Analysis of polysomnogram findings in children with concurrent obstructive and central sleep apnea

Chaewon Hwang, Maya Ramagopal, Kelvin Kwong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Increasing evidence suggests overlap in mechanisms of obstructive and central sleep apnea. Our objective was to compare the patient characteristics and polysomnographic findings of children with concurrent obstructive and central sleep apnea (obstructive sleep apnea + central sleep apnea [OSA + CSA]), to those with OSA only. Methods: A retrospective case series of polysomnogram (PSG) from 30 June 2013 to 30 June 2018 of patients 18 years and younger was performed. PSG parameters were analyzed per standard protocol. There were two groups, OSA only group and OSA + CSA group. OSA + CSA was subdivided into groups of central apnea index (CAI) ≤5, and CAI >5. Differences in the age, sex, body mass index (BMI) percentile, prevalence of medical conditions, and PSG parameters between OSA only and OSA + CSA were assessed for statistical significance. Results: The mean age of the OSA only group was 8.2 years, significantly higher than that of the OSA + CSA group, 5.0 years, P <.00001. The proportion of underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese patients according to BMI percentiles was not statistically significantly different between the two groups, P >.05. Most common comorbidity in the two groups was pulmonary conditions, which included asthma. Of the PSG parameters, arousals due to respiratory events and obstructive apnea hypopnea index of all OSA + CSA groups were significantly higher than those of the OSA only group, P <.05. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep was significantly higher in total OSA + CSA group and OSA + CSA subgroup with CAI ≤5, P <.05, compared to OSA only. Conclusion: Children with concurrent OSA + CSA are younger, but there appears to be no difference in BMI percentiles between OSA only and OSA + CSA. Compared to OSA only group, children with concurrent OSA + CSA have significantly different sleep architecture—higher REM %—and experience significantly higher respiratory arousals and obstructive events, especially in the subgroup with CAI >5. There appears to be overlap in mechanisms of CSA and OSA in this cohort. Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1449-1454
Number of pages6
JournalLaryngoscope investigative otolaryngology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • arousals due to respiratory events
  • central sleep apnea
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • pediatric sleep disorders
  • polysomnogram


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