From the Journals

Nasal ventilation function may factor into children’s OSA



Children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome showed significantly reduced nasal ventilation function, compared with healthy controls, based on data from more than 200 individuals.

Previous research has shown an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) in patients with compromised nasal respiration, but the association between increased nasal resistance (NR) and OSAS in children is controversial and remains unclear, wrote Ying Pang, MD, of Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, China, and colleagues.

In a study published in the Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, the researchers enrolled 109 children aged 6-12 years with OSAS and 116 healthy control children, with the goal of examining the role of nasal ventilation function on OSAS. Participants underwent acoustic rhinometry (AR) following polysomnography, and measurements of the nasal minimal cross-sectional area (NMCA) were taken in 3 segments, as were nasal cavity volume (NCV) from 0 cm to 5 cm, nasopharyngeal volume (NPV) from 6 cm to 8 cm, and distance of the minimal cross-sectional area to the nostril (DCAN). The children also underwent NR testing in both nostrils while awake and lying in a supine position.

Overall, the NR of children with OSAS were significantly higher than that of controls (P < .05). For AR, children with OSAS had significantly lower measures of NMCA, NCV, and NPV, but DCAN values were between the groups. Both AR and NR measures were similar among children with mild, moderate, or severe OSAS.

A subset of 90 children with mild or moderate OSAS were treated with intranasal corticosteroids (ICS) and oral montelukast for 12 weeks. Of these, 69 completed the study and were divided into three groups: effectively cured (group A), successfully treated (group B), and treatment failure (group C). The researchers compared the size of the tonsil adenoids, the polysomnography, NR, and AR before and after treatment and found significant differences in NR, NMCA, and NCV for the A and B groups but no significant changes in DCAN following treatment.

For group A, treatment was associated with a significant reduction in adenoid size and increase in NPV, but these changes did not occur in group B.

The findings were limited by several factors, including the small sample size and measurement of NR when patients were awake and sitting upright, and larger studies are needed to confirm the results, the researchers noted.

However, the results suggest that NVF plays a role in the pathogenesis of OSAS in children and suggest a need to improve NVF in treating these patients they concluded.

This study was supported by the Medical Project of Chongqing Municipal Science and Health Bureau of China. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.

Next Article:

Seasonal variations in sleep architecture