To systematically review the current literature for articles describing the effect of myofunctional therapy on pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and to perform a meta-analysis on the sleep study data.
Three authors (A.B., K.K. and M.C.) independently searched from inception through April 20, 2020 in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Embase, Google Scholar and The Cochrane Library. Mean difference (MD), standard deviations and 95% confidence intervals were combined in the meta-analysis for apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), mean oxygen saturations, and lowest oxygen saturations (nadir O2).
10 studies with 241 patients met study criteria and were further analyzed. The AHI reduced from 4.32 (5.2) to 2.48 (4.0) events/hr, a 43% reduction. Random effects modeling demonstrated a mean difference in AHI of -1.54 (95% CI -2.24,-0.85)/hr, z-score is 4.36 (p < 0.0001). Mean oxygen saturation increased by 0.37 (95% CI 0.06,0.69) percent, z-score is 2.32 (p = 0.02). There was no significant increase in nadir O2.
Despite heterogeneity in exercises, myofunctional therapy decreased AHI by 43% in children, and increased mean oxygen saturations in children with mild to moderate OSA and can serve as an adjunct OSA treatment.
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