The impact of obstructive sleep apnea on growth in patients with syndromic and complex craniosynostosis: a retrospective study

Sumin Yang*, I. M. J. Mathijssen, K. F. M. Joosten

*Corresponding author for this work

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Given the high prevalence of OSA in children with syndromic and complex craniosynostosis (SCC) and the consequences of untreated OSA, it is important to assess their nutritional status and growth. Yet, literature regarding growth in children with SCC remain scarce. Therefore, this study aimed to (1) illustrate the growth pattern in SCC, (2) determine the impact of OSA on this growth pattern, and (3) evaluate the effect of surgical treatment of OSA on growth over time. A retrospective study was performed in children with SCC, who were treated at the Dutch Craniofacial Center (Rotterdam, Netherlands). Growth variables (height, weight, weight-for-age standard-deviation-score (SDS), weight-for-height SDS, and height-for-age SDS) and degree of OSA (obstructive apnea-hypopnea index) were assessed. Of the 153 children with SCC, 38 (25%) were acutely malnourished at some point during follow-up, of whom 21 had disease-related acute malnutrition. Children with moderate-severe OSA had significant lower weightfor-height SDS compared to children without OSA (p= 0.0063). Growth parameters (weight-for-age SDS, weight-for-height SDS, height-for-age SDS) in children with SCC without OSA were not impaired as they did not differ from the normal healthy population, with exception of the patients with Saethre-Chotzen syndrome (SCS) who had a significantly lower SDS for height-for-age.

Conclusion: Children with SCC have a substantial chance of developing acute malnutrition at some point during growth. Additionally, in children with moderate-severe OSA, a significant lower SDS for weight-for-height is present, indicating the importance of assessing the weight and growth pattern in children who are clinically suspected for OSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4191-4197
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number12
Early online date28 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Sophia Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (projectnumber: B16-03A). The study sponsor had no involvement in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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