Endothelial function in children with OSA and the effects of adenotonsillectomy

Chest. 2015 Jan;147(1):132-139. doi: 10.1378/chest.14-1307.


Background: The association between childhood OSA and endothelial function as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and its response to OSA treatment are uncertain. The objective of this study was to compare FMD in children with OSA with nonsnoring control subjects and to examine its response to treatment.

Methods: Index cases were children aged 6 to 18 years with habitual snoring and polysomnography (PSG)-confirmed OSA (obstructive apnea hypopnea index [OAHI] > 1 events/h). Each case was paired with an age-, sex-, and BMI-matched nonsnoring control subject recruited from our previous community growth survey. All subjects underwent FMD measurement in the morning after overnight PSG. Adenotonsillectomy (AT) was offered to subjects who satisfied predefined AT operation criteria. All cases underwent repeat PSG and FMD assessment 6 months later.

Results: A total of 63 case-control pairs were recruited. The OSA group had a significantly higher OAHI (median, 5.3 events/h [interquartile range (IQR), 2.6-11.7] vs 0.2 events/h [IQR, 0-0.5], P < .001) and lower FMD (mean ± SD, 7.9% ± 1.3% vs 8.3% ± 0.8%; P = .04) than the control group. Thirty-two case subjects underwent AT. A significant reduction in OAHI was documented in the AT group (-8.8 events/h [IQR, -13.7 to -4.7]; P < .001) accompanied by a significant increase in FMD (+0.6% [IQR, 0.4-1.4]; P < .001), which was not observed in subjects who did not undergo AT.

Conclusions: Children with OSA had reduced FMD, which was reversible with treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy*
  • Adolescent
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery
  • Tonsillectomy*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vasodilation / physiology*