Type I Chiari malformation presenting central sleep apnea.Auris Nasus Larynx. 2014 Apr; 41(2):222-4.AN
Sleep apnea is a rare but a well-known clinical feature of type I Chiari malformation. It may be obstructive or central in nature. Sleep apnea in patients with type I Chiari malformation rarely presents without accompanying neurological signs or symptoms. We here report a case of a 10-year-old girl who presented with central sleep apnea without any other neurological signs but was ultimately diagnosed with type I Chiari malformation. The patient initially showed mild improvement in symptoms after administration of an acetazolamide. Finally, posterior fossa decompression dramatically improved her respiratory status during sleep, both clinically and on polysomnography. This case suggests that type I Chiari malformation should be considered in the differential diagnoses of central apneas in children, even if there are no other neurological signs and symptoms. Furthermore, sagittal craniocervical magnetic resonance imaging may be necessary for a definitive diagnosis.