A neurological cause of recurrent choking during sleep
We describe a case of nocturnal choking episodes caused by insular seizures. Recurrent choking spells from sleep showed no response to treatment for sleep apnea or gastroesophageal reflux. Laryngoscopy revealed no abnormalities. Although continuous EEG monitoring during events was normal, ictal SPECT imaging showed increased radiotracer uptake in the left insular region, an area involved in sensation of the upper gastrointestinal tract. The episodes remitted after initiation of an antiepileptic drug. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common cause for presentation to a sleep center, but seizures should remain in the differential diagnosis of nocturnal choking episodes.
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Davis, Kathryn A.; Cantor, Charles; Maus, Douglas; and Herman, Susan T., "A neurological cause of recurrent choking during sleep" (2008). Neurology Articles. 558.