Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Pediatric Anesthesiology: Review Article

Perioperative Management of Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Schwengel, Deborah A. MD*†; Sterni, Laura M. MD; Tunkel, David E. MD*†‡; Heitmiller, Eugenie S. MD*†

Author Information
doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e3181a19e21
  • Free
  • CME Test


Management of the child known to have or is suspected of having obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) is a challenge for the anesthesiologist. Children with OSA have recurrent episodes of partial or complete airway obstruction during sleep, resulting in hypoxemia, hypercapnia, and sleep disruption, and approximately 1%-3% of all children are thought to have OSA.1–5 Children who carry the diagnosis of OSA usually have been evaluated by an otolaryngologist, pulmonologist, or sleep specialist, often in preparation for adenotonsillectomy. However, children scheduled for other types of surgical procedures may not be as thoroughly evaluated; OSA in these patients may be missed by surgeons or primary care providers.6–8

Anesthesiologists are aware of the concerns in caring for children diagnosed with OSA, and 82% of surveyed anesthesiologists reported that guidelines would assist them in caring for them.9 The American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) Task Force on Perioperative Management of Patients with OSA suggests a scoring system to estimate perioperative risk based on severity of sleep apnea, invasiveness of procedure, and postoperative opioid requirement. This task force also supports postoperative admission for children <3 yr-of-age who undergo adenotonsillectomy. However, medical evidence is lacking as to whether a monitored bed is required for some patients with OSA. Because specific guidelines are lacking regarding such patients, local institutional policies often lead to controversies among anesthesiologists, surgeons, and third-party payers regarding the need for, and level of, postoperative monitoring.10

This review will summarize what is currently known about childhood OSA, including diagnosis, treatment, and strategies for perioperative care of these patients.


OSA presents differently in young children than it does in teenagers and adults (Table 1). Adults and teenagers with OSA are often obese and have daytime somnolence; younger children may have normal weight or failure to thrive and behavior disorders such as hyperactivity, attention problems, and enuresis.11,12 Both adult and pediatric patients have an increased risk for complications during or after surgery.10

Table 1
Table 1:
Childhood Versus Adult Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Features

A history of snoring is a sensitive, though not specific, symptom that supports the diagnosis of OSA.13 Primary snorers are those who snore but have no obstructive apnea, gas exchange abnormalities, or multiple arousals on polysomnography (sleep study). Approximately 10% of children have primary snoring.14–17 Primary snoring does not seem to progress to OSA and may resolve over time,13,18,19 and although generally considered benign, it may be associated with neurobehavioral changes, such as attention disorders, mild cognitive problems, and anxious or depressive symptoms.20

OSA in children may manifest with obstructive apneas or obstructive hypoventilation (OH).21 Children with OH exhibit snoring with continuous partial upper airway obstruction during sleep, leading to paradoxical respiratory effort, hypercarbia, and hypoxemia in some.22 As many as 40% of snoring children who are referred to a sleep clinic or otolaryngologist will have OSA,1–5 and children with OSA almost always snore and have increased respiratory effort during sleep.3,23,24

Screening children for OSA is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as part of routine health maintenance. Evaluation should be pursued for children with a history of nightly snoring. Although several pediatric studies were unable to show that questionnaires differentiated those with OSA from those with primary snoring,3,5,25–29 two independent studies of Chinese children reported validated questionnaires for OSA.30,31 Direct observation of a child having apnea and labored respirations during sleep may support the diagnosis of OSA. However, parents may not be able to distinguish primary snoring from obstructive snoring; as well, obstructive episodes that occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may go unwitnessed.32 Videotapes, audiotapes with pulse oximetry, questionnaires, and daytime nap studies may be used but do not exclude OSA when negative.3,5,31,33–40 Unattended home polysomnography might prove to be a useful testing modality,41,42 but validation of these studies is needed.

The “gold standard” for making the diagnosis of OSA in children is use of overnight polysomnography. However, there are significant differences in the criteria for the performance, scoring, and interpretation of pediatric versus adult polysomnograms; for complete efficacy, it is essential that polysomnography laboratories have experience in the performance and interpretation of these studies in children.43 Use of sedatives and sleep deprivation is not recommended.44,45 If sufficient sleep and REM time are captured, a single overnight study is usually adequate.

Obstructive events in children with OSA occur primarily during REM sleep,46 although adult patients exhibit non-REM preponderance or equal REM and non-REM obstruction.47 Obstruction is thought to worsen over the course of a night, however, evaluation of upper airway muscles in children has not shown clinically significant muscle fatigue.48 The effect of the perioperative period on this process has not been adequately studied. Postoperative REM rebound may worsen OSA in some patients.47,49

The components of polysomnography recommended by the American Thoracic Society are listed in Table 2. Respiratory events that may be seen during polysomnography are listed and defined in Table 3 and depicted in Figure 1.

Table 2
Table 2:
Components of Polysomnography Recommended by The American Thoracic Society
Table 3
Table 3:
Respiratory Events that can be Seen During Polysomnography
Figure 1.
Figure 1.:
Typical polysomnographic recordings demonstrating: (A) Obstructive apnea. Note how the nasal thermistor and expired CO2 tracings flatten while paradoxical respiratory efforts occur. The event is accompanied by a decrease in arterial oxygen saturations. (B) Obstructive hypopnea. The hypopnea is characterized by a decrease in nasal pressure signal associated with continuing paradoxical respiratory effort and desaturation. (C) Central apnea is distinguished from obstructive apnea by the absence of respiratory effort, which leads to the loss of airflow/pressure signals. This tracing shows one central apnea episode.
Figure 1.
Figure 1.:

Often, obstructive apneas and hypopneas identified during a sleep study are combined to provide the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), defined as the number of discrete obstructive events per hour. Many sleep laboratories will report an AHI or a respiratory disturbance index (RDI) that will include the number of all scored respiratory events (including central apneas) per hour. Indices that combine central and obstructive events cannot be used to diagnose OSA in children, as normal children have more frequent central apneas when compared with adults. Only obstructive event indices should be used to identify pediatric OSA.50,51

Data correlating polysomnography parameters with clinical outcomes in children are lacking, and there are no standard guidelines for classifying the severity of OSA in children. Polysomnography data from nonsnoring children have defined OSA as more than one obstructive event per hour.37,52,53 It is important to note that the scoring does not consider the length of time of the obstructive event. The AHI may be misleadingly low in children who have OH rather than discrete apnea. OH is not scored as an event but diagnosed as shown in Table 3. Thus, children with OH may have significant disease with a low AHI if the periods of OH are few but long. For this reason, other factors must be considered. In our Pediatric Sleep Laboratory, we classify the severity of OSA based on total clinical picture, number of obstructive events per hour, duration of elevated end-tidal CO2, and frequency and severity of oxygen desaturation. We classify OSA as severe if the patient has an AHI of ≥10/h because of the increased risk of respiratory compromise after adenotonsillectomy.54 Oxygen saturation nadir <80% is also suggestive of severe disease and postadenotonsillectomy respiratory morbidity55–58 Suggested guidelines for assessing severity of OSA based on polysomnography are listed in Table 4.

Table 4
Table 4:
A Severity Ranking System Based on Polysomnography


The essential feature of OSA in children is increased upper airway resistance during sleep.59 Adenotonsillar hypertrophy, allergic rhinitis, turbinate hypertrophy, deviated septum, and maxillary constriction cause airway narrowing in children.60 Enlarged tonsils can lead to collapse of the hypopharynx at the level of the soft palate because of posterior displacement of the tongue and descent of the tonsils.61 Although enlarged tonsils and adenoids are clearly an important risk factor in children,62 there is no absolute correlation between the size of the tonsils and adenoids and the presence of OSA.63–66 Enlarged soft tissues from obesity or lymphoid tissues contribute to OSA in many children. Other factors include abnormal central arousal threshold, abnormal bony anatomy, disordered neural control of airway caliber or sensation, and decreased pharyngeal tone that may be seen in certain types of cerebral palsy.67 Dynamic airway narrowing or collapse occurs at multiple sites in children with OSA.59 Thus, OSA is often a multifactorial disorder with overlapping influences that together predispose the patient to obstructed breathing (Fig. 2).22

Figure 2.
Figure 2.:
Pathophysiology of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The different influences on the airway are additive. Adapted from Marcus, Respir Physiol 2000;119:143-54.

