Systematic review of site of obstruction identification and non-CPAP treatment options for children with persistent pediatric obstructive sleep apnea

P. Vairavan Manickam, Sally R. Shott, Emily F. Boss, Aliza P. Cohen, Jareen K. Meinzen-Derr, Raouf S. Amin, Stacey L. Ishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis Although adenotonsillectomy is accepted as a first-line therapy for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there is currently no consensus regarding optimal methods for identifying the sites of obstruction or treatment of children with persistent disease after surgery. With this in mind, our aim was to systematically review the English-language literature pertaining to these issues. Study Design Systematic review. Methods We searched all indexed years of Pubmed, Cochrane CENTRAL, DynaMed, UpToDate, CINAHL, and Scopus for English-language articles containing original human data, with ≥ 7 participants, all < 18 years old. Data regarding study design, demographics, clinical characteristics/outcomes, level of evidence, and risk of bias were obtained. Articles were independently reviewed by two investigators. Results Of 758 identified abstracts, 24 articles (combined population = 960) were ultimately included. Seventeen (71%) described methods to identify site(s) of obstruction: drug-induced sleep endoscopy (11/24), cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (3/24), and alternative imaging (3/24). Treatment options included lingual tonsillectomy (n = 6), with success rates of 57% to 88% (Cohen's effect size d = 1.38), as well as supraglottoplasty (n = 4), with success rates of 58% to 72% (d = 0.64). Additional treatments included medications and surgery (e.g., partial midline glossectomy and tongue suspension). Conclusions Drug-induced sleep endoscopy and cine MRI are the most commonly reported tools to identify sites of obstruction for children with persistent OSA; however, these techniques have not yet been clearly linked to outcomes. Evidence for treatment is extremely limited and focuses primarily on lingual tonsillectomy and supraglottoplasty. Also, reports regarding appropriate patient selection and outcomes in obese or otherwise healthy children are scant. Laryngoscope, 126:491-500, 2016.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-500
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Diagnosis
  • cine MRI
  • drug-induced sleep endoscopy
  • lingual tonsillectomy
  • pediatric
  • persistent obstructive sleep apnea
  • sleep state-dependent laryngomalacia
  • supraglottoplasty
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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