The impact of removing the upper airway lymphoid tissue and in particular, tonsillectomy, in adults with OSA has not been demonstrated in large populations.
To compare the severity of OSA and the prevalence of cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory co-morbidities between patients with OSA who had undergone previous tonsillectomy and those who had not.
The 19,711 participants in this study came from the European sleep apnea database (ESADA) which comprises data from unselected adult patients aged 18-80 years with a history of symptoms suggestive of OSA referred to sleep centers throughout Europe.
There were no differences between the two groups in terms of sex ratio and age (146 patients with previous tonsillectomy vs. 19565 patients without). Patients who had undergone tonsillectomy had a lower body mass index (29.3 ± 5.2 kg/m vs 32.2 ± 6.6 kg/m, p < 0.001), lower subjective sleep latency (17.1 ± 17.8 min vs 25.5 ± 30.4 min, p = 0.001), lower ODI (15.7 ± 18.3 events/hour vs 30.7 ± 26.1 events/hour, p < 0.001), and SpO<90% time during sleep (21.8 ± 47.5 min vs 52.6 ± 80.8 min, p < 0.001). OSA patients with tonsillectomy had a lower prevalence of Type II diabetes mellitus (p = 0.001), hypertension (p < 0.001) and a higher prevalence of hyperlipidemia (p < 0.001) and were less likely to be commenced on CPAP (p < 0.001).
In a large population of almost 20,000 OSA patients from across Europe, patients who had undergone tonsillectomy presented with less severe OSA at time of diagnosis, and had a lower prevalence of Type II diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular co-morbidities.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.