Genetics affect the risk of developing OSA. The incidence of OSA is higher in first-degree relatives of index patients with OSA.68 Infants of families with multiple members affected by sudden infant death syndrome, apparent life-threatening event, and OSA are more likely to have OSA than those in families with only one case of sudden infant death syndrome or apparent life-threatening event; these infants were found to have OSA in their first year of life.69

Craniofacial abnormalities with altered airway anatomy are associated with abnormal breathing function.70 The combination of enlarged tonsils and craniofacial abnormalities (Table 5) can predict development of OSA.71,72

Table 5
Table 5:
Facial and Airway Features Suggestive of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obesity is an important and increasingly common risk factor for OSA in children. Deposition of adipose tissue around the upper airway and external compression from the excess soft tissue around the neck and jaw lead to upper airway narrowing. Decreased chest wall compliance and upward displacement of the diaphragm by the obese abdomen when the individual is supine lead to smaller lung volumes during sleep, decreased oxygen stores, and increased risk of desaturation with obstructive events.73 Obese children continue to have an increased risk of continuing OSA after adenotonsillectomy.74

Congenital syndromes carry an increased risk of OSA (Table 6). Patients with Trisomy 21 may be predisposed to OSA,75–78 particularly those with midface and mandibular hypoplasia, a small upper airway combined with relatively large and medially positioned tonsils, macroglossia, glossoptosis, increased secretions, obesity, and generalized hypotonia.79

Table 6
Table 6:
Some Congenital and Medical Conditions Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Chronic OSA can have both reversible and irreversible consequences for the airway. Children with OSA have increased pharyngeal collapsibility and lose normal neuromotor responses to hypercarbia and negative pressure.22,80,81 This increased collapsibility occurs with even mild OSA and may predispose these patients to more severe pharyngeal collapse later in life.81

Reversible and irreversible effects on the cardiovascular system are also possible. Chronic obstructed breathing leads to chronic hypoxemia, hypercarbia or both and, if left untreated, can eventually lead to pulmonary hypertension.23,24,70 Pulmonary hypertension develops from vasoconstriction of the pulmonary arterial vessels in response to the chronic nocturnal hypoxemia, hypercarbia, and acidosis that accompany severe untreated OSA.82–86 In a series of 92 children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy, 3.3% developed pulmonary hypertension that was reversed with adenotonsillectomy.87 Cardiovascular morbidity is associated with endothelial dysfunction. Gozal et al.88 showed that soluble CD40 ligand levels (sCD40L triggers inflammatory and procoagulant states) were elevated in children with polysomnography-proven OSA; tonsillectomy produced both significant improvements in AHI and sCD40L in all children except those with significant family histories of cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiac dysfunction associated with OSA may be manifested by structural and functional changes of both ventricles. Right ventricular dysfunction develops from chronically elevated pulmonary pressure and negative intrathoracic pressure created by breathing against a partially closed upper airway over time.70 If pulmonary hypertension is left untreated, cor pulmonale is eventual and is diagnosed by echocardiographic findings of right ventricular hypertrophy, ventricular enlargement, pulmonary and tricuspid valve insufficiency, decreased ejection fraction, and dilation of the pulmonary artery.70,89,90 In time, right atrial pressure increases, and decreased venous return to the heart results in peripheral edema, hepatic congestion, and ascites. Fortunately, right ventricular dysfunction and cor pulmonale may be reversible with surgical treatment of OSA.83,86,89

Although right ventricular dysfunction is classic, biventricular hypertrophy can develop. It is more likely to be seen in patients with severe OSA, but has been reported in patients with only mild OSA.91 Children with OSA show signs of enhanced sympathetic activity,92 autonomic dysfunction93, and endothelial dysfunction.88 Systemic and diastolic hypertension or a trend toward higher arterial blood pressures has been documented in children with OSA.24,94–96 Higher blood pressures, especially at night, have been associated with increased severity of OSA that is particularly related to desaturation events,97,98 even though the blood pressures reported might not have been high enough to require treatment with antihypertensives. Other studies show evidence of endothelial dysfunction with OSA but no hypertension.88 In adults, it has been shown that intermittent hypoxia, not hypercapnia, is the critical stimulus for OSA-associated sympathetic activation, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation, which produce cardiovascular dysfunction.99

Right ventricular dysfunction and overload leads to bowing of the ventricular septum and subsequent increased left end-diastolic pressure that can result in pulmonary edema and pulmonary parenchymal damage.70,100,101 Chronic hypoxia is an independent risk factor for the development of left ventricular hypertrophy,91 which is a known risk factor for future cardiovascular disease.102,103 Severe OSA doubles the risk of congestive heart failure in adult patients.104 Patients with OSA can also experience postobstructive pulmonary edema due to either acute airway obstruction and generation of marked negative inspiratory pressures or in the relief of significant chronic airway obstruction. In both cases, physical damage to pulmonary capillaries, release of vasoactive mediators, and hydrostatic forces that result in fluid transudation to the pulmonary parenchyma may occur.105

Impaired growth has been seen in some children with OSA23–25 and has been thought to be related to increased work of breathing during sleep.106 These children have been shown to have impaired secretion of nocturnal growth hormone.107 Improved growth has been reported after treatment with adenotonsillectomy.106–109


Adenotonsillectomy is the treatment of choice for most children with OSA. Improvement in sleep-related airway obstruction and quality-of-life measures is estimated to occur in more than 75% of children after adenotonsillectomy.110,111 However, persistent respiratory abnormalities may be seen in obese children and children with the most severe cases of OSA.74,112 Suen et al.26 suggested that a RDI >19.1 may be predictive of persistent OSA after adenotonsillectomy.

The range of surgical techniques for adenotonsillectomy reflects attempts to reduce the considerable postoperative discomfort and minimize the risk of hemorrhage after surgery. The use of radiofrequency volume reduction or powered intracapsular tonsillectomy can reduce perioperative pain by avoiding trauma to surrounding peritonsillar tissues. These procedures provide relief of disordered breathing in children with OSA, and recovery is more rapid than with total tonsillectomy techniques113–115; however, there is a risk of regrowth of tonsillar tissue.116

Children with abnormal craniofacial anatomy or abnormalities of neuromotor tone may require additional treatment of persistent OSA, including pharyngeal surgery, craniofacial surgery, and even tracheostomy.117 Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty has been used for treatment of persistent OSA in children with neuromotor disease (such as cerebral palsy) or with craniofacial anomalies (such as those seen with Trisomy 21). Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty includes resection of the uvula, part of the soft palate and tonsillar pillars, with the goal of reducing upper airway obstruction at the level of the palate and oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal levels. Tongue reduction procedures have been used in syndromic children with obstructive macroglossia, and flap takedown can be performed for children with sleep-related airway obstruction after pharyngeal flap surgery for velopharyngeal insufficiency.118 Craniofacial procedures, such as mandibular distraction/advancement, genioglossus advancement, and midfacial advancement, have been used to treat OSA that results from craniofacial structural abnormalities.119

Noninvasive nasal positive-pressure ventilation is a common medical treatment for OSA in children. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) delivers a constant pressure to the airway; bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) applies pressure that decreases during exhalation. The positive pressure mechanically stents the airway open and leads to improved functional residual capacity.120 Both CPAP and BiPAP are used safely and successfully for children who have contraindications to adenotonsillectomy, persistent OSA after adenotonsillectomy, minimal adenotonsillar tissue, or prefer nonsurgical interventions.120–127 The level of positive pressure required to eliminate obstructive apneas and normalize ventilation and night-time oxygen saturation must be determined in the sleep laboratory. Serial evaluation and adjustment of CPAP is required for growing children, as their pressure requirements change with time.121,126 Complications of CPAP and BiPAP are usually minor and include local discomfort or irritation from poor mask fit, eye irritation, conjunctivitis, congestion, and skin ulceration. Children using noninvasive ventilation should have regular assessment of facial development. Midfacial hypoplasia has been reported with long-term use.128 Regular evaluation of mask fit can help to avoid these difficulties. Infrequently, hypoventilation can be seen; BiPAP with a back-up rate can be used.122 Pneumothorax and clinically significant reductions in cardiac output have not been reported in children treated for OSA.121 The greatest limitation to the use of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation in children is poor compliance.121,125

Nocturnal oxygen supplementation has been used as a temporary treatment for patients with significant hypoxia associated with OSA until definitive therapy can be provided.121,129 In most cases, sleep-disordered breathing is not worsened. However, in some patients, supplemental oxygen may suppress the hypoxic ventilatory drive and worsen hypercapnia.121 Nocturnal oxygen therapy for children with OSA should be initiated only under monitored conditions, including assessment of CO2 exchange.

The use of orthodontic devices in the treatment of OSA in children seems promising. Orthodontic maxillary expansion can improve sleep-related airway obstruction in children with narrow palates,72,130,131 but further studies are necessary to define the indications, proper candidates, and effectiveness of orthodontic treatment in the care of children with OSA.


