Comparison of Clinical Symptoms and Severity of Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children With and Without Cleft Lip and/or Palate

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine whether the clinical presentation or severity of sleep disordered breathing differs between children with or without a history of cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) presenting for sleep assessment.

Design:

Retrospective chart review.

Setting:

Tertiary care pediatric hospital cleft clinic, sleep clinic.

Patients:

Children >6 months of age presenting to the cleft clinic with sleep concerns and children without CL/P presenting to the sleep clinic in the same 2-year period.

Main Outcomes Measures:

Clinical symptoms and overnight polysomnography (PSG) results.

Results:

A total of 168 children (55 from cleft clinic, 113 from sleep clinic) were identified. Age at clinical review (6.6 ± 4.1 years versus 6.8 ± 4.0 years,P= ns), sex distribution (64.6% versus 58.4%,P= ns), and the presence of syndromes or significant medical conditions (12% versus 16%,P= ns) were similar between groups. Snoring was the reason for referral in 59% of children with CL/P and 69% of non-CL/P children (P= ns). The only presenting feature that differentiated between the groups was a lower incidence of tonsillar enlargement in children with CL/P (33% versus 79%, chi-square 30.4,P< 0.001). Sleep study results showed similar apnea-hypopnea indices (6.2 ± 6.9 versus 7.9 ± 7.1 events/hr,P=ns) with more central apnea in children with CL/P (1.5 ± 1.5 versus 1.0 ± 1.0 events/hr,P= 0.017).

Conclusions:

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are common in CL/P with less tonsillar enlargement than non-CL/P children. Children with CL/P have similar OSA severity compared to non-cleft children but more central apnea which may indicate differences in the control of breathing.

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