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Evaluation of suspected obstructive sleep apnea in children

Shalini Paruthi, MD
Section Editor
Ronald D Chervin, MD, MS
Deputy Editor
Alison G Hoppin, MD


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep, often resulting in gas exchange abnormalities and disrupted sleep. Untreated OSA is associated with learning and behavioral problems, cardiovascular complications, and impaired growth (including failure to thrive [FTT]) [1-6]. Early diagnosis and treatment of OSA may decrease morbidity. However, diagnosis is frequently delayed [3,7]. (See "Management of obstructive sleep apnea in children", section on 'Consequences of untreated OSA'.)

The risk factors, clinical manifestations, screening, and diagnostic evaluation of children who are suspected of having OSA are reviewed here. Pathogenesis, predisposing conditions, and treatment of pediatric OSA are discussed in other topic reviews:

(See "Mechanisms and predisposing factors for sleep-related breathing disorders in children".)

(See "Management of obstructive sleep apnea in children".)

(See "Adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea in children".)


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Literature review current through: Dec 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Jan 05 00:00:00 GMT 2017.
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