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July2010 Vol.47 Issue:        3       (Supp.) Table of Contents
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Clinical Relevance of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Epilepsy

Ann A. Abd El Kader2, Hala A. Shaheen1, Amira M. El Gohary2,

Neveen M. El-Fayoumy2, Lamia M. Afifi2


Departments of Neurology1, Fayoum University; Neurophysiology2, Cairo University; Egypt



Background: The extent and clinical relevance of the association between epilepsy and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are not fully understood. Objective: This study was conducted to look for the frequency of obstructive sleep apnea in epileptic patients; in comparison to a control group; and its relation to clinical and polysomnographic data. Methods: We studied the clinical characteristics of epilepsy, sleep history and polysomnographic recording of 50 epileptics and 20 age and sex matched normal volunteers. Results: Out of 50 patients with epilepsy 7 patients (14%) were found to have obstructive sleep apnea and this was statistically higher than in the control group. Focal epilepsy type, frontotemporal lobe localization and history of snoring were significantly higher in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Seizure frequency positively correlates with apnea and hypopnea index in REM. In epileptic patients with OSA, apnea hypopnea index positively correlates with percentage of S1 of total sleep time and hypopnea index in NREM. History of snoring, older age and focal type of epilepsy were significant predictors of obstructive sleep apnea in epileptics. Conclusions: Obstructive sleep apnea is frequent in epileptic patients, particularly those with focal epilepsy and history of snoring. We recommend precise inquire and investigations about sleep apnea in all epileptics even those without sleep complaint. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg. 2010; 47(3): 461-469]


Key Words: Epilepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, polysomnography.



Correspondence to Hala A. Shaheen, Department of Neurology, Fayoum University, Egypt.

Tel.: +20107965888. Email    

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