Children with OSA present for all types of surgical and diagnostic procedures. Although the most studied procedure for this patient population is adenotonsillectomy, there is evidence that perioperative complications are increased in OSA patients after all types of surgery.132

Preoperative Assessment

Primary care providers do not routinely screen patients for OSA, nor do they demonstrate adequate knowledge about pediatric sleep disorders.6–8 The prudent anesthesiologist should screen patients beginning with the question: Does your child snore? A history of nightly snoring is a sensitive (91%) but not completely specific (75%) marker of OSA.32 If a patient regularly snores, additional focused questions may help to clinically identify those with OSA (Table 7), especially in patients with known OSA risk (Table 6).

Table 7
Table 7:
Key Questions to Ask Parents

Children <1-yr-of-age comprise a special group of patients that has not been adequately studied, but there is OSA in this age group. Presenting signs are snoring, apnea, failure to thrive, developmental delay, and recurrent respiratory infections.133 It is not clear if infants are in a subset of OSA with more severe disease, more comorbidities, or genetic predisposition. Some infants studied at 2-mo-of-age showed resolution of OSA between 6 and 12-mo-old.69

The physical examination should include an airway assessment: nasal anatomy, ability to breathe through the nose, presence of elongated facies, oral aperture size, mandibular size, intermaxillary distance, thyromental distance, tonsillar size, tongue volume, body habitus, and Mallampati score.134 Guilleminault et al.71 showed increased risk of sleep-disordered breathing in children with the physical features listed in Table 5. The examination of the patient should also include an assessment of muscle tone, handling of oral secretions, and observation of facial malformations. When history, physical examination, and sleep laboratory data are combined, risk assessment is more accurate.56

Most children presenting for adenotonsillectomy do not need cardiac evaluation. However, adult patients with multiple episodes of severe hypoxemia, defined as oxygen saturation <70%, are at risk of left ventricular dysfunction135 and childhood OSA is associated with hypertension and arterial blood pressure dysregulation.136,137 Patients with cardiac involvement are at increased risk of perioperative cardiopulmonary complications.70,82,83 Although the available data are somewhat limited in the pediatric population, we recommend cardiac evaluation for any child with signs of right ventricular dysfunction, systemic hypertension, or multiple episodes of desaturation below 70%. Electrocardiogram and chest radiograph are not sensitive evaluation tools; echocardiography is recommended.102,138 Routine blood gas analysis is not recommended, but a basic metabolic panel can identify a patient with compensatory metabolic alkalosis in response to chronic hypercarbia, and a hemoglobin level may identify the patient with severe chronic hypoxemia.139

Preoperative CPAP has been used to reduce the postoperative complication rate and increase airway patency in adult OSA patients,140,141 and may be beneficial for certain pediatric patients.121 In our practice, children with very severe OSA who are at risk for persistent OSA (Table 8) and those with cardiovascular complications from OSA are considered for preoperative CPAP/BiPAP therapy. Effective CPAP/BiPAP therapy may improve pulmonary hypertension and reduce the patient’s surgical risks.142 This therapy is usually initiated by a pediatric pulmonologist, and the pressures required to treat the patient’s OSA are determined in the sleep laboratory. The child’s preoperative CPAP/BiPAP regimen can also be used in postoperative care, and the patient’s response to adenotonsillectomy and need for long-term CPAP can be determined several weeks postoperatively.

Table 8
Table 8:
Clinical Features that Predict Respiratory Compromise After Adenotonsillectomy and, in Some Cases, Persistent Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Intraoperative Management

Studies that compare one anesthetic to another for adenotonsillectomy are few, and no technique is preferred. Sedative and anesthetic medications alter the CO2 response curve, theoretically placing OSA patients at higher risk of sedation and anesthesia-induced respiratory complications.143 Patients with OSA rescue themselves during obstructive episodes by arousal from sleep, but sedatives or residual anesthetics may make it impossible for patients to arouse themselves during obstructive episodes. Consequently, short-acting anesthetics should be chosen.

The use of sedatives in pediatric OSA patients has not been well studied, and the few studies that exist do not include control groups. Preoperative administration of midazolam 0.5 mg/kg to 70 children undergoing adenotonsillectomy for OSA (diagnosed as severe in 40% of subjects by polysomnography) resulted in two children having respiratory events; one had a self-limited desaturation event before surgery, and one had postoperative obstruction with desaturation, requiring a nasal airway.144 In another small series, patients with Trisomy 21 were successfully sedated for magnetic resonance imaging studies with dexmeditomidine and ketamine without airway instrumentation.79 Sedatives used before the induction of general anesthesia may delay emergence in patients, especially for short cases.145,146 Without more evidence, we conclude that patients with OSA can receive sedatives but require monitoring until recovery can be demonstrated.

There is no consensus regarding a best anesthetic induction strategy in OSA, but common sense dictates that some patients with OSA require approaches different from those used with normal patients. Children with altered bony anatomy or syndromes are at higher risk for having a difficult airway. Induction of anesthesia with volatile anesthetics results in airway collapse from relaxation of the genioglossus muscle, thus placing the OSA patient at high risk for airway obstruction.147–149 Positioning in an upright or lateral position, use of a jaw thrust maneuver, delivery of positive pressure by face mask and placement of an oral airway may aid in relieving the obstruction.150,151 In cases when the patient is only partially anesthetized and suffering from airway collapse, an airway device may not be tolerated. If the patient remains in a state of obstruction, desaturation ensues. Severe airway obstruction in a spontaneously breathing patient may result in a very high negative inspiratory force generated although the patient is inhaling against the collapsed pharynx or closed glottis; the increased pulmonary blood flow and pulmonary microvascular pressure that ensues can result in postobstructive pulmonary edema.70,117 IV induction can be used to rapidly induce a deep plane of anesthesia ready for airway instrumentation. This technique may be preferable for patients with very severe OSA. Children with simple adenotonsillar hypertrophy with normal body habitus and without maxillofacial malformations are often easily mask-ventilated once an oral airway is placed, and endotracheal intubation is likewise usually straightforward. Children with OSA in addition to craniofacial abnormalities or other significant airway disorders must be evaluated for potential difficult intubation. A recent study of 40,000 adults showed OSA to be an independent predictor of impossible mask ventilation (Kheterpal S et al. Incidence, predictors, and management of impossible mask ventilation; A review of 40,000 anesthetics, 2008 ASA annual meeting, abstract A1243). Whether this association applies to the pediatric population with OSA is not known.

Laryngeal mask airways are used by some anesthesiologists for adenotonsillectomy,152–154 but studies are lacking regarding their use in patients with OSA for this procedure. They can also be used in OSA patients with bony abnormalities for the purpose of managing a difficult airway.155,156

Upon completion of the procedural anesthetic, patients should be awake and have adequate strength to maintain the upper airway before tracheal extubation. We do not recommend deep extubation; patients with severe OSA and those with comorbidities are at risk of persistent OSA after surgery (Table 8). Extubation should take place in a controlled environment with appropriate personnel and equipment available; once stable, the extubated patient can be transported to the appropriate care unit. Before extubation, we sometimes place nasal airways in patients with severe OSA. The child who continues to have significant obstructive episodes after extubation can be positioned in the lateral decubitus or prone position to help relieve the obstruction. CPAP or BiPAP can be used to assist ventilation and relieve airway collapse. The placement of a nasal airway before extubation might be considered in more severe cases. Reintubation may be required in an occasional patient.

Efforts are made to reduce the risk of postoperative vomiting and pain after adenotonsillectomy. A study that compared anesthetic techniques using sevoflurane and propofol with muscle relaxant and fentanyl showed no statistical difference in postoperative vomiting.157 Steroids have been shown to improve postoperative oral intake and reduce pain and vomiting.158–161 A dosing study of IV dexamethasone for adenotonsillectomy showed that low dose (0.0625 mg/kg) is just as effective as high dose (1 mg/kg) in reducing postoperative pain and vomiting.162 In another study, adult tonsillectomy patients who were treated with steroids had less pain, less nausea, and vomiting and improved healing as compared with those who were not treated.163 Although nasal steroids have been used to treat pediatric OSA, with improvement in sleep-disordered breathing,164 no studies have examined the use of nasal steroids to reduce perioperative swelling.

