Obstructive sleep apnea and primary snoring in children with epilepsy

J Child Neurol. 2013 Jan;28(1):77-82. doi: 10.1177/0883073812440326. Epub 2012 May 10.


Sleep-related breathing disruptions in children with epilepsy are common and can range from primary snoring to obstructive sleep apnea. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to significant morbidity. This study aimed to identify factors associated with its occurrence and severity in children with epilepsy. Children with epilepsy and sleep disruption were evaluated with polysomnography and diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or primary snoring. Statistical analyses were done to identify differences within both the groups and among the subjects in the obstructive sleep apnea group. Uncontrolled epilepsy was a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (80%) compared with primary snoring (47%, P = .02). Obstructive index increased with increasing number of antiepileptic drugs. In children with epilepsy and disturbed sleep, obstructive sleep apnea is associated with uncontrolled epilepsy and is more severe with polytherapy use. Children with uncontrolled seizures on antiepileptic polytherapy should be routinely screened for obstructive sleep apnea.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysomnography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Snoring / complications*
  • Snoring / diagnosis
  • Statistics as Topic