The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between low blood pressure (BP) with mild symptoms of orthostatism, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and tilt test results in 7- to 12-y-old children. A retrospective chart review of 301 children, ages 7 to 12 y, was initially performed to evaluate the frequency of abnormal BP measurements. Then a prospective study was performed on 7- to 12-y-old prepubertal children with SDB, looking for both abnormal BP and mild orthostatism. All children had polysomnography. Those identified with abnormal (high or low) BP measurements (called "BP outliers") were studied with a new polysomnogram followed by a head-up tilt test as an indicator of autonomic activity. Four of the children with low BP were treated with nasal continuous positive airway pressure and received a second head-up tilt test 3.5 to 7 mo after starting treatment. The prospective study included 78 children, eight of whom were BP outliers. Seven of these outliers had low BP. Compared with all of the SDB subjects, SDB subjects with low BP and indicators of mild orthostatic hypotension had a significantly higher incidence of craniofacial dysmorphism, symptoms of SDB early in life, chronically cold extremities, and dizziness on standing up (chi2, p = 0.01 to 0.0001). They had a significantly greater drop in BP without evidence of autonomic neuropathy than all other children on head-up tilt testing (Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA with Bonferroni adjustment, p = 0.001 to 0.0001). However, the normotensive SDB controls also had significantly different BP drops than the normal controls (p = 0.0001). The four children placed on nasal continuous positive airway pressure had a nonsignificant trend toward normalization of tilt test response. SDB in prepubertal children can lead to different abnormal stimulation of the autonomic nervous system, with different impacts on BP. The severity and frequency of oxygen saturation drops during sleep, nonhypoxic increases in respiratory effort, and the duration of abnormal breathing are suspected of playing a role in the difference in autonomic nervous system stimulation.
View details for DOI 10.1203/01.PDR.0000099791.29621.62
View details for PubMedID 14605262