Obstructive sleep apnoea in children –a neglected entity

Biniyam K., Amulya M. Thotambailu, Shrinath Kamath


Background: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is a spectrum which includes primary snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, obstructive hypoventilation and obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep disordered breathing  (SDB) is characterized by snoring, witnessed apnoea, frequent arousal, mouth breathing, restless sleep, irritability, recurrent upper respiratory tract infections etc.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study which included 20 children who presented to the otorhinolaryngology, pulmonary medicine, paediatric, oral and maxillofacial department were included in the study with clinical symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea.  

Results: 20 children, 13 (65%) males and 7 (35%) females were included. Snoring was the most common complaint.15 (75%) were obese, 5 had adenotonsillar hypertrophy(25%) as the risk factor for OSA. 15 out of the 20 children were graded under mallampati class 1(75%), 4  class 2(20%), 1under class 3(5%). There was no significant association in severity of OSA between 2 genders (p=0.82). Positive correlation (r=0.52) was found between AHI and BMI and is found to be statistically significant (p=0.02), which suggests that degree of obesity does predict the severity of OSA.

Conclusions: Obesity is the most significant risk factor among them followed by adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Hence children who snore should undergo polysomnography and necessary corrective measures should be prescribed.


Paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea, Sleep disordered breathing

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