Sleep-disordered breathing in male subjects with a history of nose-throat surgery

Dan Teculescu, Lahoucine Benamghar



The question addressed in this study was: could a history of nose-throat surgery represent a risk factor for sleep-disordered breathing? Three hundred and fifty French male employees answered a sleep / respiration questionnaire and had anthropometric measurements. A history of nose and/or throat surgery-mostly tonsillectomy or tonsillectomy plus adenoïdectomy- was given by 69 (19.7%) of the subjects (“at risk” group). The prevalence of snoring, breathing pauses during sleep or grasping was similar in “at risk” and control (no history) subjects, but the prevalence of two symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness and “waking up with headaches”, was significantly higher in the group at risk. The present results suggest the persistence of minor (residual?) airway obstruction in subjects with a history of nose/throat surgery. This obstruction could be responsible for an alteration of declared sleep quality, although not severe enough for eliciting breathing pauses.


nose-throat surgery, sleep disordered breathing, daytime sleepiness, morning headache  

Obstructive sleep apnoeas (OSA) are due to repetitive closures of the collapsible pharyngeal airway; any increase in the upstream airways resistance represents a promoting factor (1) . In children the most frequent cause of OSA is an adenotonsillar hypertrophy; therefore surgery is able to cure the condition in most (2) , but not all patients (3,4) . In adults, tonsillar hypertrophy can be responsible for OSA (5) and tonsillectomy was demonstrated to reduce the number of apneas (6) . The present study tested the hypothesis that residual, minor upper airway obstruction persisting in adults with a history of adeno-tonsillectomy or nose surgery could represent a risk for sleep-disordered breathing...


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