A review and meta-analysis of antiemetics showed that antiserotonergic drugs and dexamethasone were most effective for reducing postoperative vomiting after tonsillectomy. A randomized, double-blind study comparing the antiemetic effects of metoclopramide (0.5 mg/kg) versus ondansetron (0.1 mg/kg) in children after tonsillectomy showed ondansetron to be superior.165,166 Antibiotics are often given to children perioperatively to reduce postoperative complications of adenotonsillectomy. A meta-analysis examining the use of antibiotics for these patients showed an associated 1-day reduction in time required for return to normal oral intake.167

Postoperative Management and Analgesia

Children with OSA usually need pain medication after surgery, yet chronic hypoxemia renders them more susceptible to the respiratory depressant effects of opioids.168,169 OSA patients have been shown to have a higher incidence of apnea after administration of 0.5 μg/kg of fentanyl, and diminished minute ventilation during spontaneous ventilation under general anesthesia with inhaled anesthetics, when compared with non-OSA patients.170 OSA patients may also be more sensitive to the analgesic effects of opioids. Children with oxygen saturation nadir of <85% on polysomnography required half the morphine dose as those with less desaturation to achieve the same level of analgesia.171 If high doses of opioids are required for an OSA patient after a surgical procedure, intensive postoperative cardiopulmonary monitoring must be considered. When possible, regional anesthesia and/or analgesia should be used. For short procedures, one approach is to minimize opioids intraoperatively and then titrate them to effect when the child is awake, tracheally extubated, and in a monitored setting.70 Less painful procedures may only require non-opioid analgesics, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

Methods for managing posttonsillectomy pain without opioids have been studied. Surgical options to spare the tonsillar bed have been shown to reduce the need for pain medications.172,173 Mixed results have been reported with the use of local anesthetic infiltration to the tonsillar bed, and this strategy carries the risk of intravascular injection.174,175 One group reported administering ketamine to the tonsillar region, finding it to be an effective analgesic with no sedating side effects in patients without OSA.176,177 Tramadol, a synthetic selective mu1 agonist, is an alternate medication for moderate pain management with potentially less respiratory depression, but it is not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for pediatric patients in the United States. In an Australian study, tonsillectomy patients with moderate OSA who received morphine had a significantly higher risk of desaturation than those given Tramadol, although they were more comfortable.178 The use of NSAIDS in posttonsillectomy patients has been avoided because of reports of associated postoperative bleeding139,179; however, a systematic review did not find an increased risk of reoperation for bleeding and, additionally, found less vomiting when NSAIDS were part of the analgesic regimen.180 A different meta-analysis showed that a significant risk of perioperative bleeding is associated with the use of aspirin for analgesia but no increased risk with other NSAIDS.181 Furthermore, a large retrospective review on the subject concluded that ibuprofen should be used for the relief of pain after adenotonsillectomy.182 Others have written that the use of NSAIDS after attainment of hemostasis is reasonable, given the evidence and pharmacokinetics of the nonaspirin NSAIDS.183 Consequently, the bulk of evidence supports the use of nonaspirin NSAIDS for postoperative analgesia.

Numerous authors have demonstrated that pediatric patients with OSA are at increased risk for postoperative respiratory complications.17,56,184–186 Rates of complications range from 6.4% to 27% but depend on age, severity of OSA, uniformity of diagnosis, and comorbidities.17,57,186,187 Children <3-yr-of-age have twice the risk of children who are 3-6 yr of age.186 Children with OSA had a 23% rate of respiratory difficulties after adenotonsillectomy, with the greatest risk seen in children <3 yr and those with preoperative RDI >10.54 Nursing intervention was required to treat complications in 60% of children with severe OSA; complications included oxygen desaturation <90%, increased work of breathing and changes on a chest radiograph (edema, atelectasis, infiltrate, pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, or pleural effusion).55,57,187 Other complications associated with severe OSA include laryngospasm, apnea, pulmonary edema, pulmonary hypertensive crisis, pneumonia, and perioperative death.54,56,188,189 Although adenotonsillectomy improves most patients, children with disorders of pharyngeal tone or craniofacial anatomy may have residual airway obstruction during the postoperative period and require close observation to assess the need for intervention.134 The surgeon and anesthesiologist must agree on the discharge plan (Fig. 3).

Figure 3.
Figure 3.:
Algorithm for risk assessment and disposition planning.

We recommend that polysomnography be performed to help determine the postoperative disposition of patients with OSA. Without objective evidence of the severity of OSA, patients cannot be discharged with confidence. Polysomnography is essential for patients with comorbidities and high-risk features (Table 8). Children with OSA who are identified as high risk for respiratory compromise require overnight inpatient monitoring after surgery in a setting where signs of respiratory depression and airway obstruction can be recognized and prompt intervention can occur.54,120,190 Two study groups have reported the onset of respiratory compromise during sleep ≥5 h postoperatively in children with OSA, and those with severe OSA had significantly more overnight obstructive episodes on the first postoperative night when compared with children who had mild OSA.187,191 Because REM rebound is a possibility beyond the first postoperative night,192 careful thought must also be given to whether it is safe to discharge patients with severe OSA on day 2, especially if opioids are needed to control pain.171 Postoperative intensive care unit admission is reserved for very severe OSA, very young children and those with comorbidities that cannot be managed on the floor (Fig. 3).

Patients with mild-to-moderate obstructive disease (defined as AHI <10) and no comorbidities can usually be discharged home the same day if they are >3-yr-of-age. Polysomnography performed on otherwise healthy children with mild OSA on the first night after adenotonsillectomy showed that the number of apnea events decreased, and oxygen saturation during sleep improved immediately after surgery.139,193 If a child with OSA is to be discharged on the day of surgery, an early morning operative time has been recommended by some,191 and the ASA practice guidelines suggest monitoring patients longer than those without OSA.10 We recommend a 2-h minimum postanesthesia care unit stay. Research is greatly needed in this area.

Determining which patients are at high risk for postoperative respiratory complications is a challenge because polysomnography is not a standard preoperative test for patients with suspected OSA, even though it is recommended by the American Thoracic Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics.120,194 One study showed that <12% of school-aged children who underwent adenotonsillectomy for OSA had prior polysomnography.195 Furthermore, it is clear that although sleep studies may be improved by tonsillectomy, they do not return to normal immediately after surgery, and certain patients continue to be at high risk of perioperative complications.187 The ASA OSA Task Force attempted to use a scoring system identify patients at highest risk (Table 9); however, this system uses scoring of the severity of sleep apnea, which may not be available because of lack of polysomnography testing.10

Table 9
Table 9:
American Society of Anesthesiologists Risk Assessment, Scoring System


Patients with significant OSA are clearly at higher anesthetic risk in the perioperative period than are patients with normal upper airways. Anesthesiologists should routinely screen patients for snoring, airway dysfunction, airway anatomic disorders and other coexisting diseases that can increase risk from OSA in the postoperative period. Rational, safe, cost-effective decision making for individual patients hinges on accurate risk assessment in the preoperative period. Preoperative diagnostic techniques that are affordable and readily available are needed. Anesthesiologists, along with pulmonologists and otolaryngology surgeons, should strive to develop and evaluate ways of identifying children at high risk to determine safe disposition in the postoperative period.


The authors would like to thank Dr. Myron Yaster for his thoughtful review of this manuscript and Tzipora Sofare, MA, for her expert editorial assistance.


