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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2005 Sep;40(3):205-10.

Endoscopic findings in children with obstructive sleep apnea: effects of age and hypotonia.

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Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome is a common disorder among children and is often associated with significant morbidity. The causes of OSA are related to either fixed upper airway abnormalities such as adenotonsillar hypertrophy, or dynamic airway abnormalities such as laryngomalacia and pharyngeal wall collapse. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of dynamic upper airway abnormalities, based on endoscopic findings, in normotonic and hypotonic children with polysomnographically documented OSA. The records of 39 consecutive children with OSA who underwent bronchoscopy (22 with normal tone, and 17 with hypotonia) were reviewed. The prevalence of dynamic defects among children with normal tone decreased with age. All 7 patients less than 1 year old had dynamic abnormalities (isolated or combined fixed/dynamic), compared to only 66% (6/9) of patients between 1-2 years old, and 17% (1/6) of children more than 2 years old. In contrast, dynamic abnormalities were very common among hypotonic children, independent of age. Since children with dynamic defects are less likely to respond to surgical treatments, it would be appropriate to identify these children prior to any intervention. Due to the higher frequency of dynamic defects in both infants (< 1 year) and hypotonic children, it may be appropriate to include endoscopy as part of the diagnostic evaluation of OSA in these subgroups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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