["Ondine's curse" in adults].Pneumologie. 1999 Oct; 53 Suppl 2:S91-2.P
The term "Ondine's curse" is normally used for congenital central hypoventilation in children. We report on 10 adult patients with this disorder (average age 46 y), who were treated from 1990 to 1996. They were hypercapnic while awake (mean 57 Torr) and during sleep (mean 87 Torr). The CO2-rebreathing response was negative. During exercise test minute ventilation volume did not rise adequately (mean pCO2 : 63 Torr, mean pH: 7.21). Five of these patients underwent emergency intubation before diagnosis, 2 presented with hypoventilation syndrome and 2 with decompensated cor pulmonale, 1 was diagnosed without complaints. 8 patients needed intermittent positive pressure ventilation therapy, 7 of them noninvasive, 1 via tracheal canula. One female patient has already died, the others are under stable clinical condition with the underlying central disorder remaining unchanged. Only 2 patients showed central defects visible in magnetic resonance tomography.