1. Anuntaseree W, Rookkapan K, Kuasirikul S, Thongsuksai P. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in Thai school-age children: prevalence and predisposing factors. Pediatr Pulmonol 2001;32:222–7
2. Brunetti L, Rana S, Lospalluti ML, Pietrafesa A, Francavilla R, Fanelli M, Armenio L. Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in a cohort of 1,207 children of southern Italy. Chest 2001;120:1930–5
3. Carroll JL, McColley SA, Marcus CL, Curtis S, Loughlin GM. Inability of clinical history to distinguish primary snoring from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children. Chest 1995;108:610–18
4. Gislason T, Benediktsdóttir B. Snoring, apneic episodes, and nocturnal hypoxemia among children 6 months to 6 years old. An epidemiologic study of lower limit of prevalence. Chest 1995;107:963–6
5. Goldstein NA, Sculerati N, Walsleben JA, Bhatia N, Friedman DM, Rapoport DM. Clinical diagnosis of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea validated by polysomnography. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1994;111:611–17
6. Tamay Z, Akcay A, Kilic G, Suleyman A, Ones U, Guler N. Are physicians aware of obstructive sleep apnea in children? Sleep Med 2006;7:580–4
7. Uong EC, Jeffe DB, Gozal D, Arens R, Holbrook CR, Palmer J, Cleveland C, Schotland HM. Development of a measure of knowledge and attitudes about obstructive sleep apnea in children (OSAKA-KIDS). Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2005;159:181–6
8. Owens JA. The practice of pediatric sleep medicine: results of a community survey. Pediatrics 2001;108:E51
9. Turner K, VanDenkerkhof E, Lam M, Mackillop W. Perioperative care of patients with obstructive sleep apnea - a survey of Can anesthesiologists. Can J Anaesth 2006;53:299–304
10. Gross JB, Bachenberg KL, Benumof JL, Caplan RA, Connis RT, Coté CJ, Nickinovich DG, Prachand V, Ward DS, Weaver EM, Ydens L, Yu S; American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Perioperative Management. Practice guidelines for the perioperative management of patients with obstructive sleep apnea: a report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Perioperative Management of patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Anesthesiology 2006;104:1081–93; quiz 1117–18
11. Rosen CL. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in children: diagnostic challenges. Sleep 1996;19(suppl 10):S274–S277
12. Marcus CL. Clinical and pathophysiological aspects of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Pediatr Pulmonol Suppl 1997;16:123–4
13. Marcus CL, Hamer A, Loughlin GM. Natural history of primary snoring in children. Pediatr Pulmonol 1998;26:6–11
14. Ali NJ, Pitson DJ, Stradling JR. Snoring, sleep disturbance, and behaviour in 4-5 year olds. Arch Dis Child 1993;68:360–6
15. Corbo GM, Fuciarelli F, Foresi A, De Benedetto F. Snoring in children: association with respiratory symptoms and passive smoking. BMJ 1989;299:1491–4
16. Owen GO, Canter RJ, Robinson A. Snoring, apnoea and ENT symptoms in the paediatric community. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 1996;21:130–4
17. Schechter MS;. Section on Pediatric Pulmonology, Subcommittee on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. Technical report: diagnosis and management of childhood obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Pediatrics 2002;109:e69
18. Ali NJ, Pitson D, Stradling JR. Natural history of snoring and related behaviour problems between the ages of 4 and 7 years. Arch Dis Child 1994;71:74–6
19. Topol HI, Brooks LJ. Follow-up of primary snoring in children. J Pediatr 2001;138:291–3
20. O’Brien LM, Mervis CB, Holbrook CR, Bruner JL, Klaus CJ, Rutherford J, Raffield TJ, Gozal D. Neurobehavioral implications of habitual snoring in children. Pediatrics 2004;114:44–9
21. Rosen CL, D’Andrea L, Haddad GG. Adult criteria for obstructive sleep apnea do not identify children with serious obstruction. Am Rev Respir Dis 1992;146:1231–4
22. Marcus CL. Pathophysiology of childhood obstructive sleep apnea: current concepts. Respir Physiol 2000;119:143–54
23. Brouillette RT, Fernbach SK, Hunt CE. Obstructive sleep apnea in infants and children. J Pediatr 1982;100:31–40
24. Guilleminault C, Korobkin R, Winkle R. A review of 50 children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Lung 1981;159:275–87
25. Leach J, Olson J, Hermann J, Manning S. Polysomnographic and clinical findings in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1992;118:741–4
26. Suen JS, Arnold JE, Brooks LJ. Adenotonsillectomy for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1995;121:525–30
27. Wang RC, Elkins TP, Keech D, Wauquier A, Hubbard D. Accuracy of clinical evaluation in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998;118:69–73
28. Dreher A, de la Chaux R, Klemens C, Werner R, Baker F, Barthlen G, Rasp G. Correlation between otorhinolaryngologic evaluation and severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in snorers. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005;131:95–8
29. Brietzke SE, Katz ES, Roberson DW. Can history and physical examination reliably diagnose pediatric obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome? A systematic review of the literature. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2004;131:827–32
30. Chau KW, Ng KK, Kwok KL, Cheung MY. Survey of children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in Hong Kong of China. Chin Med J (Engl) 2004;117:657–60
31. Li AM, Cheung A, Chan D, Wong E, Ho C, Lau J, Wing YK. Validation of a questionnaire instrument for prediction of obstructive sleep apnea in Hong Kong Chinese children. Pediatr Pulmonol 2006;41:1153–60
32. Chau KW, Ng DK, Kwok CK, Chow PY, Ho JC. Clinical risk factors for obstructive sleep apnoea in children. Singapore Med J 2003;44:570–3
33. Chervin RD, Weatherly RA, Garetz SL, Ruzicka DL, Giordani BJ, Hodges EK, Dillon JE, Guire KE. Pediatric sleep questionnaire: prediction of sleep apnea and outcomes. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007;133:216–22
34. Brouilette R, Hanson D, David R, Klemka L, Szatkowski A, Fernbach S, Hunt C. A diagnostic approach to suspected obstructive sleep apnea in children. J Pediatr 1984;105:10–14
35. Lamm C, Mandeli J, Kattan M. Evaluation of home audiotapes as an abbreviated test for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in children. Pediatr Pulmonol 1999;27:267–72
36. Brouillette RT, Morielli A, Leimanis A, Waters KA, Luciano R, Ducharme FM. Nocturnal pulse oximetry as an abbreviated testing modality for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Pediatrics 2000;105:405–12
37. Marcus CL, Omlin KJ, Basinki DJ, Bailey SL, Rachal AB, Von Pechmann WS, Keens TG, Ward SL. Normal polysomnographic values for children and adolescents. Am Rev Respir Dis 1992;146:1235–9
38. Saeed MM, Keens TG, Stabile MW, Bolokowicz J, Davidson Ward SL. Should children with suspected obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and normal nap sleep studies have overnight sleep studies? Chest 2000;118:360–5
39. Sivan Y, Kornecki A, Schonfeld T. Screening obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome by home videotape recording in children. Eur Respir J 1996;9:2127–31
40. Brietzke SE, Mair EA. Acoustical analysis of pediatric snoring: what can we learn? Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007;136:644–8
41. Jacob SV, Morielli A, Mograss MA, Ducharme FM, Schloss MD, Brouillette RT. Home testing for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome secondary to adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Pediatr Pulmonol 1995;20:241–52
42. Morielli A, Ladan S, Ducharme FM, Brouillette RT. Can sleep and wakefulness be distinguished in children by cardiorespiratory and videotape recordings? Chest 1996;109:680–7
43. Redline S, Budhiraja R, Kapur V, Marcus CL, Mateika JH, Mehra R, Parthasarthy S, Somers VK, Strohl KP, Sulit LG, Gozal D, Wise MS, Quan SF. The scoring of respiratory events in sleep: reliability and validity. J Clin Sleep Med 2007;3:169–200
44. Canet E, Gaultier C, D’Allest AM, Dehan M. Effects of sleep deprivation on respiratory events during sleep in healthy infants. J Appl Physiol 1989;66:1158–63
45. Hershenson M, Brouillette RT, Olsen E, Hunt CE. The effect of chloral hydrate on genioglossus and diaphragmatic activity. Pediatr Res 1984;18:516–19
46. Goh DY, Galster P, Marcus CL. Sleep architecture and respiratory disturbances in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000;162:682–6
47. Loadsman JA, Wilcox I. Is obstructive sleep apnoea a rapid eye movement-predominant phenomenon? Br J Anaesth 2000;85:354–8
48. Karamessinis L, Galster P, Schultz B, Elliott J, Mason TA 2nd, Brooks LJ, Gallagher PR, Marcus CL. Relationship between REM density, duty cycle, and obstructive sleep apnea in children. Sleep 2007;30:837–43
49. Kaw R, Michota F, Jaffer A, Ghamande S, Auckley D, Golish J. Unrecognized sleep apnea in the surgical patient: implications for the perioperative setting. Chest 2006;129:198–205
50. Tang JP, Rosen CL, Larkin EK, DiFiore JM, Arnold JL, Surovec SA, Youngblut JM, Redline S. Identification of sleep-disordered breathing in children: variation with event definition. Sleep 2002;25:72–9
51. Rosen CL, Palermo TM, Larkin EK, Redline S. Health-related quality of life and sleep-disordered breathing in children. Sleep 2002;25:657–66
