Preoperative polysomnograms and infant pulmonary function tests do not predict prolonged postoperative mechanical ventilation in children following scoliosis repair

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2004 Sep;38(3):256-60. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20021.


Our objective was the identification of children with scoliosis at higher risk of prolonged postoperative mechanical ventilation (MV) permits improved pre- and perioperative respiratory care to reduce postoperative complications. Pulmonary function testing (PFT) predicts prolonged postoperative MV in children who can reliably perform PFT, but some children cannot perform PFT. The objective of this study was to determine if polysomnography (PSG) or infant pulmonary function testing (IPFT) could predict prolonged postoperative MV (defined as MV >3 days) in children undergoing scoliosis surgery who could not reliably perform PFT. We studied 110 patients (age range, 10.8 +/- 4.9 [SD] years) who had preoperative PSG, and 18 patients (age range, 4.0 +/- 2.9 [SD] years) who had preoperative IPFT prior to undergoing any type of scoliosis repair by the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Division of Orthopedic Surgery from January 1990- July 2001. The following information was reviewed and correlated: preoperative PSG parameters (baseline and nadir S(aO(2) ), baseline and peak P(ETCO(2) ), and apnea hypopnea index [AHI]), preoperative IPFT parameters (respiratory system compliance [C(rs)], respiratory system resistance [R(rs)], tidal volume [V(T)], and FRC), and length of postoperative MV. Twenty-seven patients (25%) who had PSG and 5 patients (28%) who had IPFT required postoperative MV >3 days. There was no association between baseline and nadir S(aO(2) ) <or= 92%, baseline and peak P(ETCO(2) ), or AHI, and length of postoperative MV. There was no association between IPFT (C(rs), R(rs), V(T), and FRC) and length of postoperative MV. We conclude that neither PSG nor IPFT can predict the need for prolonged postoperative MV following scoliosis surgery in children who could not reliably perform PFT.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Polysomnography*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Respiration, Artificial*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scoliosis / surgery*