Objective To evaluate the effect of body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) and medical comorbidities on outcomes after lingual tonsillectomy and supraglottoplasty performed for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) caused by lingual tonsillar hypertrophy and occult laryngomalacia.
Design Retrospective case review series
Setting Academic tertiary referral center
Patients Children with persistent OSAS after adenotonsillectomy who underwent surgery to correct obstruction at the level of the lingual tonsils and/or supraglottis identified on sleep endoscopy.
Interventions All children underwent lingual tonsillectomy, supraglottoplasty, or both.
Main Outcome Measures Change in polysomnographic parameters, including apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), number of nighttime apneas, and lowest oxygen saturation level.
Results We analyzed the medical records of 84 children with persistent OSAS after adenotonsillectomy who underwent either lingual tonsillectomy (n = 68), supraglottoplasty (n = 24) or both (n = 8). Compared with children with lingual tonsillar hypertrophy, children with occult laryngomalacia were younger, had lower BMI, and were more likely to have a medical comorbidity. Overall, both operations significantly improved the AHI; however, children with comorbidities had significantly higher postoperative AHIs after supraglottoplasty than those without, and overweight children had significantly higher postoperative AHIs after lingual tonsillectomy than those of normal weight. The BMI z-score and age had direct, though weak, correlations with postoperative AHI among all children undergoing either technique of adjunct airway surgery.
Conclusions Lingual tonsillar hypertrophy and occult laryngomalacia are 2 important causes of residual OSAS after adenotonsillectomy. However, they tend to affect distinct populations of children, and though appropriate surgical correction can improve AHI, cure rates are significantly worse for overweight children undergoing lingual tonsillectomy and for children with medical comorbidities undergoing supraglottoplasty.