52. Traeger N, Schultz B, Pollock AN, Mason T, Marcus CL, Arens R. Polysomnographic values in children 2-9 years old: additional data and review of the literature. Pediatr Pulmonol 2005;40:22–30
53. Uliel S, Tauman R, Greenfeld M, Sivan Y. Normal polysomnographic respiratory values in children and adolescents. Chest 2004;125:872–8
54. McColley SA, April MM, Carroll JL, Naclerio RM, Loughlin GM. Respiratory compromise after adenotonsillectomy in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1992;118:940–3
55. Brown KA, Morin I, Hickey C, Manoukian JJ, Nixon GM, Brouillette RT. Urgent adenotonsillectomy: an analysis of risk factors associated with postoperative respiratory morbidity. Anesthesiology 2003;99:586–95
56. Rosen GM, Muckle RP, Mahowald MW, Goding GS, Ullevig C. Postoperative respiratory compromise in children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: can it be anticipated? Pediatrics 1994;93:784–8
57. Wilson K, Lakheeram I, Morielli A, Brouillette R, Brown K. Can assessment for obstructive sleep apnea help predict postadenotonsillectomy respiratory complications? Anesthesiology 2002;96:313–22
58. Nixon GM, Kermack AS, Davis GM, Manoukian JJ, Brown KA, Brouillette RT. Planning adenotonsillectomy in children with obstructive sleep apnea: the role of overnight oximetry. Pediatrics 2004;113:e19–e25
59. Katz ES, D’Ambrosio CM. Pathophysiology of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Proc Am Thorac Soc 2008;5:253–62
60. Guilleminault C, Li K, Quo S, Inouye RN. A prospective study on the surgical outcomes of children with sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep 2004;27:95–100
61. Richardson MA, Seid AB, Cotton RT, Benton C, Kramer M. Evaluation of tonsils and adenoids in Sleep Apnea syndrome. Laryngoscope 1980;90:1106–10
62. Lam YY, Chan EY, Ng DK, Chan CH, Cheung JM, Leung SY, Chow PY, Kwok KL. The correlation among obesity, apnea-hypopnea index, and tonsil size in children. Chest 2006;130:1751–6
63. Fernbach SK, Brouillette RT, Riggs TW, Hunt CE. Radiologic evaluation of adenoids and tonsils in children with obstructive sleep apnea: plain films and fluoroscopy. Pediatr Radiol 1983;13:258–65
64. Laurikainen E, Erkinjuntti M, Alihanka J, Rikalainen H, Suonpää. Radiological parameters of the bony nasopharynx and the adenotonsillar size compared with sleep apnea episodes in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1987;12:303–10
65. Li AM, Hui S, Wong E, Cheung A, Fok TF. Obstructive sleep apnoea in children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy: prospective study. Hong Kong Med J 2001;7:236–40
66. Mahboubi S, Marsh RR, Potsic WP, Pasquariello PS. The lateral neck radiograph in adenotonsillar hyperplasia. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1985;10:67–73
67. Kosko JR, Derkay CS. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in neurologically impaired pediatric patients. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1995;32:241–6
68. Messner AH. Treating pediatric patients with obstructive sleep disorders: an update. Otolaryngol Clin North Am 2003;36:519–30
69. McNamara F, Sullivan CE. Obstructive sleep apnea in infants: relation to family history of sudden infant death syndrome, apparent life-threatening events, and obstructive sleep apnea. J Pediatr 2000;136:318–23
70. Blum RH, McGowan FX Jr. Chronic upper airway obstruction and cardiac dysfunction: anatomy, pathophysiology and anesthetic implications. Paediatr Anaesth 2004;14:75–83
71. Guilleminault C, Pelayo R, Leger D, Clerk A, Bocian RC. Recognition of sleep-disordered breathing in children. Pediatrics 1996;98:871–82
72. Villa MP, Malagola C, Pagani J, Montesano M, Rizzoli A, Guilleminault C, Ronchetti R. Rapid maxillary expansion in children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: 12-month follow-up. Sleep Med 2007;8:128–34
73. Koenig SM. Pulmonary complications of obesity. Am J Med Sci 2001;321:249–79
74. Mitchell RB, Kelly J. Outcome of adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea in obese and normal-weight children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007;137:43–8
75. Dyken ME, Lin-Dyken DC, Poulton S, Zimmerman MB, Sedars E. Prospective polysomnographic analysis of obstructive sleep apnea in down syndrome. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2003;157:655–60
76. Levanon A, Tarasiuk A, Tal A. Sleep characteristics in children with Down syndrome. J Pediatr 1999;134:755–60
77. Marcus CL, Keens TG, Bautista DB, von Pechmann WS, Ward SL. Obstructive sleep apnea in children with Down syndrome. Pediatrics 1991;88:132–9
78. Shott SR, Amin R, Chini B, Heubi C, Hotze S, Akers R. Obstructive sleep apnea: should all children with Down syndrome be tested? Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2006;132:432–6
79. Luscri N, Tobias JD. Monitored anesthesia care with a combination of ketamine and dexmedetomidine during magnetic resonance imaging in three children with trisomy 21 and obstructive sleep apnea. Paediatr Anaesth 2006;16:782–6
80. Marcus CL, Katz ES, Lutz J, Black CA, Galster P, Carson KA. Upper airway dynamic responses in children with the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Pediatr Res 2005;57:99–107
81. Fregosi RF, Quan SF, Morgan WL, Goodwin JL, Cabrera R, Shareif I, Fridel KW, Bootzin RR. Pharyngeal critical pressure in children with mild sleep-disordered breathing. J Appl Physiol 2006;101:734–9
82. Brown OE, Manning SC, Ridenour B. Cor pulmonale secondary to tonsillar and adenoidal hypertrophy: management considerations. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1988;16:131–9
83. Gorur K, Doven O, Unal M, Akkus N, Ozcan C. Preoperative and postoperative cardiac and clinical findings of patients with adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2001;59:41–6
84. Shintani T, Asakura K, Kataura A. The effect of adenotonsillectomy in children with OSA. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1998;44:51–8
85. Meyrick BO, Perkett EA. The sequence of cellular and hemodynamic changes of chronic pulmonary hypertension induced by hypoxia and other stimuli. Am Rev Respir Dis 1989;140:1486–9
86. Duman D, Naiboglu B, Esen HS, Toros SZ, Demirtunc R. Impaired right ventricular function in adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 2008;24:261–7
87. Wilkinson AR, McCormick MS, Freeland AP, Pickering D. Electrocardiographic signs of pulmonary hypertension in children who snore. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:1579–81
88. Gozal D, Kheirandish-Gozal L, Serpero LD, Sans Capdevila O, Dayyat E. Obstructive sleep apnea and endothelial function in school-aged nonobese children: effect of adenotonsillectomy. Circulation 2007;116:2307–14
89. Miman MC, Kirazli T, Ozyurek R. Doppler echocardiography in adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2000;54:21–6
90. Sofer S, Weinhouse E, Tal A, Wanderman KL, Margulis G, Leiberman A, Gueron M. Cor pulmonale due to adenoidal or tonsillar hypertrophy or both in children. Noninvasive diagnosis and follow-up. Chest 1988;93:119–22
91. Amin RS, Kimball TR, Bean JA, Jeffries JL, Willging JP, Cotton RT, Witt SA, Glascock BJ, Daniels SR. Left ventricular hypertrophy and abnormal ventricular geometry in children and adolescents with obstructive sleep apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2002;165:1395–9
92. Baharav A, Kotagal S, Rubin BK, Pratt J, Akselrod S. Autonomic cardiovascular control in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Clin Auton Res 1999;9:345–51
93. O’Brien LM, Gozal D. Autonomic dysfunction in children with sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep 2005;28:747–52
94. Marcus CL, Greene MG, Carroll JL. Blood pressure in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998;157:1098–103
95. Serratto M, Harris VJ, Carr I. Upper airways obstruction. Presentation with systemic hypertension. Arch Dis Child 1981;56:153–5
96. Enright PL, Goodwin JL, Sherrill DL, Quan JR, Quan SF; Tucson Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea study. Blood pressure elevation associated with sleep-related breathing disorder in a community sample of white and Hispanic children: the Tucson Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2003;157:901–4
97. Li AM, Au CT, Sung RY, Ho C, Ng PC, Fok TF, Wing YK. Ambulatory blood pressure in children with obstructive sleep apnoea: a community based study. Thorax 2008;63:803–9
98. Leung LC, Ng DK, Lau MW, Chan CH, Kwok KL, Chow PY, Cheung JM. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory BP in snoring children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Chest 2006;130:1009–17
99. Khayat R, Patt B, Hayes D Jr. Obstructive sleep apnea: the new cardiovascular disease. Part I: obstructive sleep apnea and the pathogenesis of vascular disease. Heart Fail Rev 2008 Sep 20 [epub ahead of print]
100. Badke FR. Left ventricular dimensions and function during right ventricular pressure overload. Am J Physiol 1982;242:H611–H618
101. Laver MB, Strauss HW, Pohost GM. Herbert Shubin Memorial Lecture. Right and left ventricular geometry: adjustments during acute respiratory failure. Crit Care Med 1979;7:509–19
102. Prineas RJ, Rautaharju PM, Grandits G, Crow R; MRFIT Research Group. Independent risk for cardiovascular disease predicted by modified continuous score electrocardiographic criteria for 6-year incidence and regression of left ventricular hypertrophy among clinically disease free men: 16-year follow-up for the multiple risk factor intervention trial. J Electrocardiol 2001;34:91–101
