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Management of obstructive sleep apnea in children

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

INTRODUCTION

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep, often resulting in gas exchange abnormalities and arousals causing disrupted sleep. The condition exists in 2 to 5 percent of children and can occur at any age [1,2]. Untreated OSA is associated with cardiovascular complications, impaired growth (including failure to thrive), learning problems, and behavioral problems. Early diagnosis and treatment may decrease morbidity [3].

An overview of surgical and medical management of children with confirmed OSA (defined as apnea hypopnea index [AHI] >1 on sleep study in the setting of clinically relevant symptoms) is reviewed here. The diagnostic evaluation of suspected OSA in children is described separately. (See "Evaluation of suspected obstructive sleep apnea in children".)

More detailed information about specific treatments for OSA in children is available from the following topic reviews:

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

(See "CPAP for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea".)

                      

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Sep 07 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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