Delayed onset sleep-related stridor due to radiation for thyroid cancer

Stuart J. McCarter, Meghna P. Mansukhani, Daniel L. Herold, Bhanu Prakash Kolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiation therapy is the mainstay of treatment for head and neck cancers with both acute and delayed complications. While obstructive sleep apnea is common in the few series of patients undergoing radiation therapy to the neck, the development of sleep-related stridor is exceedingly rare and has typically been reported in the acute treatment setting. We describe a 65-year-old female with 1 year of nocturnal groaning beginning 2 years after radiation therapy for thyroid carcinoma. Polysomnography revealed mild obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-related stridor responsive to nasal continuous positive airway pressure. Our case highlights the importance of screening patients with a history of head and neck radiation for sleep-related breathing complaints at each follow-up visit and consideration of both obstructive sleep apnea and stridor in these patients. Identification of sleep-disordered breathing in these patients may lead to timely treatment and improvement in quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2327-2329
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • radiation
  • sleep apnea
  • stridor
  • thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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