Restless Legs Syndrome Triggered by Heart Surgery

Samuele Cortese, Eric Konofal, Michel Lecendreux, Marie Christine Mouren, Bernardo Dalla Bernardina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This report presents the case of a 9-year-old child with a familial history of restless legs syndrome who began to complain of restless legs syndrome symptoms after heart surgery. Hypotheses on the potential interactions between genetic and environmental factors in the development of her restless legs syndrome are discussed. Increasing evidence supports reduced brain iron in the pathophysiology of idiopathic restless legs syndrome. It is possible that the child inherited a compromised brain and peripheral iron regulation, which predisposed her to restless legs syndrome. The interaction between her dysfunctional iron management and her intraoperatory blood loss may have led to a significant decrease in brain iron, triggering restless legs syndrome symptoms. Other factors, such as immobilization and sleep deprivation after surgery, may have contributed to trigger the restless legs syndrome symptoms. If confirmed by further evidence, this patient suggests the need to carefully monitor for restless legs syndrome symptoms in young surgical patients who present with a familial history of restless legs syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-226
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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