Obstructive sleep apnea in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease

L. J. Epstein, P. J. Strollo, R. B. Donegan, J. Delmar, C. Hendrix, P. R. Westbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Adenotonsillar hypertrophy has been identified as an early manifestation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. Three patients with HIV disease were identified with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) due to adenotonsillar hypertrophy. In order to examine the relationship between HIV- induced adenotonsillar hypertrophy and OSA, 134 patients with asymptomatic HIV disease were screened with a self-administered sleep survey designed to detect OSA and excessive daytime somnolence. Patients meeting trigger score criteria were studied with overnight polysomnography and nine additional patients were identified with OSA. The only consistent risk factor for OSA in this young and primarily nonobese population was the presence of adenotonsillar hypertrophy, found in 11 of 12 patients with OSA. Three patients had tonsillar biopsy or tonsillectomy and all displayed benign follicular lymphoid hyperplasia. Scores on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were significantly higher for patients with OSA, indicating a greater degree of hypersomnolence (mean ESS scores: OSA+ = 11.4 ± 3.6, OSA- = 7.8 ± 4.6, p = 0.012). In our population, patients with HIV disease had a prevalence of OSA of 7%. HIV-induced adenotonsillar hypertrophy is a risk factor for the development of OSA. HIV patients with complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness and snoring who are found to have adenotonsillar hypertrophy on exam should undergo a sleep evaluation to rule out the presence of OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Daytime somnolence
  • HIV
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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