Intracapsular and extracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in pediatric obstructive sleep apnea

Pamela Mukhatiyar, Kiran Nandalike, Hillel W. Cohen, Sanghun Sin, Mona Gangar, John P. Bent, Raanan Arens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE: Limited information exists regarding clinical outcomes of children undergoing extracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (ETA) or intracapsular tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (ITA) for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). OBJECTIVES: To quantify polysomnography (PSG) and clinical outcomes of ETA and ITA in children with OSAS and to assess the contribution of comorbid conditions of asthma and obesity. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective cohort study using medical records at a tertiary pediatrics inner-city hospital. Medical records from 89 children who underwent ETA or ITA between October 1, 2008, and December 31, 2013, were analyzed. The dates of our analysis were January 6, 2014, to April 11, 2014. Inclusion criteria required no evidence of craniofacial or neurological disorders, confirmation of OSAS by PSG within the 2 years before surgery, and a second PSG within the 2 years after surgery. INTERVENTIONS: Each child underwent ETA or ITA after being evaluated by a pediatric otolaryngologist and obtaining written parental informed consent. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Main primary outcomeswere derived from PSG. Secondary outcomes included treatment failure, defined as residual OSAS with an obstructive apnea-hypopnea index of at least 5 events per hour. Comparisons were made between and within groups. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with treatment failure. RESULTS: Fifty-two children underwent ETA, and 37 children underwent ITA. Children in the ETA group were older (7.5 vs 5.2 years, P =.001) and more obese (60% [31 of 52] vs 30% [11 of 37], P =.004). However, both groups had similar severity of OSAS, with median preoperative obstructive apnea-hypopnea indexes of 17.0 in the ETA group and 24.1 in the ITA group (P =.21), and similar prevalences of asthma (38%[20 of 52] vs 38%[14 of 37]). After surgery, significant improvement was noted on PSG in both groups, with no differences in any clinical outcomes. There was no association between procedure type, age, or body mass index z score and treatment failure. However, in a subset of patients with asthma and obesity, ITA was associated with residual OSAS (odds ratio, 16.5; 95%CI, 1.1-250.2; P =.04). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Both ETA and ITA are effective modalities to treat OSAS, with comparable surgical outcomes on short-term follow-up. However, when comorbid diagnoses of both asthma and obesity exist, OSAS is likely to be refractory to treatment with ITA compared with ETA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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