Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome in children

Anaesthesia. 1998 Jun;53(6):571-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2044.1998.00370.x.


Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome in children is a complex disorder characterised by repeated nocturnal episodes of increased upper airway resistive load. It is most commonly associated with adenotonsillar hypertrophy and more children are now presenting for adenotonsillectomy. These children may pose different anaesthetic problems to those having surgery for recurrent infection alone and anaesthetic morbidity and mortality has been reported. In addition, due to the varied symptomatology of the condition, children with unrecognised obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome may present for incidental surgery. This is of importance as patients with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome may experience additional peri-operative morbidity when undergoing incidental surgery. This article aims to review the aetiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation and anaesthetic management of children with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoidectomy
  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Perioperative Care / methods
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / etiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / surgery*
  • Tonsillectomy