Sleep disturbances associated with periodic leg movements in chronic sarcoidosis

J A. Verbraecken*, E. Hoitsma, C.P.M. van der Grinten, N.A.M. Cobben, E.F.M. Wouters, M. Drent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and aim of the work: Many sarcoidosis patients suffer from fatigue and sleep disturbances. Recently, it was demonstrated that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is rather common in sarcoidosis. Moreover, sheet intolerance and painful legs are frequently reported in sarcoidosis patients. These symptoms might interfere with sleep quality. Methods: In order to determine the relationship between objective and subjective sleep disturbance full polysomnography, including leg EMG analysis, was performed in 46 chronic sarcoidosis patients indicating awakening unrefreshed in the morning. Results: In 20 (44%) patients OSA activity [60% with PLM (n=12), 40% without (n = 8)] was demonstrated, while in 7 patients (15%) significant PLM without OSA were found. In 19 patients (42%) no OSA or PLM activity was present. Moreover restless legs (RLS) were reported by 52% of the patients (45% in OSA; 71% in PLM; 47% in others). Distribution of sleep stages and sleep fragmentation was comparable in all groups. In a healthy snoring control group (n = 102) a prevalence of PLM was found in 13.7% (17.8% in men; 3.4% in women), while RLS were only reported by 1.4% (men) and 6.9% (women). Conclusions: Sleep disturbance (OSA and/or PLM) and RLS were demonstrated in more than half of the studied sarcoidosis patients. A high prevalence of RLS or PLM (primary and secondary) has not been reported before in sarcoidosis. Further studies are needed to establish whether RLS, OSA and/or PLM might contribute to fatigue and whether fatigue complaints improve after treatment of RLS/PLM/OSA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-146
JournalSarcoidosis Vasculitis and Diffuse Lung Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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