[A case of Ondine curse associated with a medullary tumor].Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 2000 Aug; 40(8):811-5.RS
A 49-year-old woman with 6 months history of body weight loss, muscle weakness, and dysarthria, was found with respiratory arrest and resuscitated in the morning of January 1999. An MRI brain scan revealed diffuse swelling and T2/FLAIR high signal intensity with mild Gadolinium enhancement in the lower pons and medulla oblongata. Although the histological diagnosis could not be obtained, glioma (astrocytoma) was suspected. In the morning of July 3rd she presented sweating and cyanosis. Her arterial oxygen saturation was 18%. When we asked her to breathe more, she kept breathing and oxygen saturation was normalized. However, she could not breathe at all when she fell asleep without stimulation. She was kept under respiratory support for 2 months. Her symptoms improved with fluctuating course after 70 Gy of radiation therapy. Ondine curse is one type of sleep apnea syndrome, defined as the selective disturbance of autonomous breathing. Surgical operation and stroke are the reported causes of this syndrome. Brainstem tumor is relatively common cause for children's Ondine curse. On the other hand, it rarely causes adult's Ondine curse as a main symptom.