Sleep study in children - Pediatric - Pulmonologist
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Sleep study in children

Sleep study in children

Sleep medicine has evolved significantly over the last decade, contributing to the diagnostic approach and treatment of several diseases in children, thus ensuring  their good health and appropriate  development.

Sleep study (polysomnography) is a noninvasive diagnostic method performed during a child’s nighttime sleep. During the sleep study, various parameters are recorded such as chest and abdominal movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide, heart rate and gross brain activity. The  recording values are obtained through  various sensors connected to the child. The sleep study is performed by a specialized sleep technician in a sleep center or hospital, supervised and interpreted by a doctor specialized in sleep science.

Indications for sleep study:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome,
  • Apnea of prematurity, central hypoventilation syndrome and intermittent breathing
  • Neuromuscular diseases (spinal muscular atrophy, cerebral palsy)
  • Craniofacial disorders
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Adjustment of invasive and non-invasive ventilation parameters.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS)
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is the most common indication of performing a sleep study and is estimated to occur in 2% of pediatric patients. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any child with suspected OSAS should be evaluated with a sleep study, as OSAS is common and often not diagnosed timely or even at all.

OSAS’ symptoms include signs or symptoms of airways obstruction such as snoring, labored breathing and apnea. Children with OSAS often experience daytime drowsiness, inability to concentrate or hyperactivity, decreased academic performance, eating disorders and behavioral changes. The most common cause of OSAS is hypertrophy of the adenoids and tonsils. Other causes are obesity and anatomical abnormalities of the face.