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The Pediatric Forum
March 2005

Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Failure to Thrive: Research vs Practice

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(3):298-300. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.3.299

Reports since the 1980s identify a causal connection between sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and childhood failure to thrive (FTT).1,2 For most children, adenotonsillar hypertrophy is the primary factor leading to SDB; adenotonsillectomy is curative in the vast majority of these cases.3 Otherwise healthy children with FTT show significant catch-up growth following adenotonsillar surgery.1,2,4 The American Academy of Pediatrics (Elk Grove Village, Ill) identifies FTT as among the most serious complications of untreated obstructive sleep apnea.3