103. Vakili BA, Okin PM, Devereux RB. Prognostic implications of left ventricular hypertrophy. Am Heart J 2001;141:334–41
104. Naughton MT. Common sleep problems in ICU: heart failure and sleep-disordered breathing syndromes. Crit Care Clin 2008;24:565–87, vii–viii
105. Guffin TN, Har-el G, Sanders A, Lucente FE, Nash M. Acute postobstructive pulmonary edema. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1995;112:235–7
106. Marcus CL, Carroll JL, Koerner CB, Hamer A, Lutz J, Loughlin GM. Determinants of growth in children with the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. J Pediatr 1994;125:556–62
107. Nieminen P, Lopponen T, Tolonen U, Lanning P, Knip M, Lopponen H. Growth and biochemical markers of growth in children with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Pediatrics 2002;109:e55
108. Stradling JR, Thomas G, Warley AR, Williams P, Freeland A. Effect of adenotonsillectomy on nocturnal hypoxaemia, sleep disturbance, and symptoms in snoring children. Lancet 1990;335:249–53
109. Williams EF III, Woo P, Miller R, Kellman RM. The effects of adenotonsillectomy on growth in young children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1991;104:509–16
110. Gozal D, Kheirandish-Gozal L. Sleep apnea in children-treatment considerations. Paediatr Respir Rev 2006;7(suppl 1):S58–S61
111. De Serres LM, Derkay C, Sie K, Biavati M, Jones J, Tunkel D, Manning S, Inglis AF, Haddad J Jr, Tampakopoulou D, Weinberg AD. Impact of adenotonsillectomy on quality of life in children with obstructive sleep disorders. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2002;128:489–96
112. Tauman R, Gulliver TE, Krishna J, Montgomery-Downs HE, O’Brien LM, Ivanenko A, Gozal D. Persistence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children after adenotonsillectomy. J Pediatr 2006;149:803–8
113. Coticchia JM, Yun RD, Nelson L, Koempel J. Temperature-controlled radiofrequency treatment of tonsillar hypertrophy for reduction of upper airway obstruction in pediatric patients. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2006;132:425–30
114. Koltai PJ, Solares CA, Koempel JA, Hirose K, Abelson TI, Krakovitz PR, Chan J, Xu M, Mascha EJ. Intracapsular tonsillar reduction (partial tonsillectomy): reviving a historical procedure for obstructive sleep disordered breathing in children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003;129:532–8
115. Tunkel DE, Hotchkiss KS, Carson KA, Sterni LM. Efficacy of powered intracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Laryngoscope 2008;118:1295–302
116. Celenk F, Bayazit YA, Yilmaz M, Kemaloglu YK, Uygur K, Ceylan A, Korkuyu E. Tonsillar regrowth following partial tonsillectomy with radiofrequency. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2008;72:19–22
117. Sterni LM, Tunkel DE. Obstructive sleep apnea in children: an update. Pediatr Clin North Am 2003;50:427–43
118. Maturo SC, Mair EA. Submucosal minimally invasive lingual excision: an effective, novel surgery for pediatric tongue base reduction. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2006;115:624–30
119. Sundaram S, Bridgman SA, Lim J, Lasserson TJ. Surgery for obstructive sleep apnoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005:CD001004
120. Section on Pediatric Pulmonology, Subcommittee on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. American Academy of Pediatrics. Clinical practice guideline: diagnosis and management of childhood obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Pediatrics 2002;109:704–12
121. Marcus CL, Ward SL, Mallory GB, Rosen CL, Beckerman RC, Weese-Mayer DE, Brouillette RT, Trang HT, Brooks LJ. Use of nasal continuous positive airway pressure as treatment of childhood obstructive sleep apnea. J Pediatr 1995;127:88–94
122. Waters KA, Everett FM, Bruderer JW, Sullivan CE. Obstructive sleep apnea: the use of nasal CPAP in 80 children. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1995;152:780–5
123. Guilleminault C, Pelayo R, Clerk A, Leger D, Bocian RC. Home nasal continuous positive airway pressure in infants with sleep-disordered breathing. J Pediatr 1995;127:905–12
124. Padman R, Hyde C, Foster P, Borkowski W Jr. The pediatric use of bilevel positive airway pressure therapy for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: a retrospective review with analysis of respiratory parameters. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 2002;41:163–9
125. Marcus CL, Rosen G, Ward SL, Halbower AC, Sterni L, Lutz J, Stading PJ, Bolduc D, Gordon N. Adherence to and effectiveness of positive airway pressure therapy in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Pediatrics 2006;117:e442–e451
126. McNamara F, Sullivan CE. Obstructive sleep apnea in infants and its management with nasal continuous positive airway pressure. Chest 1999;116:10–16
127. Downey R III, Perkin RM, MacQuarrie J. Nasal continuous positive airway pressure use in children with obstructive sleep apnea younger than 2 years of age. Chest 2000;117:1608–12
128. Li KK, Riley RW, Guilleminault C. An unreported risk in the use of home nasal continuous positive airway pressure and home nasal ventilation in children: mid-face hypoplasia. Chest 2000;117:916–18
129. Aljadeff G, Gozal D, Bailey-Wahl SL, Burrell B, Keens TG, Ward SL. Effects of overnight supplemental oxygen in obstructive sleep apnea in children. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996;153:51–5
130. Pirelli P, Saponara M, Guilleminault C. Rapid maxillary expansion in children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep 2004;27:761–6
131. Cozza P, Gatto R, Ballanti F, Prete L. Management of obstructive sleep apnoea in children with modified monobloc appliances. Eur J Paediatr Dent 2004;5:24–9
132. Hwang D, Shakir N, Limann B, Sison C, Kalra S, Shulman L, Souza Ade C, Greenberg H. Association of sleep-disordered breathing with postoperative complications. Chest 2008;133:1128–34
133. Leiberman A, Tal A, Brama I, Sofer S. Obstructive sleep apnea in young infants. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 1988;16:39–44
134. Guilleminault C, Huang YS, Glamann C, Li K, Chan A. Adenotonsillectomy and obstructive sleep apnea in children: a prospective survey. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007;136:169–75
135. Fung JW, Li TS, Choy DK, Yip GW, Ko FW, Sanderson JE, Hui DS. Severe obstructive sleep apnea is associated with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Chest 2002;121:422–9
136. Dincer HE, O’Neill W. Deleterious effects of sleep-disordered breathing on the heart and vascular system. Respiration 2006;73:124–30
137. Kwok KL, Ng DK, Chan CH. Cardiovascular changes in children with snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. Ann Acad Med Singapore 2008;37:715–21
138. Yilmaz MD, Onrat E, Altuntas A, Kaya D, Kahveci OK, Ozel O, Derekoy S, Celik A. The effects of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy on pulmonary arterial pressure in children. Am J Otolaryngol 2005;26:18–21
139. Bandla P, Brooks LJ, Trimarchi T, Helfaer M. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children. Anesthesiol Clin North America 2005;23:535–49, viii
140. Rennotte MT, Baele P, Aubert G, Rodenstein DO. Nasal continuous positive airway pressure in the perioperative management of patients with obstructive sleep apnea submitted to surgery. Chest 1995;107:367–74
141. Ryan CF, Lowe AA, Li D, Fleetham JA. Magnetic resonance imaging of the upper airway in obstructive sleep apnea before and after chronic nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Am Rev Respir Dis 1991;144:939–44
142. Arias MA, Garcia-Rio F, Alonso-Fernandez A, Martinez I, Villamor J. Pulmonary hypertension in obstructive sleep apnoea: effects of continuous positive airway pressure: a randomized, controlled cross-over study. Eur Heart J 2006;27:1106–13
143. Strauss SG, Lynn AM, Bratton SL, Nespeca MK. Ventilatory response to CO2 in children with obstructive sleep apnea from adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Anesth Analg 1999;89:328–32
144. Francis A, Eltaki K, Bash T, Cortes S, Mojdehi K, Goldstein NA. The safety of preoperative sedation in children with sleep-disordered breathing. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2006;70:1517–21
145. Viitanen H, Annila P, Viitanen M, Tarkkila P. Premedication with midazolam delays recovery after ambulatory sevoflurane anesthesia in children. Anesth Analg 1999;89:75–9
146. Viitanen H, Annila P, Viitanen M, Yli-Hankala A. Midazolam premedication delays recovery from propofol-induced sevoflurane anesthesia in children 1-3 yr. Can J Anaesth 1999;46:766–71
147. Helfaer MA, Wilson MD. Obstructive sleep apnea, control of ventilation, and anesthesia in children. Pediatr Clin North Am 1994;41:131–51
148. Ochiai R, Guthrie RD, Motoyama EK. Differential sensitivity to halothane anesthesia of the genioglossus, intercostals, and diaphragm in kittens. Anesth Analg 1992;74:338–44
149. Litman RS, Kottra JA, Gallagher PR, Ward DS. Diagnosis of anesthetic-induced upper airway obstruction in children using respiratory inductance plethysmography. J Clin Monit Comput 2002;17:279–85
