Children with severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) are more sensitive to opioids. Identifying such children and reducing or even eliminating opioids are necessary but difficult. We have previous shown that patients sensitive to intraoperative fentanyl require less opioids post operatively.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the value of a post‐induction fentanyl test in identifying severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
A prospective, observational, assessor‐blinded study was carried out with 104 sleep study assessed children undergoing elective adenotonsillectomy. Intravenous fentanyl (1 µg/kg) was administered as a test in non‐premedicated, spontaneously breathing, sevoflurane induced patients before endotracheal intubation. The respiratory rates before and after fentanyl administration were studied. The primary outcome was the sensitivity and specificity of the post‐induction fentanyl test in identifying severe OSAS compared with polysomnography.
A post‐induction fentanyl test had a likelihood ratio of 7.2 (95% CI: 3.6–14.6) and an area under the curve value of 0.896 (95% CI: 0.821–0.947) to identify severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The pragmatic cutoff value for the post‐induction fentanyl test was found to be 50%. Using a reduction in respiratory rate of > 50%, the post‐induction fentanyl test detected severe OSAS with a sensitivity of 87%, a specificity of 88%, a positive predictive value of 85%, and a negative predictive value of 89%.
Our study showed that a post‐induction fentanyl test had good predictive value in identifying severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and early postoperative adverse respiratory events, and could provide a reference for postoperative analgesia in children undergoing adenotonsillectomy.