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      Prevalence of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Prader–Willi Syndrome


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          Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is common in patients with Prader–Willi Syndrome (PWS). However, the prevalence of SDB varies widely between studies. Early identification of SDB and factors contributing to its incidence is essential, particularly when considering growth hormone (GH) therapy.


          The aims of the study were to describe the prevalence and phenotypes of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) and to determine the effects of age, gender, symptoms, GH therapy and body mass index on SDB severity.


          This study was a retrospective chart review of all patients with genetically confirmed Prader–Willi syndrome who underwent diagnostic overnight polysomnography (PSG) in the sleep laboratory at Sidra Medicine. Clinical and PSG data of enrolled patients were collected.


          We identified 20 patients (nine males, eleven females) with PWS who had overnight sleep polysomnography (PSG) at a median age (IQR) of 5.83 (2.7–12) years. The median apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was 8.55 (IQR 5.8–16.9) events/hour. The median REM-AHI was 27.8 (IQR 15–50.6) events/hour. The median obstructive apnea-hypopnea index (OAHI) was 7.29 (IQR 1.8–13.5) events/hour. The median central apnea-hypopnea index (CAHI) was 1.77 (IQR 0.6–4.1) events/hour. Nineteen patients (95%) demonstrated SDB by polysomnography (PSG) based on AHI ≥1.5 events/hour. Nine patients (45%) were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Three patients (15%) were diagnosed with central sleep apnea (CSA). Seven patients (35%) were diagnosed with mixed sleep apnea. No correlations were observed between AHI and age, gender, BMI, symptoms, or GH therapy. However, REM-AHI was significantly correlated with BMI ( P=0.031).


          This study shows a high prevalence of SDB among our patients with PWS. Obstructive sleep apnea was the predominant phenotype. BMI was the only predictor for high REM-AHI. Further studies of large cohorts are warranted to define SDB in PWS and design the appropriate treatment.

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          Risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing in children. Associations with obesity, race, and respiratory problems.

          This study examined risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in children and adolescents; specifically, quantifying risk associated with obesity, race, and upper and lower respiratory problems. Subjects were participants in a genetic-epidemiologic study of SDB and included 399 children and adolescents 2 to 18 yr of age, recruited as members of families with a member (a proband) with known sleep apnea (31 index families) or as members of neighborhood control families (30 families). SDB was assessed with home overnight multichannel monitoring and SDB was defined based on an apneahypopnea index >/= 10 (moderately affected) or < 5 (unaffected). SDB of moderate level was significantly associated with obesity (odds ratio, 4.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.58 to 13.33) and African-American race (odds ratio, 3.49; 95% CI, 1.56 to 8.32) but not with sex or age. After adjusting for obesity, proband sampling, race and familial clustering, sinus problems and persistent wheeze each independently (of the other) predicted SDB. These data suggest the importance of upper and lower respiratory problems and obesity as risk factors for SDB in children and adolescents. Increased risk in African Americans appears to be independent of the effects of obesity or respiratory problems.
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            Growth Hormone Research Society Workshop Summary: Consensus Guidelines for Recombinant Human Growth Hormone Therapy in Prader-Willi Syndrome

            Context: Recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) has been used by the medical community and advocated by parental support groups since its approval in the United States in 2000 and in Europe in 2001. Its use in PWS represents a unique therapeutic challenge that includes treating individuals with cognitive disability, varied therapeutic goals that are not focused exclusively on increased height, and concerns about potential life-threatening adverse events. Objective: The aim of the study was to formulate recommendations for the use of rhGH in children and adult patients with PWS. Evidence: We performed a systematic review of the clinical evidence in the pediatric population, including randomized controlled trials, comparative observational studies, and long-term studies (>3.5 y). Adult studies included randomized controlled trials of rhGH treatment for ≥ 6 months and uncontrolled trials. Safety data were obtained from case reports, clinical trials, and pharmaceutical registries. Methodology: Forty-three international experts and stakeholders followed clinical practice guideline development recommendations outlined by the AGREE Collaboration (www.agreetrust.org). Evidence was synthesized and graded using a comprehensive multicriteria methodology (EVIDEM) (http://bit.ly.PWGHIN). Conclusions: Following a multidisciplinary evaluation, preferably by experts, rhGH treatment should be considered for patients with genetically confirmed PWS in conjunction with dietary, environmental, and lifestyle interventions. Cognitive impairment should not be a barrier to treatment, and informed consent/assent should include benefit/risk information. Exclusion criteria should include severe obesity, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea, active cancer, or psychosis. Clinical outcome priorities should vary depending upon age and the presence of physical, mental, and social disability, and treatment should be continued for as long as demonstrated benefits outweigh the risks.
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              Prader Willi syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea: co-occurrence in the pediatric population.

              A high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs in children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Yet, due in part to the relatively small samples previously used, the prevalence of OSA has varied greatly across studies. It is also unclear if factors such as age, gender, body mass index (BMI), or type of genetic imprinting are associated with increased risk for OSA among children with PWS. To evaluate the (a) prevalence of OSA, as well as narcolepsy, in pediatric populations diagnosed with PWS; (b) effects of age, gender, body mass index, and genetic imprinting on OSA severity; and (c) efficacy of adenotonsillectomy (AT) for decreasing OSA severity in this population. All studies assessing OSA among children with PWS through August 2013 were identified using the PubMed/Medline, Psych Info, Cochrane library, and Google Scholar data bases. Fourteen studies of children diagnosed with PWS and who were assessed for OSA using polysomnography (PSG) met inclusion criteria (n = 224 children). The prevalence of OSA across studies was 79.91% (n = 179/224). Among youths with OSA, 53.07% had mild OSA, 22.35% moderate OSA, and 24.58% severe OSA. Narcolepsy was found to occur in 35.71% of children with PWS. Adenotonsillectomy was associated with improvement in OSA for most children with PWS. However, residual OSA was present in the majority of cases post-surgery. This study confirms the high prevalence of OSA and narcolepsy among children with PWS. Screening for OSA and narcolepsy among children with PWS is recommended. In addition, while adenotonsillectomy was effective in reducing OSA for some children, alternative treatments may need to be considered, given the only moderate response rate.

                Author and article information

                Can Respir J
                Can Respir J
                Canadian Respiratory Journal
                26 October 2023
                : 2023
                : 9992668
                Department of Pediatric Medicine, Sidra Medicine, Doha 26999, Qatar
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Paola Pierucci

                Author information
                Copyright © 2023 Ahmed Abushahin et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 21 June 2023
                : 24 September 2023
                : 17 October 2023
                Research Article


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