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At the recent annual meeting of the Society for Ear, Nose, and Throat Advances in Children in Washington, DC, Alan Seid, MD, San Diego, Calif, reviewed the subject of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. According to Dr Seid, the terms sleep apnea syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea are misnomers. He submits that the term obstructive sleep disorder more accurately describes this entity; in his experience, only 60% of children who are candidates for adenotonsillectomy on this basis exhibit apnea.
Dr Seid outlined the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep disorders in children as follows: snoring, 100%; stops breathing, 60%; mouth breathing, 25%; awake frequently at night, 20%; hypersomnolence, 15%; obesity, 10%; respiratory failure, 5%; poor school performance, 5%; somnambulism, 5%; nightmares, 5%; and enuresis, 5%.
Examination of the child with the obstructive sleep disorder begins with a detailed history and physical examination. A lateral roentgenogram of the nasopharynx is often useful
HARLEY EH. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Disorders. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(6):589. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870180019002