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Changes in behavioral and cognitive abilities after rapid maxillary expansion in children affected by persistent snoring after long-term adenotonsillectomy: A noncontrolled study

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2023 Dec 21:S0889-5406(23)00598-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2023.10.011. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to verify changes in behavioral abilities and cognitive functions after rapid maxillary expansion (RME) in children with refractory sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in the long term after adenotonsillectomy.

METHODS: A prospective clinical trial study using RME therapy was conducted. Participant inclusion criteria were children who had adenotonsillectomy with maxillary transverse deficiency and persistent SDB (obstructive apnea-hypopnea index ≥1). The study included 24 children aged 5-12 years, and of these 24 children, 13 had primary snoring and 11 had obstructive sleep apnea. The patients underwent laryngeal nasofibroscopy and a complete polysomnography. In addition, patients completed the Obstructive Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire and Obstructive Sleep Apnea 18-Item Quality-of-Life Questionnaire. Behavioral and neurocognitive tests were also completed before and after RME.

RESULTS: The Obstructive Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire and Obstructive Sleep Apnea 18-Item Quality-of-Life scores showed a statistically significant decrease in both groups (P <0.001) after RME. The results showed that neurocognitive and behavioral parameters (Child Behavior Checklist scale) were similar in primary snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) groups before RME. In the OSA group, the mean scores of the “Somatic” and “Aggressiveness” domains decreased significantly (P <0.05). The cognitive functions did not register significant differences pre- and post-RME in any of the cognitive functions, except for visuospatial function in the OSA group.

CONCLUSIONS: The noncontrolled design was a major limitation of our study. The need for treatment for SDB should consider the association of symptoms and behavioral disturbances with the child’s obstructive apnea-hypopnea index. RME might prove to be an alternative treatment for children with SDB refractory to adenotonsillectomy, improving quality of life and behavioral aspects. However, a larger sample size with a control group is needed to substantiate these claims.

PMID:38142392 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajodo.2023.10.011

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