A rare disorder where deficiency of the enzyme pseudocholinesterase results in prolonged apnea when succinylcholine (muscle relaxant used during surgery) is administered.
The most important diagnostic test is an all-night polygraphic recording (polysomnography). This will differentiate between obstructive and nonobstructive sleep apnea. If obstructive sleep apnea is suspected, a referral should be made to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. If there are abnormalities on the neurologic examination, a neurologic consultation should be sought. If idiopathic nonobstructive sleep apnea is suspected, the patient should be referred to a pulmonologist. A therapeutic trial of continuous positive airway pressure may be done. Some cases should have evaluation for a pituitary tumor, a thyroid profile, and a trial of tricyclic drugs and progesterone.