Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is one of the most common causes of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in children. It is associated with significant morbidity, potentially impacting on long-term neurocognitive and behavioural development, as well as cardiovascular outcomes and metabolic homeostasis. The low grade systemic inflammation and increased oxidative stress seen in this condition are believed to underpin the development of these OSA-related morbidities. The significant variance in degree of end organ morbidity in patients with the same severity of OSA highlights the importance of the interplay of genetic and environmental factors in determining the overall OSA phenotype. This review seeks to summarize the current understanding of the aetiology and mechanisms underlying OSA, its risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.
Keywords: Paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea (paediatric OSA); sleep-disordered breathing in childhood (SDB in childhood).