Adenotonsilectomy improves enuresis in children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2006 Aug;70(8):1351-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2006.01.011. Epub 2006 Feb 28.


Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of nocturnal enuresis (NE) in children diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and the effect of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy on enuresis.

Design, setting, and participants: All children 4-18 years of age who underwent polysomnography (PSG) between January 2003 and May 2004 were included (n=161). The evaluation was based on a retrospective review of a standard sleep questionnaire and a full overnight PSG, followed by an additional structured telephone questionnaire performed 9 months after adenotonsillectomy (T&A) (range 5-14).

Results: We identified 144 (89%) children with an apnea hypopnea index >1. Of these 144 children, 42 [29.2% (95% CI, 21.8-36.6)] were reported to have enuresis, 27 of these 42 underwent T&A. Among the 27 enuretic children who had undergone adenotonsillectomy, 74.1% had 3 or more wet nights per week before the procedure compared to 37%, 1 month after [n=27 (chi2=3.308, McNemar pv<0.0001)]. Of the 27 children who underwent adenotonsillectomy, any decrease in enuresis severity was reported by 70.4% (95% CI 53.2-87.62), while in 56% of these 27 (95% CI 41.96-70.06) it occurred 1 month postoperatively. In 11/27 children (41%), enuresis totally disappeared within 1 month, while in 3/27 (11%) enuresis disappeared throughout the remaining time of follow-up.

Conclusions: Obstructive sleep apnea in children is frequently associated with nocturnal enuresis. Adenotonsillectomy has a favorable therapeutic effect on enuresis in children with obstructive sleep apnea presenting this symptom.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enuresis / complications
  • Enuresis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysomnography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tonsillectomy*