Introduction: The most frequent cause of obstructive disorders of the upper airway in children is adenoid/tonsil hypertrophy. This hypertrophy leads to an extension of the head with relation to the cervical spine, which allows better respiratory function. The aim of this study is to compare the craniocervical architecture and the dimension of the upper airway in children with sleep disordered breathing before and after adenoid/tonsillectomy
Methods: 17 patients, which ages were between 5 and 12 years old before surgery, went under adenoid/tonsillectomy. They were diagnosed with sleep disordered breathing based on an ENT review and the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire survey. Each child underwent a craniocervical architectural analysis and an airway dimension analysis drawn over a cephalometric radiograph prior adenoid/tonsillectomy and 3 years after surgery.
Results: The results showed significant changes in the cervical architecture, showing a more posterior position of the fourth cervical vertebrae in relation of the odontoid 3 years after surgery. Also, 2 out of 4 nasopharynx sagital diameters increased and 2 out of 3 oropharynx sagittal diameters decreased.
Conclusions: The adenoid/tonsillectomy in this group of children produced changes in their cervical architecture, from a cervical kyphosis to a cervical lordosis. The nasopharynx sagittal diameters augmentation is the direct result of the adenoid resection. The oropharynx sagittal diameters reduction is the result of the new position of the pharynx walls after tonsillectomy.
Conflict of interest: None declared.