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April 11, 1977

Retrognathia and Sleep ApneaA Life-Threatening Condition Masquerading as Narcolepsy

JAMA. 1977;237(15):1596-1597. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270420064019

The association of sleep apnea with daytime hypersomnolence without obesity, and its potentially lethal cardiopulmonary sequelae, make it crucial that this condition be distinguished from narcolepsy. A patient with retrognathia who had been diagnosed as a narcoleptic for 15 years had the primary complaint of excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep laboratory evaluation showed severe hypoxemia and a mean of 366 upper airway obstructions per night. The patient was treated with a tracheotomy; this resulted in relief of the sleep-related upper airway obstructions, hypoxemia, and hypersomnolence.

(JAMA 237:1596-1597, 1977)