• A systematic review of the 19th-century literature related [ill]sleep disorders revealed that patients with obstructive [ill]ep apnea were vividly described in the second half of the [ill]tury. Also, there were documented observations on the [ill]tage between airway obstructions and noisy snoring, noc[ill]nal insomnia, and excessive somnolence. The coining of [ill] term "pickwickian" to describe an obese somnolent pa[ill]t was made in 1889 during a clinical presentation of a [ill]ient with sleep apnea. Respiratory failure in sleep because "failure of the chest and diaphragmatic movements" was [ill]ned as a specific sleep disorder by Silas Weir Mitchell in [ill]0. The two main reasons for overlooking the sleep apnea [ill]drome for so long have been misdiagnosis of patients with [ill]ep apnea as having narcolepsy and skepticism regarding [ill] validity of excessive somnolence as a clinical sign.
Arch Intern Med 1984;144:2025-2028)