Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Harmeet Chiang


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea has become recognized as one of the most common, under-diagnosed chronic diseases. Recently studies have shown increased numbers among the pediatric and adolescent population. OSA in children is associated with behavioral problems, poor school achievements, and in severe cases, pulmonary hypertension. OSA is often the Achilles heel of pediatric sedation and analgesic programs; during sedation, children with OSA have an increased vulnerability of their airway undergoing pharyngeal collapse and of having upper airway obstruction. Consequently, pediatric dentists who practice sedation dentistry should exercise extra precautions when treating patients with risk of sleep apnea. Currently there is no screening tool used in pediatric dentistry for diagnosing OSA during the pre-operative appointment or consultation for patients undergoing minimal and moderate oral conscious sedation. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a concise and easy-to-use questionnaire as a screening tool to aid in the diagnosis of OSA in pediatric patients. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review of 180 patients under the age of 18, who completed a polysomnogram at the VCU Center for Sleep Medicine between February 2011 and February 2013. A validated adult questionnaire, STOPBANG, was modified using more typical pediatric risk factors for OSA: presence of snoring (S), tonsillar hypertrophy (T1), tiredness; pESS>10 (T2), observed obstruction (O), neuroPsych-behavioral symptoms such as ADHD or daytime irritability (P), BMI percentile for age (B), age at diagnostic screening (A), presence of neuromuscular disorder (N), and presence of genetic/congenital disorder (G). A positive scoring from these variables was measured against the standard OSA measure, Apnea-Hypopnea Index. A multiple logistic regression analysis tested for relationships. Results: There was a statistically significant relationship P= .0007 for the S(T1)OPBANG scale, with a minimum of 4 variables needed to have a sensitivity of 57% and a specificity of 78%. There was also a statistically significant relationship P= .0040 for the S(T2)OPBANG, the cutoff>5 yielding sensitivity=36%, and specificity=90%. Only obstruction, BMI, and age showed a strong significant relationship to OSA. The presence of an obstruction was positively related to apnea (P = 0.0010). Most of the other components had an odds-ratio larger than one (indicating a nominally positive relationship). Conclusions: While both STOPBANG screening tools showed a statistically significant relationship, only obstruction, BMI, and age showed a predictive relationship to OSA. Consequently, consideration of other risk factors may be beneficial for future studies.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014

Included in

Dentistry Commons