Polygraphic study of periodic breathing and hypersomnolence in a patient with severe hypothyroidism

Eur Neurol. 1977;15(4):188-93. doi: 10.1159/000114832.


A 67-year-old woman with primary hypothyroidism, who had Pickwickian syndrome as well, was studied electrophysiologically. A polygraphic study with simultaneous recordings of electroencephalography, actograms of the abdominal walls, the mentum and the anterior neck, and electromyogram of the intercostal muscles revealed a cyclic appearance of apnea in the sleep phase and gasping preceding arousal, which, together with macroglossia and sleep in the sitting position, suggested a cyclic obstruction of the upper airway. The obstruction appeared responsible for both alveolar hypoventilation and disturbance of consciousness.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Airway Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / etiology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / diagnosis
  • Hypothyroidism / physiopathology*
  • Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Posture
  • Respiration*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*