Sleep Apnea Syndrome after Posterior Fossa Surgery: A Case of Acquired Ondine's Curse

Document Type : Case Report


1 Department of Neurosurgery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Anesthesiology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Ondine’s Curse is a catastrophic but rare condition in adults. It is referred to as a congenital or acquired condition, in which the patient cannot breathe automatically while asleep. Acquired causes of this disease can be any cause affecting the ventrolateral part of the medulla, which is considered to be the breathing center in humans. 
Case Report:  
A 51-year-old woman, with ataxia and the symptoms and signs of rising Intra-Cranial Pressure, who underwent ventriculoperitoneal shunting and removal of tumour, developed episodic apnea during sleep after surgery and hypercapnia when awake. In her post-operative CT scan, some fine spots of hypodensity in the left lateral part of the medulla were observed. She was managed pharmacologically and underwent tracheotomy. After 50 days, she was discharged from the hospital when she was able to breathe normally.
Having experience with this condition after resection of a fourth ventricle tumor, it was found that Ondine’s Curse can be considered as one of the complications of  posterior fossa surgery and is curable by proper management.


Main Subjects

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