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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2010 Dec;21(8):1095-106. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.01012.x.

Non-surgical treatment of adenoidal hypertrophy: the role of treating IgE-mediated inflammation.

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Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital, London, UK.


Adenoidal hypertrophy (AH) and adenotonsillar hypertrophy are common disorders in the pediatric population and can cause symptoms such as mouth breathing, nasal congestion, hyponasal speech, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), as well as chronic sinusitis and recurrent otitis media. More serious long-term sequelae, typically secondary to OSA, include neurocognitive abnormalities (e.g. behavioral and learning difficulties, poor attention span, hyperactivity, below average intelligence quotient); cardiovascular morbidity (e.g. decreased right ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular hypertrophy, elevated diastolic blood pressure); and growth failure. Adenoidectomy (with tonsillectomy in cases of adenotonsillar hypertrophy) is the typical management strategy for patients with AH. Potential complications have prompted the investigation of non-surgical alternatives. Evidence of a pathophysiologic link between AH and allergy suggests a possible role for intranasal corticosteroids (INS) in the management of patients with AH. This article reviews the epidemiology and pathophysiology of AH with a particular focus on evidence of its association with allergy and allergic rhinitis. Current treatment options are briefly considered with discussion on the rationale and evidence for the use of INS.

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