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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
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Minerva Pneumologica 2015 March;54(1):29-38

language: English

Evaluation of sleep disordered breathing in children

Chawla J. K. 1, Waters K. A. 2

1 Consultant Physician, Pediatric Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia;
2 Sleep Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Conjoint Professor, University of Sydney, Australia


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Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is used widely today as an all-encompassing term to describe a range of breathing abnormalities occurring in sleep, due to a dynamic imbalance between airway patency and collapse and leading to recurrent partial or complete airway obstruction. Habitual or primary snoring (PS) is often the term used to refer to the mildest for of SDB in children. It refers to snoring without intermittent hypoxia, hypercarbia or repeated arousal and is the most common form of SDB, estimated to affect 8-12% of children. In children, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is often characterized by prolonged episodes of increased upper airway resistance and increased respiratory effort associated with partial or complete upper airway obstruction and various combinations of snoring, intermittent hypoxemia, hypercarbia, restless sleep and increased number of awakenings.

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