Adenotonsillectomy for sleep-disordered breathing in a predominantly obese pediatric population

David H. Burstein, Alison Jackson, Jeremy Weedon, Katharina D. Graw-Panzer, Samir Fahmy, Nira A. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the efficacy of adenotonsillectomy (T&A) in the treatment of pediatric sleep-disordered breathing, and to determine the natural history in untreated children. Methods: The charts of children aged 1-12 who underwent polysomnography (PSG) between 1/2006 and 6/2009 were reviewed to identify children with positive studies. Children not treated by T&A were recruited and matched by age, time since initial PSG, and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) to children who underwent T&A. All participants were evaluated by a clinical assessment score (CAS-15), follow-up PSG, and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results: Sixteen matched pairs completed the study. Ten (63%) T&A patients were overweight or obese compared with 14 (88%) untreated patients. There was a greater median improvement in AHI in the surgical group compared to the nonsurgical group (10.3 vs. 6.5, p=0.044). Although the T&A children were more likely to have a follow-up AHI < 5 (81% vs. 69%) and <1 (44% vs. 25%), these results were not significant. The T&A group had significantly lower mean (SD) scores on the CAS-15 [8.9(6.1) vs. 29.4(16.2), p<0.001] and the CBCL total problem score [43.9(8.7) vs. 58.9(13.0), p<0.001]. Younger age at presentation (rho = -0.76, p<0.001), initial AHI (0.87, p<0.001), and initial AI (0.63, p=0.05) were correlated with change in AHI among T&A subjects. Conclusions: T&A was more effective in reducing AHI than no surgery. Median AHI improved in the nonsurgical group, and 4/16 (25%) untreated patients were cured (AHI < 1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-529
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenotonsillectomy
  • Efficacy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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