Pediatric sleep-disordered breathing: an update on diagnostic testing

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2017 Jun;30(3):357-361. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000458.


Purpose of review: Recent advances in diagnostic testing for obstructive sleep apnea in children have refined the standard tests while identifying several new tools that hold promise to radically change how we diagnose sleep apnea.

Recent findings: Studies have demonstrated that the polysomnogram may be modified to permit home assessment of sleep disturbed breathing in children to ensure more widespread access to the test. Alternately, questionnaires, nocturnal oximetry, and diagnostic urinary biomarkers have shown great promise as both sensitive and specific tools to diagnose sleep apnea in children as well as track the severity of the disease.

Summary: The gold standard polysomnogram has been refined to permit its application in a modified form at home and for brief examinations in children. This standard has been challenged on several fronts, including questionnaires, nocturnal oximetry, drug-induced sleep endoscopy, and noninvasive urinary biomarkers that may ultimately supplant polysomnography as the gold standard to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Child
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Nocturnal Enuresis / etiology
  • Oximetry / methods
  • Polysomnography / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Respiration*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tonsillectomy


  • Biomarkers