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Keywords:

  • Child;
  • sleep quality;
  • obstructive sleep apnea;
  • adenotonsillectomy;
  • electroencephalogram;
  • electrocardiogram;
  • Level of Evidence: 2c

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

The aim of this study was to demonstrate postoperative changes in sleep quality in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), using both conventional sleep staging and electrocardiogram-based cardiopulmonary coupling (CPC) analysis. The hypothesis is that being electroencephalography (EEG)-independent, CPC may detect changes in sleep quality that traditional sleep architecture analysis cannot.

Study Design:

Retrospective outcome research.

Methods:

We included 37 children (aged 6.89 ± 2.76 years, 28 male) with OSA who underwent adenotonsillectomy, and analyzed standard polysomnography and CPC parameters from a full-night study before and after adenotonsillectomy. High-frequency coupling (HFC) and low-frequency coupling (LFC) were used as indices of stable and unstable sleep, respectively.

Results:

Adenotonsillectomy led to a significant change in CPC parameters (HFC, 50.3 ± 16.1% to 56.1 ± 14.7%, P = .03; LFC, 35.1 ± 14.5% to 27.3 ± 13.0%, P = .003), which was paralleled by improvements in the apnea-hypopnea (12.7 ± 13.7 to 1.0 ± 0.8, P < .001) and arousal index (20.8 ± 11.5 to 9.9 ± 3.9, P < .001). Polysomnographic sleep stage parameters other than the arousal index did not reflect postoperative resolution of OSA.

Conclusions:

In pediatric OSA, postoperative improvement of sleep quality is more readily discernible by CPC analysis than EEG-based sleep staging. The CPC analysis may have potential advantages in the assessment of sleep quality in pediatric populations.