Acta oto-laryngologica 2017 04 11() 1-8 doi 10.1080/00016489.2017.1312016
Children with Down syndrome (DS) are liable to develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) due to many anatomical airway abnormalities. The tonsils and adenoid occupy part of the airway space, and their removal may be helpful in relieving airway obstruction. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of adenotonsillectomy in the treatment of OSA in those children.
Fifty DS children with difficult breathing were recruited, and they were subjected to polysomnographic examination (PSG). Patients with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) > 1 were considered to have OSA. Adenotonsillectomy was performed for patients who had OSA and adenotonsillar hypertrophy, and after 3 months PSG was done for them with recording of the same preoperative parameters.
Forty-three children demonstrated OSA on PSG, and they were included in the study. The preoperative mean AHI was 9.18 (± 6.17) that improved postoperatively to 2.72 (± 3.80) with its normalization in 72% of patients. Also, significant improvement of arousal index, minimum oxygen saturation, desaturation index, and peak end-tidal CO2 was achieved postoperatively.
Adenotonsillectomy is an effective method for the treatment of OSA in children with DS. However, the condition may persist in some children who usually have airway narrowing at multiple levels.