Carotid body tumors are not associated with an increased risk for sleep-disordered breathing

L.T. van Hulsteijn*, N. Duinen, M.K. Ninaber, J.A. Romijn, J G. van Dijk, K.W. van Kralingen, B. Havekes, L. Smid, G.J. Lammers, J.C.G.M. Jansen, J.W. Smit, R.D. Thijs, E.P. Corssmit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: Tumors in the carotid bodies may interfere with their function as peripheral chemoreceptors. An altered control of ventilation may predispose to sleep-disordered breathing. This study aimed to assess whether patients with unilateral or bilateral carotid body tumors (uCBT or bCBT, respectively) or bilateral CBT resection (bCBR) display sleep-disordered breathing and to evaluate the global contribution of the peripheral chemoreceptor to the hypercapnic ventilatory response. METHODS: Eight uCBT, eight bCBT, and nine bCBR patients and matched controls underwent polysomnography. The peripheral chemoreflex drive was assessed using euoxic and hyperoxic CO2 rebreathing tests. Daytime sleepiness and fatigue were assessed with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Multidimensional Fatigue Index. RESULTS: All patient groups reported significant fatigue-related complaints, but no differences in excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) were found. The apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) did not differ significantly between patient groups and controls. Only in bCBT patients, a trend towards a higher AHI was observed, but this did not reach significance (p = 0.06). No differences in the peripheral chemoreflex drive were found between patients and controls. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with (resection of) CBTs have more complaints of fatigue but are not at risk for EDS. The presence or resection of CBTs is neither associated with an altered peripheral chemoreflex drive nor with sleep-disordered breathing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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