Resolution of syncope with treatment of sleep apnea

Floyd B. Willis, Amber L. Isley, Yonas E. Geda, Luther Quarles IV, Paul A. Fredrickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Sleep apnea is a common disorder associated with obesity and related health problems. Although treatment of sleep apnea may relieve some autonomic symptoms, it is currently unknown whether treatment of sleep apnea is specifically associated with the resolution of orthostatism and syncope. Herein we describe a 73-year-old man who had recurrent episodes of syncope. An extensive work-up, including cardiac and neurologic consultations, failed to identify the cause. An objective sleep evaluation led to the diagnosis of sleep apnea. Accordingly, the patient was treated with continuous positive airway pressure, which resolved the syncopal episodes. This case report generates a potentially important hypothesis that recurrent syncope may be effectively treated, in part, by correcting apnea. In patients with recurrent syncope of unknown etiology, a diagnosis of sleep apnea should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-468
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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