Cerebral hypoventilation syndrome

Cerebral hypoventilation syndrome refers to a congenital condition characterised by hypoventilation during sleep with no other abnormalities of cardio-respiratory system. There is a decrease in the depth of breathing .

It is also known as Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) or Ondine’s curse.

This condition has an association with Hirschsprung's disease (especially total colonic ganglionosis) with equal incidence in both sexes.

Approximately 50% of CCHS patients are known to have Hirschsprung’s disease and ~20% those patients will also have neuroblastoma or ganglioneuroma, usually multiple with associated abnormalities of the eye and autonomic nervous system 1.The aganglionosis is severe and is seen to extend into the small bowel.

Other associated features:

The respiratory symptom is detected on the first day of birth with the patient quickly given ventilatory support while the Hirshsprung's disease is confirmed through barium studies and rectal biopsy.

Ondine’s curse, named after a figure from Germanic mythology 4,6.  

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Article information

rID: 28605
System: Paediatrics
Section: Syndromes
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ondine's curse
  • Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome
  • Central sleep apnoea
  • Central sleep apnea
  • Ondine curse

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