Update on pathophysiology and treatment of childhood obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2017 Sep;24:21-23. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2017.06.003. Epub 2017 Jun 12.


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is common in childhood and is characterized by recurrent upper airway obstructive events during sleep that produce significant neurocognitive and cardiovascular sequelae. The pathophysiology of childhood OSAS is complex and involves mechanical airway obstruction often secondary to adenotonsillar hypertrophy. However, neuromotor abnormalities and instability of central ventilatory control are also implicated. Several surgical and non-surgical treatment options for childhood OSAS are available, and will be discussed. Some of these include adenotonsillectomy, lingual tonsillectomy, supraglottoplasty, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), rapid maxillary expansion, oral appliance therapy, anti-inflammatory treatments, and supplemental oxygen.

Keywords: Obstructive sleep apnea; Sleep.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy / methods*
  • Child
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Glottis / surgery
  • Humans
  • Mandibular Advancement / instrumentation
  • Mandibular Advancement / methods*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / methods*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*