A Fahim, AO Johnson
Journal Issue: 
Volume 42: Issue 4: 2012



Sleep apnoea is a global health problem with significant morbidity. Obesity is a well-known risk factor for this condition, however chronic intake of opioids as a risk factor for central sleep apnoea is under-recognised. We report a case of a 47-year-old man who developed significant sleep-disordered breathing secondary to opioid use for chronic pain. A sleep study  demonstrated a picture of complex sleep apnoea with a prominent central sleep apnoea component. He had no significant improvement with conventional continuous positive airway pressure therapy. However, adaptive servo-ventilation had a dramatic effect on his symptoms and compliance. This case highlights the significant risk of central sleep apnoea with opioid use  and illustrates the importance of adaptive servo-ventilation in the management of sleep-disordered breathing secondary to impaired central respiratory drive.

Keywords Opioids, adaptive servo-ventilation, central sleep apnoea

Declaration of Interests No conflicts of interest declared.