Prevalence and neurophysiological correlates of sleep disordered breathing in pediatric type 1 narcolepsy

Marco Filardi, Nurhak Demir, Fabio Pizza, Stefano Vandi, Elena Antelmi, Silvia Noce, Oliviero Bruni, Giuseppe Plazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objectives: To investigate the prevalence and neurophysiological correlates of obstructive sleep disordered breathing (OSA) in type 1 narcolepsy (NT1) children and adolescents. Methods: Thirty-eight, drug-naïve, NT1 children and adolescents and 21 age- and sex-balanced clinical controls underwent nocturnal polysomnography (PSG) and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). According to the rules for pediatric population, an obstructive apnea-hypopnea index (Obstructive AHI) ≥ 1 (comprising obstructive and mixed events), defined comorbid OSA. Results: NT1 children showed higher prevalence of overweight/obesity and severe nocturnal sleep disruption (lower sleep efficiency, and increased N1 sleep stage percentage) coupled with higher motor activity (periodic limb movement index [PLMi] and REM atonia index) compared to clinical controls. Sleep-related respiratory variables did not differ between NT1 and clinical controls (OSA prevalence of 13.2% and 4.8%, respectively). NT1 children with OSA were younger and showed lower N2 sleep stage percentage and higher PLMi than NT1 children without comorbid OSA. Overweight/obesity was not associated with OSA in NT1. Conclusions: Despite higher body mass index (BMI), OSA prevalence did not differ between children with NT1 and clinical controls. OSA in pediatric NT1 patients is a rare and mild comorbidity, further contributing to nocturnal sleep disruption without effects on daytime sleepiness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Pediatrics
  • Periodic limb movements
  • Sleep disordered breathing
  • Type 1 Narcolepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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