Paroxysmal epileptic laryngospasms: Frequent nightly awakenings

Rocco J. Cannistraro, Erik H. Middlebrooks, Benjamin H. Brinkmann, Anteneh M. Feyissa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 19-year-old right-handed man presented with a 3-year history of nocturnal throat constriction with drooling and discomfort. Initially, episodes were exclusively during sleep, 6-7 times per night, but evolved to include infrequent episodes while awake. He was evaluated on several occasions by gastroenterology, and esophageal manometry, nocturnal pH-metry, and esophagogastroduodenoscopy were performed. All tests were unrevealing, except for an esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction. He was prescribed omeprazole, but had no improvement in symptoms. Overnight polysomnography was performed and showed that his events arose out of stage II sleep and resulted in obstructive apnea. Over the ensuing years, he was evaluated by multiple otolaryngologists and allergists with multiple tests including video fiber optic laryngoscopy, all of which were unrevealing. Relaxation and breathing techniques were recommended for episodic laryngospasm by otolaryngologists, but failed to improve symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E46-E48
JournalNeurology: Clinical Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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