Treatment of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea with adenotonsillectomy improves behavior and quality of life:
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jan 17 - Children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at increased risk for behavioral and emotional difficulties, but tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy can improve both these problems as well as quality of life, new research shows.
The findings are based on a study of 42 children with OSA who underwent tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy and 41 control children with no snoring who underwent unrelated elective surgery. Behavioral and quality of life measures were assessed before and 3 months after surgery.
Dr. Nira A. Goldstein and colleagues, from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York, report their findings in the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
As noted, baseline behavioral scores were worse for children in the OSA group than for controls. However, following surgery, the former group experienced a significant improvement in scores (p = 0.009) compared with the latter group, whose scores tended to deteriorate.
Moreover, quality of life scores, both overall and in individual domains, improved significantly in OSA patients compared with controls.
"This study provides further evidence that behavioral and emotional problems are present in children with OSA and improve after treatment," Dr. Goldstein's team notes. "Additional work is needed to define the precise spectrum of behavioral abnormalities, to elucidate their pathophysiologic mechanism, and to provide diagnostic clues to facilitate their early recognition."
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005;131:52-57.