Outcomes of Adenotonsillectomy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children Under 3 Years of Age

Swathi S. Rayasam, Claire Abijay, Romaine Johnson, Ron B. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To identify predictors of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) after adenotonsillectomy (T&A) in children under 3 years of age and to describe the characteristics of children with OSA under 3 years of age undergoing T&A in an ethnically diverse population. Methods: We examined 87 children under 3 years with T&A and pre- and post-operative polysomnography (PSG) between 8/2012 and 3/2020 at a large tertiary care hospital. Differences were compared for covariates including demographics, comorbidities, and respiratory parameters. Regression was used to identify predictors of persistent severe OSA. Significance was set at P <.05. Results: Of the 87 children in the study, 64 (74%) were male, 26 (30%) were obese, 34 (39%) were Hispanic, and 35 (40%) were Black. Most children (94%) had improvements in OSA severity as measured by the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) after T&A, but 78% had persistent OSA (AHI ≥1) after surgery. Children with persistent mild, compared to moderate-severe OSA, were more likely to have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (50% versus 24%, P =.025), a craniofacial disorder (30% versus 10%, P =.025), Down syndrome (20% versus 5%, P =.031), or pre-operative severe OSA. Conclusions: This study of an ethnically diverse population found that T&A is an effective procedure at improving, but not resolving, OSA in children under 3 years. Children with Down syndrome, craniofacial abnormalities, GERD, or pre-operative severe OSA who are under 3 years old are at high risk for persistent OSA and may benefit from post-operative PSG. Future study should examine complications and long-term outcomes of T&A in this age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • otolaryngology
  • pediatrics
  • tonsillectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcomes of Adenotonsillectomy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children Under 3 Years of Age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this