Adenotonsillectomy outcomes in children with sleep apnea and narcolepsy

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Sep;100:62-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2017.06.018. Epub 2017 Jun 16.


Objective: To identify improvements in daytime sleepiness following adenotonsillectomy in children with non-severe obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Study design: Case series with chart review over 15 years.

Setting: Tertiary Children's Hospital.

Subjects and methods: Children between 6 and 17 years of age with narcolepsy that underwent adenotonsillectomy for non-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were included. Narcolepsy was diagnosed based on clinical assessment and the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) results. A standardized instrument, the pediatric Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), was used to assess daytime sleepiness before and after adenotonsillectomy.

Results: Nine children with a mean age of 12.1 years were included. The majority of the subjects (78%, n = 7) were African American and six children (66.7%) were obese. Four children (44%) were treated with wake promoting agents during the study. The mean preoperative apnea hypopnea index on polysomnography was 4.89 (SD 1.86), while the mean sleep latency on MSLT was 6.32 min (SD 3.14). The mean preoperative ESS was 16.10 and the postoperative ESS was 10.80 (SD 3.96). There was significant improvement (p = 0.02) in the ESS following adenotonsillectomy with seven children (78%) reporting diminished daytime sleepiness.

Conclusions: Children with non-severe OSA and narcolepsy experience significant improvement in daytime sleepiness following adenotonsillectomy. Future studies are needed to determine the incidence and clinical significance of non-severe OSA in children with narcolepsy.

Keywords: Adenotonsillectomy; Daytime sleepiness; Narcolepsy; Obstructive sleep apnea; Polysomnogram.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Narcolepsy / complications
  • Narcolepsy / surgery*
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Tonsillectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome