Polysomnographic Analysis of a Pediatric Case of Baclofen-Induced Central Sleep Apnea

Federica Locatelli, Francesca Formica, Sara Galbiati, Paolo Avantaggiato, Elena Beretta, Carla Carnovale, Marco Pozzi, Emilio Clementi, Sandra Strazzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Respiratory disorders may follow brain injury and may also occur because of comorbidities and drug use, especially central depressants or muscle relaxants. Sleep can precipitate respiratory disorders, thus polysomnography can be a powerful diagnostic tool. By revealing breathing patterns that identify specific sleep disorders, polysomnography may unmask adverse pharmacological effects, for instance connecting central depressant drugs with central sleep apneas. We describe the case of a pediatric patient in rehabilitation from brain injury who developed a central sleep apnea following a baclofen dose increase within the therapeutic range, while assuming an under-dosed benzodiazepine. Polysomnography identified a typical respiration pattern, previously observed in adults treated with baclofen and other central depressants. Baclofen tapering resolved the central sleep apnea. Polysomnography, and this specific pattern, may be proposed as diagnostic tools in patients with high dose baclofen that can be used to prevent potential respiratory disorders in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-354
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2019


  • baclofen
  • pediatric
  • polysomnography
  • rehabilitation
  • sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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