Importance: Persistent obstructive sleep apnea after adenotonsillectomy is common in children with Down syndrome or obesity. Drug-induced sleep endoscopy could help to identify anatomic differences in these patients that might affect surgical decision-making. Objective: To assess drug-induced sleep endoscopy findings in surgically naive children with obstructive sleep apnea with obesity or Down syndrome and compare these findings with children without obesity or Down syndrome. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional analysis of data from a prospective cohort study of patients enrolled between May 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019, was conducted at an academic tertiary care children's hospital and included a consecutive sample of surgically naive children (age 2-18 years) who underwent drug-induced sleep endoscopy at the time of adenotonsillectomy for sleep-disordered breathing. Indications for sleep endoscopy included severe sleep apnea, age older than 7 years, obesity, African American race, and Down syndrome. Exposures: Drug-induced sleep endoscopy. Main Outcomes and Measures: Sleep endoscopy findings were scored according to the Sleep Endoscopy Rating Scale. Ratings at 6 anatomic levels for children with obesity and those with Down syndrome were compared with controls without obesity or Down syndrome using several measures of effect size (Cohen d, Cramer V, and η2). Results: A total of 317 children (158 girls [50%]; 219 [69%] White, 20 [6%] Black, and 103 [34%] Hispanic; mean [95% CI] age, 9.6 [9.2-10.0] years) were included, of whom 115 (36%) were controls without obesity or Down syndrome, 179 (56%) had obesity without Down syndrome, and 23 (7%) had Down syndrome. The mean apnea-hypopnea index was 16 (95% CI, 13-19), and the mean minimum O2saturation was 83% (95% CI, 81%-85%). Compared with controls without obesity or Down syndrome, children with Down syndrome demonstrated greater overall obstruction (mean sleep endoscopy rating scale total score of 5.6 vs 4.8; Cohen d, 0.46), and greater tonsillar (percentage of complete obstruction: 65% vs 54%), tongue base (percentage of complete obstruction: 26% vs 12%), and arytenoid obstruction (percentage of at least partial obstruction, 35% vs 6%). Children with obesity had greater tonsillar (percentage of complete obstruction, 74% vs 54%) and less base of tongue obstruction (percentage of complete obstruction, 2% vs 12%) compared with controls. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, surgically naive children with obesity with obstructive sleep apnea had predominantly tonsillar obstruction, whereas children with Down syndrome demonstrated greater obstruction of the tonsils, tongue base, and arytenoids compared with controls. Routine drug-induced sleep endoscopy should be considered in surgically naive children with Down syndrome to help inform the surgical plan.
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