Who needs a Sleep Study?

A sleep study is performed if the Pediatric Pulmonologist & Sleep Specialist feels that the issues faced by a child during the night sleep requires further evaluation to treat. The most common reason why a sleep study is done is for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. A sleep study helps to decide the role of surgery or medication in a child with OSA. Other conditions where a sleep study is useful is for children with neuromuscular or genetic conditions. In these children, the sleep study helps to diagnose their breathing pattern, sleep issues and aids in planning their treatment with non-invasive ventilation (NIV).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

OSA is the commonest reason a sleep study is conducted in children. By measuring the breathing pattern and oxygen levels during sleep, the sleep specialist will be able to opine on further treatment for a child with OSA. A sleep study helps to make the decision of whether a surgery like adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy will help a child.

Neuromuscular disorders (NMD)

Children who suffer from underlying neuromuscular disorders begin to develop difficulty in breathing with time, known as respiratory failure. Their respiratory muscles start to lose strength and these children need support to breathe. They are also prone to obstructive sleep apnea. This begins to happen during sleep and can be picked up early by a sleep study. A sleep study helps to plan the treatment for them like non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and also helps to decide the pressures of the NIV machine. Common conditions we manage include:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
  • Spinomuscular atrophy (SMA)
  • Myopathies/muscular dystophies

Genetic syndromes and disorders

Many genetic conditions are known to develop sleep and respiratory issues in children. If they are diagnosed early, these children will benefit with treatment of obstructive breathing and respiratory failure by either surgery or NIV. A sleep study is the primary test which helps diagnose and manage respiratory and sleep issues in children with genetic syndromes. Common genetic conditions in whom we have done sleep studies include:

  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis
  • Smith-Magenis Syndrome
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Achondroplasia
  • Beckwith-Wiedeman Syndrome