Developmental disorders affecting the respiratory system: CCHS and ROHHAD

Isabella Ceccherini, Kyle C. Kurek, Debra E. Weese-Mayer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Rapid-onset Obesity with Hypothalamic dysfunction, Hypoventilation, and Autonomic Dysregulation (ROHHAD) and Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS) are ultra-rare distinct clinical disorders with overlapping symptoms including altered respiratory control and autonomic regulation. Although both disorders have been considered for decades to be on the same spectrum with necessity of artificial ventilation as life-support, recent acquisition of specific knowledge concerning the genetic basis of CCHS coupled with an elusive etiology for ROHHAD have definitely established that the two disorders are different. CCHS is an autosomal dominant neurocristopathy characterized by alveolar hypoventilation resulting in hypoxemia/hypercarbia and features of autonomic nervous system dysregulation (ANSD), with presentation typically in the newborn period. It is caused by paired-like homeobox 2B (PHOX2B) variants, with known genotype–phenotype correlation but pathogenic mechanism(s) are yet unknown. ROHHAD is characterized by rapid weight gain, followed by hypothalamic dysfunction, then hypoventilation followed by ANSD, in seemingly normal children ages 1.5–7 years. Postmortem neuroanatomical studies, thorough clinical characterization, pathophysiological assessment, and extensive genetic inquiry have failed to identify a cause attributable to a traditional genetic basis, somatic mosaicism, epigenetic mechanism, environmental trigger, or other. To find the key to the ROHHAD pathogenesis and to improve its clinical management, in the present chapter, we have carefully compared CCHS and ROHHAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages39
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Autonomic nervous system dysregulation (ANSD)
  • Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS)
  • Control of breathing
  • Hirschsprung disease
  • Later-onset CCHS (LO-CCHS)
  • Neural crest tumor (neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma, ganglioneuroblastoma)
  • Neurocristopathy
  • Rapid-onset Obesity with Hypothalamic dysfunction, Hypoventilation, and Autonomic Dysregulation (ROHHAD)
  • Ventilator dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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