Treatment outcomes of adenotonsillectomy for children with obstructive sleep apnea: a prospective longitudinal study

Sleep. 2014 Jan 1;37(1):71-6. doi: 10.5665/sleep.3310.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of adenotonsillectomy (AT) in the treatment of children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in a 3-y prospective, longitudinal study with analysis of risk factors of recurrence of OSA.

Study design: An investigation of children (6 to 12 y old) with OSA documented at entry and followed posttreatment at 6, 12, 24, and 36 mo with examination, questionnaires, and polysomnography. Multivariate generalized linear modeling and hierarchical linear models analysis were used to determine contributors to suboptimal long-term resolution of OSA, and Generalized Linear Models were used for analysis of risk factors of recurrence.

Results: Of the 135 children, 88 terminated the study at 36 months post-AT. These 88 children (boys = 72, mean age = 8.9 ± 2.7 yersus boys 8.9 ± 2.04 y, girls: 8.8 ± 2.07 y; body mass index [BMI] = 19.5 ± 4.6 kg/m(2)) had a preoperative mean apnea-hypopnea index (AHI0) of 13.54 ± 7.23 and a mean postoperative AHI at 6 mo (AHI6) of 3.47 ± 8.41 events/h (with AHI6 > 1 = 53.4% of 88 children). A progressive increase in AHI was noted with a mean AHI36 = 6.48 ± 5.57 events/h and AHI36 > 1 = 68% of the studied group. Change in AHI was associated with changes in the OSA-18 questionnaire. The residual pediatric OSA after AT was significantly associated with BMI, AHI, enuresis, and allergic rhinitis before surgery. From 6 to 36 mo after AT, recurrence of pediatric OSA was significantly associated with enuresis, age (for the 24- to 36-mo period), postsurgery AHI6 (severity), and the rate of change in BMI and body weight.

Conclusions: Adenotonsillectomy leads to significant improvement in apnea-hypopnea index, though generally with incomplete resolution, but a worsening over time was observed in 68% of our cases.

Keywords: adenotonsillectomy; comorbidity; obstructive sleep apnea; polysomnography; treatment outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Nocturnal Enuresis
  • Polysomnography
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tonsillectomy*
  • Treatment Outcome