150. Arai YC, Nakayama M, Kato N, Wakao Y, Ito H, Komatsu T. The effects of jaw thrust and the lateral position on heart rate variability in anesthetized children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Anesth Analg 2007;104:1352–5, table of contents
151. Arai YC, Fukunaga K, Hirota S, Fujimoto S. The effects of chin lift and jaw thrust while in the lateral position on stridor score in anesthetized children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Anesth Analg 2004;99:1638–41, table of contents
152. Clarke MB, Forster P, Cook TM. Airway management for tonsillectomy: a national survey of UK practice. Br J Anaesth 2007;99:425–8
153. Anderson BJ, Pearce S, McGann JE, Newson AJ, Holford NH. Investigations using logistic regression models on the effect of the LMA on morphine induced vomiting after tonsillectomy. Paediatr Anaesth 2000;10:633–8
154. Hatcher IS, Stack CG. Postal survey of the anaesthetic techniques used for paediatric tonsillectomy surgery. Paediatr Anaesth 1999;9:311–15
155. Infosino A. Pediatric upper airway and congenital anomalies. Anesthesiol Clin North America 2002;20:747–66
156. Bucx MJ, Grolman W, Kruisinga FH, Lindeboom JA, Van Kempen AA. The prolonged use of the laryngeal mask airway in a neonate with airway obstruction and Treacher Collins syndrome. Paediatr Anaesth 2003;13:530–3
157. Simurina T, Mikulandra S, Mraovic B, Sonicki Z, Kovacic M, Dzelalija B, Rudic M. The effect of propofol and fentanyl as compared with sevoflurane on postoperative vomiting in children after adenotonsillectomy. Coll Antropol 2006;30:343–7
158. Pappas AL, Sukhani R, Hotaling AJ, Mikat-Stevens M, Javorski JJ, Donzelli J, Shenoy K. The effect of preoperative dexamethasone on the immediate and delayed postoperative morbidity in children undergoing adenotonsillectomy. Anesth Analg 1998;87:57–61
159. Kaan MN, Odabasi O, Gezer E, Daldal A. The effect of preoperative dexamethasone on early oral intake, vomiting and pain after tonsillectomy. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2006;70:73–9
160. Hirunwiwatkul P. Pain-relieving effect of local steroid injection in uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. J Med Assoc Thai 2001;84(suppl 1):S384–S390
161. April MM, Callan ND, Nowak DM, Hausdorff MA. The effect of intravenous dexamethasone in pediatric adenotonsillectomy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1996;122:117–20
162. Kim MS, Cote CJ, Cristoloveanu C, Roth AG, Vornov P, Jennings MA, Maddalozzo JP, Sullivan C. There is no dose-escalation response to dexamethasone (0.0625-1.0 mg/kg) in pediatric tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy patients for preventing vomiting, reducing pain, shortening time to first liquid intake, or the incidence of voice change. Anesth Analg 2007;104:1052–8, tables of contents
163. Al-Shehri AM. Steroid therapy for post-tonsillectomy symptoms in adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Ann Saudi Med 2004;24:365–7
164. Brouillette RT, Manoukian JJ, Ducharme FM, Oudjhane K, Earle LG, Ladan S, Morielli A. Efficacy of fluticasone nasal spray for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. J Pediatr 2001;138:838–44
165. Bolton CM, Myles PS, Carlin JB, Nolan T. Randomized, double-blind study comparing the efficacy of moderate-dose metoclopramide and ondansetron for the prophylactic control of postoperative vomiting in children after tonsillectomy. Br J Anaesth 2007;99:699–703
166. Bolton CM, Myles PS, Nolan T, Sterne JA. Prophylaxis of postoperative vomiting in children undergoing tonsillectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Anaesth 2006;97:593–604
167. Iyer S, DeFoor W, Grocela J, Kamholz K, Varughese A, Kenna M. The use of perioperative antibiotics in tonsillectomy: does it decrease morbidity? Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2006;70:853–61
168. Moss IR, Belisle M, Laferriere A. Long-term recurrent hypoxia in developing rat attenuates respiratory responses to subsequent acute hypoxia. Pediatr Res 2006;59:525–30
169. Moss IR, Brown KA, Laferriere A. Recurrent hypoxia in rats during development increases subsequent respiratory sensitivity to fentanyl. Anesthesiology 2006;105:715–18
170. Waters KA, McBrien F, Stewart P, Hinder M, Wharton S. Effects of OSA, inhalational anesthesia, and fentanyl on the airway and ventilation of children. J Appl Physiol 2002;92:1987–94
171. Brown KA, Laferriere A, Lakheeram I, Moss IR. Recurrent hypoxemia in children is associated with increased analgesic sensitivity to opiates. Anesthesiology 2006;105:665–9
172. Ericsson E, Wadsby M, Hultcrantz E. Pre-surgical child behavior ratings and pain management after two different techniques of tonsil surgery. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2006;70:1749–58
173. Hultcrantz E, Ericsson E. Pediatric tonsillotomy with the radiofrequency technique: less morbidity and pain. Laryngoscope 2004;114:871–7
174. Stuart JC, MacGregor FB, Cairns CS, Chandrachud HR. Peritonsillar infiltration with bupivacaine for paediatric tonsillectomy. Anaesth Intensive Care 1994;22:679–82
175. Jebeles JA, Reilly JS, Gutierrez JF, Bradley EL Jr, Kissin I. The effect of pre-incisional infiltration of tonsils with bupivacaine on the pain following tonsillectomy under general anesthesia. Pain 1991;47:305–8
176. Erhan OL, Goksu H, Alpay C, Bestas A. Ketamine in post-tonsillectomy pain. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2007;71:735–9
177. Canbay O, Celebi N, Uzun S, Sahin A, Celiker V, Aypar U. Topical ketamine and morphine for post-tonsillectomy pain. Eur J Anaesthesiol 2008;25:287–92
178. Hullett BJ, Chambers NA, Pascoe EM, Johnson C. Tramadol vs morphine during adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea in children. Paediatr Anaesth 2006;16:648–53
179. Marret E, Flahault A, Samama CM, Bonnet F. Effects of postoperative, nonsteroidal, antiinflammatory drugs on bleeding risk after tonsillectomy: meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Anesthesiology 2003;98:1497–502
180. Cardwell M, Siviter G, Smith A. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and perioperative bleeding in paediatric tonsillectomy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005:CD003591
181. Krishna S, Hughes LF, Lin SY. Postoperative hemorrhage with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use after tonsillectomy: a meta-analysis. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003;129:1086–9
182. Jeyakumar A, Brickman TM, Williamson ME, Hirose K, Krakovitz P, Whittemore K, Discolo C. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and postoperative bleeding following adenotonsillectomy in pediatric patients. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2008;134:24–7
183. Dsida R, Coté CJ. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and hemorrhage following tonsillectomy: do we have the data? Anesthesiology 2004;100:749–51; author reply 751–2
184. Brown KA, Laferriere A, Moss IR. Recurrent hypoxemia in young children with obstructive sleep apnea is associated with reduced opioid requirement for analgesia. Anesthesiology 2004;100:806–10; discussion 5A
185. Sanders JC, King MA, Mitchell RB, Kelly JP. Perioperative complications of adenotonsillectomy in children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Anesth Analg 2006;103:1115–21
186. Statham MM, Elluru RG, Buncher R, Kalra M. Adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in young children: prevalence of pulmonary complications. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2006;132:476–80
187. Nixon GM, Kermack AS, McGregor CD, Davis GM, Manoukian JJ, Brown KA, Brouillette RT. Sleep and breathing on the first night after adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea. Pediatr Pulmonol 2005;39:332–8
188. Biavati MJ, Manning SC, Phillips DL. Predictive factors for respiratory complications after tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in children. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1997;123:517–21
189. Bower CM, Gungor A. Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Otolaryngol Clin North Am 2000;33:49–75
190. Gerber ME, O’Connor DM, Adler E, Myer CM III. Selected risk factors in pediatric adenotonsillectomy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1996;122:811–14
191. Koomson A, Morin I, Brouillette R, Brown KA. Children with severe OSAS who have adenotonsillectomy in the morning are less likely to have postoperative desaturation than those operated in the afternoon. Can J Anaesth 2004;51:62–7
192. Rosenberg J, Wildschiodtz G, Pedersen MH, von Jessen F, Kehlet H. Late postoperative nocturnal episodic hypoxaemia and associated sleep pattern. Br J Anaesth 1994;72:145–50
193. Helfaer MA, McColley SA, Pyzik PL, Tunkel DE, Nichols DG, Baroody FM, April MM, Maxwell LG, Loughlin GM. Polysomnography after adenotonsillectomy in mild pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Crit Care Med 1996;24:1323–7
194. Cardiorespiratory sleep studies in children. Establishment of normative data and polysomnographic predictors of morbidity. American Thoracic Society. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1999;160:1381–7
195. Weatherly RA, Mai EF, Ruzicka DL, Chervin RD. Identification and evaluation of obstructive sleep apnea prior to adenotonsillectomy in children: a survey of practice patterns. Sleep Med 2003;4:297–307
© 2009 International Anesthesia Research Society