessation was only achieved after the patient received continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

Keywords: Neurology; Sleep disorders (neurology); Stroke.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Stroke*