Background: When to order an echocardiogram in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is debated. Studies evaluating the utility of pre-operative standard echocardiography are inconsistent. Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) is an additional technique that quantifies the velocity of myocardial motion to assess cardiac function. The utility of TDI in pediatric OSA remains unclear.
Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines using PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library databases. Studies of echocardiographic findings using TDI in children with polysomnogram confirmed OSA before and after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (T&A) were included. 1,423 studies were screened, and 4 studies met inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis of echocardiographic findings was performed.
Results: Data from 560 children were analyzed. Study groups included pre- and post-T&A children with OSA and non OSA controls. Pre-T&A S' wave at the tricuspid annulus (S' RV) was decreased with a mean difference of -1.04 [95% CI -1.57, -0.52, p < 0.001] and E'/A' ratio at the mitral annulus (E'/A' LV) was decreased with a mean difference of -0.74 [95% CI -0.85, -0.64, p < 0.001] when compared to controls. These variables were not statistically different when comparing post-T&A to controls.
Conclusions: TDI appears to successfully detect subclinical changes in cardiac function in children with OSA. However, echocardiography parameters of post-T&A and non OSA control children were similar. Further prospective studies stratified by OSA severity are needed with both TDI and standard echocardiography to define the utility of pre-operative cardiac imaging.
Keywords: Adenoidectomy; Echocardiography; Obstructive sleep apnea; Pre-operative cardiac imaging; Tissue Doppler imaging; Tonsillectomy.
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