Outcome of adenotonsillectomy for severe obstructive sleep apnea in children

Ron B. Mitchell, James Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


To study changes in sleep behavior and quality of life in children after adenotonsillectomy for severe obstructive sleep apnea identified by a respiratory distress index ≥ 30. Children enrolled in the study underwent adenotonsillectomy and had both pre- and post-operative polysomnography. Caregivers also completed an OSA-18 quality of life survey prior to polysomnography and within 6 months of surgery. Paired Student's t-tests were used to compare pre- and post-operative scores. The study population included 29 children. The mean age was 7.1 years (range 1.4-17.0). The most common comorbidities were obesity, asthma and allergic disease. The mean pre-operative RDI was 63.9 and the mean post-operative RDI was 14.2 (P <. 0001). The mean total OSA-18 score before surgery was 77.6 and after surgery was 33.2. The differences in pre- and post-operative OSA-18 total scores and domain scores were significant (P <. 0001). Children with severe OSA who undergo adenotonsillectomy show a significant improvement in RDI and in quality of life over a period of several months after surgery. However, OSA does not resolve in the majority of these children and post-operative PSG is recommended to identify those who may require additional therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1379
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • Child
  • Obstructive
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep disorders
  • Tonsillectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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