Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in children

  • Ahn Y
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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children is a frequent disease for which optimal diagnostic methods are still being defined. Treatment of OSA in children should include providing space, improving craniofacial growth, resolving all symptoms, and preventing the development of the disease in the adult years. Adenotonsillectomy (T&A) has been the treatment of choice and thought to solve young patient's OSA problem, which is not the case for most adults. Recent reports showed success rates that vary from 27.2% to 82.9%. Children snoring regularly generally have a narrow maxilla compared to children who do not snore. The impairment of nasal breathing with increased nasal resistance has a well-documented negative impact on early childhood maxilla-mandibular development, making the upper airway smaller and might lead to adult OSA. Surgery in young children should be performed as early as possible to prevent the resulting morphologic changes and neurobehavioral, cardiovascular, endocrine, and metabolic complications. Close postoperative follow-up to monitor for residual disease is equally important. As the proportion of obese children has been increasing recently, parents should be informed about the weight gain after T&A. Multidisciplinary evaluation of the anatomic abnormalities in children with OSA leads to better overall treatment outcome.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adenotonsillectomy
  • Child
  • Maxilla-mandibular development
  • Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

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  • Young Min Ahn

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