Assessment of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea using a drug-induced sleep endoscopy rating scale

Derek J. Lam, Edward M. Weaver, Carol J. MacArthur, Henry A. Milczuk, Eleni O'Neill, Timothy Smith, Thuan Nguyen, Steven A. Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis Assess the reliability of a Sleep Endoscopy Rating Scale (SERS) and its relationship with pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity. Study Design Retrospective case series of pediatric patients who underwent drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) at the time of surgery for OSA from January 1, 2013 to May 1, 2014. Methods Three blinded otolaryngologists scored obstruction on DISE recordings as absent (0), partial (+1), or complete (+2) at six anatomic levels: nasal airway, nasopharynx, velopharynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and arytenoids. Ratings were summed for a SERS total score (range, 0-12). Reliability was calculated using a κ statistic with linear weighting. SERS ratings and obstructive apnea-hypopnea index (OAHI) were compared using Spearman correlation. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis determined the ability of the SERS total score to predict severe OSA (OAHI >10). Results Thirty-nine patients were included (mean age, 8.3 ± 5.1 years; 36% obese; mean OAHI, 19.1 ± 23.7). Intrarater and inter-rater reliability was substantial-to-excellent (κ = 0.61-0.83) and fair-to-substantial (κ = 0.33-0.76), respectively. Ratings correlated best with OAHI for the oropharynx (r = 0.54, P =.02), hypopharynx (r = 0.48, P =.04), and SERS total score (r = 0.75, P =.002). In ROC analysis, a SERS total score ≥6 demonstrated sensitivity/specificity of 81.8%/87.5%, respectively, and correctly classified 84% of patients. Conclusions The SERS can be applied reliably in children undergoing DISE for OSA. Ratings of the oropharynx, hypopharynx, and SERS total score demonstrated significant correlation with OSA severity. A SERS total score ≥6 was an accurate predictor of severe OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1492-1498
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Pediatric sleep apnea
  • adenotonsillectomy
  • drug-induced sleep endoscopy
  • obstructive sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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