Study Objectives: Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is frequently associated with adenotonsillar hypertrophy, and the fact that about 30% of affected children continue to show OSA after adenotonsillectomy (AT) suggests the presence of some other predisposing factor(s). We hypothesized that abnormal maxillofacial morphology may be a predisposing factor for residual OSA in pediatric patients.Methods: A total of 13 pediatric OSA patients (9 boys and 4 girls, age [median (interquartile range)] = 4.7 (4.0, 6.4) y, body mass index (BMI) z score = -0.3 (-0.8, 0.5)) who had undergone AT were recruited for this study. Maxillomandibular size was measured using an upright lateral cephalogram, and correlations between size and the apnea hypopnea index (AHI) values obtained before (pre AT AHI) and about 6 months after AT (post AT AHI) were analyzed.Results: AHI decreased from 12.3 (8.9, 26.5)/h to 3.0 (1.5,4.6) /h after AT (p < 0.05). Residual OSA was seen in 11 of the 13 patients (84.6%) and their AHI after AT was 3.1 (2.7,4.7) /h. The mandible was smaller than the Japanese standard value, and a significant negative correlation was seen between maxillomandibular size and post AT AHI (p < 0.05).Conclusions: These findings suggest that the persistence of OSA after AT may be partly due to the smaller sizes of the mandible in pediatric patients. We propose that the maxillomandibular morphology should be carefully examined when a treatment plan is developed for OSA children.
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