Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Obstructive sleep apnoea in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  1. Gregory Paul Stimac1 and
  2. Asefa Jejaw Mekonnen2
  1. 1 Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA
  2. 2 Sleep Medicine, Rockville Internal Medicine Group, Rockville, MD, USA
  1. Correspondence to Gregory Paul Stimac, gps34{at}


A 69-year-old Caucasian woman presented with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL; stage 1-Rai System), significant oropharyngeal lymphoid enlargement, snoring and fatigue. Overnight polysomnography revealed moderately severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which was managed successfully with oral appliance therapy with resolution of snoring and daytime fatigue. Structural abnormalities of the upper airways are known to cause OSA. Airway narrowing can result from bony structural abnormalities, nasopharyngeal growth, soft tissue redundancy, macroglossia, malignant and benign growth of the upper aero-digestive tract, and adenotonsilar enlargement. Clinicians should be encouraged to consider a diagnosis of OSA in patients with CLL when they present with symptoms of worsening fatigue.

  • cancer—see oncology
  • ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)
  • oncology
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors GPS and AJM provided substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of findings, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version to be published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.