Respiratory-related leg movements and their relationship with periodic leg movements during sleep

Manconi, Mauro; Zavalko, I.; Bassetti, Claudio; Colamartino, E.; Pons, M.; Ferri, R. (2014). Respiratory-related leg movements and their relationship with periodic leg movements during sleep. Sleep, 37(3), pp. 497-504. American Academy of Sleep Medicine 10.5665/sleep.3484

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STUDY OBJECTIVES: To describe the time structure of leg movements (LM) in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome, in order to advance understanding of their clinical significance. LOCATION: Sleep Research Centre, Oasi Institute (IRCCS), Troina, Italy. SETTING: Sleep laboratory. PATIENTS: Eighty-four patients (16 females, 68 males, mean age 55.1 y, range 29-74 y). METHODS: Respiratory-related leg movements (RRLM) and those unrelated to respiratory events (NRLM) were examined within diagnostic polysomnograms alone and together for their distributions within the sleep period and for their periodicity. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Patients with OSA and RRLM exhibited more periodic leg movements in sleep (PLMS), particularly in NREM sleep. A gradual decrease in number of NRLM across the sleep period was observed in patients with RRLM. This pattern was less clear for RRLM. Frequency histograms of intermovement intervals of all LMs in patients with RRLM showed a prominent first peak at 4 sec, and a second peak at approximately 24 sec coincident with that of PLMS occurring in the absence of OSA. A third peak of lowest amplitude was the broadest with a maximum at approximately 42 sec. In patients lacking RRLM, NRLM were evident with a single peak at 2-4 sec. A stepwise linear regression analysis showed that, after controlling for a diagnosis of restless legs syndrome and apnea-hypopnea index, PLMS remained significantly associated with RRLM. CONCLUSION: The time structure of leg movements occurring in conjunction with respiratory events exhibit features of periodic leg movements in sleep occurring alone, only with a different and longer period. This brings into question the validity, both biologic and clinical, of scoring conventions with their a priori exclusion from consideration as periodic leg movements in sleep.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Manconi, Mauro, Bassetti, Claudio L.A.


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Academy of Sleep Medicine




Valentina Rossetti

Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2014 16:08

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Notes: Manconi, Mauro
Zavalko, Irina
Bassetti, Claudio L
Colamartino, Elisabetta
Pons, Marco
Ferri, Raffaele
Sleep. 2014 Mar 1;37(3):497-504. doi: 10.5665/sleep.3484.
Custom 2: 3920315
Edition: 2014/03/04
Date: Mar
Type of Work: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't




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