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Sleep apnoea in children

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in children consists in a wide spectrum of respiratory disorders, which are commonly characterized by upper airway increased resistance, with pulmonary ventilation temporary interruption and sleep quality alteration. (1)

  • SDB clinically related conditions vary from simple snoring to more complex manifestation, such as the Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS).

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition with prolonged partial obstruction and/or intermittent complete obstruction of the upper airway that adversely affects ventilation during sleep resulting in an interruption of normal sleep patterns (2)

  • it can be due to either an anatomical obstruction in the pharyngeal airway or a reduction of pharyngeal muscle tone, or a combination of both

OSA in children differs from adult OSA since it has completely different clinical features and requires different management strategies (2)


(1) Giuca MR, et al. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: Emerging Evidence and Treatment Approach. ScientificWorldJournal. 2021 Apr 23;2021:5591251.

(2) Powell S et al. Paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea. BMJ. 2010;340:c1918

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