Predictors of postoperative respiratory complications in children undergoing adenotonsillectomy


Study objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is commonly treated with adenotonsillectomy (AT), bringing risk of perioperative respiratory adverse events (PRAEs). We aimed to concurrently identify clinical and polysomnographic predictors of PRAEs in children undergoing AT.

Methods: Retrospective study of children undergoing AT at a tertiary-care pediatric hospital, with prior in-hospital polysomnography, January 2010 to December 2016. PRAEs included those requiring oxygen, jaw thrust, positive airway pressure, or mechanical ventilation. Relationships of PRAEs to preoperative comorbidities or polysomnography results were examined with univariable logistic regression. Variables with P < .1 and age were included in backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression. Predictive performance (area under the curve, AUC) was validated with bootstrap resampling.

Results: Analysis included 374 children, median age 6.1 years; 286 (76.5%) had ≥ 1 comorbidity. 344 (92.0%) had sleep-disordered breathing; 232 (62.0%) moderate-severe; 66 (17.6%) had ≥ 1 PRAE. PRAEs were more frequent in children with craniofacial, genetic, cardiac, airway anomaly, or neurological conditions, AHI ≥ 5 events/h and oxygen saturation nadir ≤ 80% on preoperative polysomnography. Prediction modeling identified cardiac comorbidity (odds ratio [OR] 2.09 [1.11, 3.89]), airway anomaly (OR 3.19 [1.33, 7.49]), and younger age (OR < 3 years: 4.10 (1.79, 9.26; 3 to 6 years: 2.21 [1.18, 4.15]) were associated with PRAEs (AUC 0.74; corrected AUC 0.68).

Lead Researchers

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  1. Sherri Katz

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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  2. Kimmo Murto

    Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

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  3. Nick Barrowman

    Associate Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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  4. Matthew Bromwich

    Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

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