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Sleep Breath. 2014 Sep;18(3):533-9. doi: 10.1007/s11325-013-0915-3. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Adenotonsillectomy and orthodontic therapy in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea.

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Neuroscience, Mental Health and Sense Organs Department, Pediatric Sleep Disorder Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, "La Sapienza" University, Rome, Italy,



Rapid maxillary expansion (RME) is an additional treatment in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The aim of this study was to present data about the outcome of adenotonsillectomy (AT) and of RME in a clinical sample of pediatric OSA.


We consecutively enrolled children with OSA to undergo RME or AT. The age and the severity of OSA are the main factors involved in the choice of treatment. A polysomnography was performed at the baseline (i.e., before treatment, T0) and 1 year after treatment (T1).


A total of 52 subjects fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Twenty-five children underwent AT (group 1) and 22 children underwent RME (group 2). Five children underwent both treatments (group 3). Children in group 2 were older, had a longer disease duration, a higher body mass index (BMI), a lower apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), and a lower arousal index at T0 than children in group 1. After 1 year, BMI percentile and overnight mean saturation increased in group 1 while AHI and arousal index decreased. In group 2, mean overnight saturation increased while AHI decreased. Children in group 3 displayed a significant decrease in AHI from T0 to T1.


Our data demonstrate that both treatments help to improve OSA, and a multidisciplinary approach to treatment is suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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