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Tohoku J Exp Med. 2000 Nov;192(3):165-72.

Long-term follow-up of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome following surgery in children and adults.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is characterized by recurrent apneas during sleep, resulting in repetitive hypoxemia. The present study retrospectively analyzed subjective and objective assessments of the patients with OSAS in a relatively long-term follow-up. From February 1986 to August 1996, 53 patients received surgical treatment for OSAS and snoring. Thirty-seven (27 males and 10 females) out of 53 patients completed the questionnaire and postoperative sleep study was obtained in 6 patients. In 20 children (<15 years), snoring, sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness completely disappeared in 12, 19, and 16, and improved in 8, 1, and 4, respectively. These findings confirm that tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy in children may be the first selection for treatment. In 17 adults, snoring, sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness completely disappeared in 2, 5, and 8, improved in 11, 8, and 7, and was unchanged in 4, 4, and 1, respectively. The apnea index in adults was significantly decreased in both early and late postoperative periods. These results suggest that surgery is a satisfactory alternative for adult patients if performed accurate preoperative diagnosis of the localization of the airway collapse and careful long-term follow-up.

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