Comparison of oxygen desaturation patterns in children and adults with sleep-disordered breathing

Yuki Hara, Akiko Noda, Seiko Miyata, Hironao Otake, Yoshinari Yasuda, Masato Okuda, Yasuo Koike, Seiichi Nakata, Tsutomu Nakashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Although the number of apnea-hypopnea episodes per hour apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is typically used to evaluate sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in adults, it does not provide an accurate characterization of SDB in children. We investigated differences in SDB patterns in children and adults to evaluate SDB severity in children. Materials and methods Fifteen adults (mean age, 45.3 ± 8.4 years) and 15 children (mean age, 6.7 ± 3.9 years) with adenotonsillar hypertrophy underwent standard polysomnography. The change of oxygen saturation (ΔSpO2) was defined as the difference between baseline SpO2 during stable nighttime breathing and the lowest SpO2 accompanied by an apnea-hypopnea event. The number of apnea-hypopnea episodes was determined using two different criteria to define an episode (criterion 1: cessation of airflow for at least 10 s; criterion 2: cessation of airflow for at least two consecutive breaths). Results Mean ΔSpO2 accompanied by obstructive apneas lasting ≤ 10 s was significantly greater in children than in adults, although there was no significant difference in the duration of apnea-hypopnea episodes. The slope of the regression line between ΔSpO2 and apnea-hypopnea duration in children was greater than in adults (P < 0.005). AHI in children was higher when calculated using criterion 2 compared to criterion 1 (10.9 ± 9.4 vs. 6.5 ± 4.9/h, P = 0.003). Conclusions ΔSpO2 is a good indicator of SDB severity in children, and should therefore be considered in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric SDB along with AHI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-540
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 09-2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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