Sleep evaluation may help identify kids at risk for respiratory complications after tonsil surgery

January 17, 2011, JAMA and Archives Journals

Performing polysomnography (sleep study) prior to pediatric adenotonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids) may help identify children at a higher risk of developing postoperative respiratory complications, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head Neck Surgery.

"Pediatric is a safe outpatient procedure; however, there is a subset of patients who do not meet the criteria for outpatient surgery," according to background information in the article. Guidelines for adenotonsillectomy, established by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, recommend that children should be healthy, have no evidence of obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (recurring episodes of obstruction or collapse of the upper airway during sleep) and be older than 3 years.

To determine if polysomnography may potentially predict adverse outcomes following a pediatric adenotonsillectomy, Eric M. Jaryszak, M.D., of the George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., and colleagues, examined the records of 1,131 children who underwent an adenotonsillectomy by two attending surgeons at an academic pediatric hospital.

Preoperative polysomnography was performed on 151 patients, representing 13.4 percent of all those undergoing adenotonsillectomy. Of these, 23 (15.2 percent) experienced adverse respiratory events after surgery. Results of the polysomnography showed that patients who experienced respiratory complications had significantly higher apnea-hypopnea index (provides an overall severity of sleep apnea including sleep disruptions or low levels of oxygen in the blood), higher hypopnea index (episodes of overly shallow breathing or abnormally low respiratory rates) and lower nadir oxygen saturation (the lowest level of oxygen saturation).

Additionally, the 23 individuals who experienced complications had a higher body mass index (BMI) compared with those who did not have complications, with 47.8 percent defined as obese, according to BMI criteria, versus 29.7 percent in the non-complication subgroup.

Overall, the patients who experienced adverse respiratory events spent an additional 22 days in the hospital beyond routine overnight observation for persons with obstructive apnea-hypopnea syndrome.

"Polysomnographic data may potentially be used for predicting which patients are at higher risk for adverse respiratory events after adenotonsillectomy," the authors conclude. "Such knowledge is valuable in planning postoperative management and perhaps intraoperative anesthesia management."

More information: Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011;137[1]:15-18.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists gain new insight on how antibodies interact with widespread respiratory virus

February 22, 2018
Scientists have found and characterized the activity of four antibodies produced by the human immune system that target an important protein found in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to new research published ...

Study reveals how kidney disease happens

February 22, 2018
Monash researchers have solved a mystery, revealing how certain immune cells work together to instigate autoimmune kidney disease.

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes

February 16, 2018
According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, ...

Study suggests expanded range for emerging tick-borne disease

February 16, 2018
Human cases of Borrelia miyamotoi, a tick-borne infection with some similarities to Lyme disease, were discovered in the eastern United States less than a decade ago. Now new research led by the Yale School of Public Health ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.