Primary central sleep apnoea of infancy is caused by the immature central nervous system, which is unable to keep up with the physiological demands of sleep. This results in a temporary cessation of breathing during sleep.
Primary central sleep apnoea of infancy is usually diagnosed by a doctor performing an overnight sleep study. This will measure the amount of oxygen in the blood, as well as the number of apnoeic episodes during the night.
Other causes of infant sleep apnoea, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, need to be ruled out before diagnosing primary central sleep apnoea of infancy.
Treatment for primary central sleep apnoea of infancy includes providing additional oxygen, using a continuous positive airway pressure device, and/or providing additional positive airway pressure during sleep.
The prognosis for primary central sleep apnoea of infancy is generally good, as the condition is usually resolved by the time the infant is 1 year old. However, if the condition is not treated, it can lead to further health complications.