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Review
. 2017 Aug;274(8):2981-2990.
doi: 10.1007/s00405-017-4545-4. Epub 2017 Apr 4.

Tongue Surgeries for Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Review

Tongue Surgeries for Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Macario Camacho et al. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. .

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the international literature for studies reporting outcomes for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children undergoing isolated tongue surgeries.

Methods: Two authors searched from inception through November 14, 2016 in four databases including PubMed/MEDLINE.

Results: 351 studies were screened. Eleven studies (116 children) met criteria. Most children were syndromic and had craniofacial disorders, co-morbidities, or other serious medical issues. Surgeries included base-of-tongue (BOT) reduction (n = 114), tongue suspension (n = 1), and hypoglossal nerve stimulation (n = 1). The pre- and post-BOT reduction surgeries decreased apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) from a mean (M) and standard deviation (SD) of 16.9 ± 12.2/h to 8.7 ± 10.6/h (48.5% reduction) in 114 patients. Random effects modeling (109 patients) demonstrated a standardized mean difference for AHI of -0.78 (large magnitude of effect) [95% CI -1.06, -0.51], p value <0.00001. For BOT surgery in 53 non-syndromic children, the AHI decreased 59.2% from 14.0 ± 11.4 to 5.7 ± 6.7/h, while in 55 syndromic children, the AHI decreased 40.0% from 20.5 ± 19.1 to 12.3 ± 18.2/h. BOT reduction improved lowest oxygen saturation from M ± SD of 84.7 ± 7.4-87.9 ± 6.5% in 113 patients. Hypoglossal nerve stimulation and tongue-base suspension are limited to case reports.

Conclusions: Most children undergoing tongue surgeries in the literature were syndromic and had craniofacial disorders, co-morbidities, or other serious medical issues. Children with a body mass index <25 kg/m2 and non-syndromic children have had the most improvement in AHI. The specific type of surgery must be tailored to the patient. Patients with co-morbidities should undergo treatment in centers that are equipped to provide appropriate perioperative care.

Keywords: Children; Meta-analysis; Obstructive sleep apnea; Systematic review; Tongue.

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