Posted by: Indonesian Children | September 13, 2009

Causes Sleep Apnea

Hypertrophy of tonsils and/or adenoids account for most cases of obstructive sleep apnea in children. However, any anomaly of the upper airway may produce intermittent obstructive symptoms during sleep. Facial, oral, and throat eccentricities occur in numerous congenital syndromes. Certain storage diseases, hypothyroidism, and Down syndrome result in upper airway crowding due to a relative increase in tongue mass compared to mouth size.Neuromuscular diseases contribute to obstructive apnea because of abnormal muscle tone in the pharyngeal constrictors, which are responsible for maintaining airway patency. Children with Chiari malformations are usually not weak but may develop obstructive apnea due to dysfunction of the same pharyngeal muscle groups. Individuals with obesity typically have fatty infiltration of the soft tissues of the throat, limiting airway caliber and predisposing them to obstructive apnea. People with sickle cell anemia have a tendency toward obstructive apnea for reasons that are still unclear.Disorders associated with childhood obstructive sleep apnea include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adenotonsillar hypertrophy: This is most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children. The size of the tonsils and adenoids alone does not predict the presence or severity of obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Chronic nasal obstruction, including choanal stenosis, severe septal deviation, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps, and rare nasal and/or pharyngeal tumors
  • Down syndrome
  • Pierre Robin anomaly
  • Crouzon syndrome
  • Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Klippel-Feil syndrome
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
  • Apert syndrome
  • Prader Willi syndrome
  • Morbid obesity
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Achondroplasia
  • Laryngomalacia
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses
  • Conditions involving neuromuscular weakness, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Werdnig-Hoffman disease, late onset spinal muscular atrophy, Guillain Barré syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, and myotubular myopathy
  • Chiari malformation



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Yudhasmara Foundation

Office ; JL Taman Bendungan Asahan 5 Jakarta Indonesia 10210

phone : 62(021) 70081995 – 5703646

email :,




Clinic and Editor in Chief :

Widodo Judarwanto, pediatrician

email :

curriculum vitae



Copyright © 2009, Children Sleep Clinic  Information Education Network. All rights reserved


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