A recently published study evaluated the effect of early adenotonsillectomy on polysomnographic, cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes assessed over a 7-month period.1 A total of 464 children aged 5 to 9 years with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome were randomized to a strategy of watchful waiting or early adenotonsillectomy, and outcomes were assessed at baseline and at 7 months. The primary outcome was the attention and executive-function score on the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment.
Results showed no significant change from baseline to follow-up for the primary outcome of attention and executive-function score (mean [±SD] improvement, 7.1 ± 13.9 in the early-adenotonsillectomy group, and 5.1 ± 13.4 in the watchful-waiting group; P = .16).
Significant improvements were demonstrated in the secondary end points of behavior, quality of life, polysomnographic findings, and reduction in symptoms in the early-adenotonsillectomy group compared with the watchful-waiting group. The authors concluded that the study demonstrates beneficial effects of early adenotonsillectomy with regard to behavior, quality of life, and polysomnographic findings; however, early adenotonsillectomy did not significantly improve attention or executive function as measured by neuropsychological testing.
Dr. Reed is a freelance writer in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.