Two acromegalic patients presented with the additional complaint of excessive daytime sleepiness. Subsequent sleep laboratory evaluation revealed that each patient had concurrent obstructive sleep apnea. In each patient, endoscopic examination of the upper airway revealed that on inspiration, the soft tissue of the posterior and lateral hypopharynx invaginated into the laryngeal vestibule before any posterior movement of the tongue. Neither enlargement of the tongue nor its movement in relation to respiration appeared to be the primary factors in the etiology of the upper airway obstruction. After tracheostomy, both the obstructive sleep apnea and excessive daytime sleepiness were eliminated. Our case reports indicate that the treatment and prognosis of patients with acromegaly are affected when sleep apnea is concurrently diagnosed. When a patient is suspected of being acromegalic and also complains of excessive daytime sleepiness, obtaining a thorough sleep history from the patient as well as from the bed partner is essential. If sleep apnea is then diagnosed, tracheostomy should be considered an initial and continuing part of the overall treatment plan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical