Sleep related breathing patterns in patients with spinal muscular atrophy

R. Manni, I. Cerveri, A. Ottolini, F. Fanfulla, M. C. Zoia, G. Lanzi, A. Tartara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A clinical and polygraphic study of nocturnal sleep was performed in 8 (4 males, 4 females; age range 10-37 years) patients with spinal muscular atrophy, whose baseline respiratory function assessment during wakefulness showed restrictive ventilatory syndrome but blood-gas tension within normal limits. No patient reported any significant sleep complaint suggestive of sleepdisordered breathing. However, in 4 patients HbSaO2 desaturations below 90% (HbSaO2 nadir 68%) were detected during nocturnal polysomnography. The HbSaO2 desaturations occurred during brief central apneas or hypopneas, mainly during REM sleep, the apnoea hypopnea index being within normal limits in all cases. The data suggest that nocturnal polysomnography can detect otherwise clinically silent hypoxemia in SMA patients without any predisposing factor to sleep-disordered breathing other than their illness and still showing normal blood-gas tensions during wakefulness. Further studies are needed to determine the long-term evolution and the prognostic significance of nocturnal hypoxemia in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-569
Number of pages5
JournalItalian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1993


  • breathing
  • Sleep
  • spinal muscular atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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