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Editorials |

Does Benign “Primary Snoring” Ever Exist in Children?

Christian Guilleminault, MD, BiolD; Ji Hyun Lee, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Stanford, CA
 ,  Drs. Guilleminault and Lee are affiliated with the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic.

Correspondence to: Christian Guilleminault, MD, BiolD, Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic, 401 Quarry Rd, No. 3301, Stanford, CA 94305l; e-mail: cguil@stanford.edu



Chest. 2004;126(5):1396-1398. doi:10.1378/chest.126.5.1396
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The American Academy of Pediatrics1 has recommended that all children who snore be evaluated. The best test to investigate whether snoring is a health risk is the nocturnal polysomnogram. But there are many variations in what are considered to be normal or abnormal polysomnograms in children. The article by Li and colleagues in this issue of CHEST (see page 1467) is an example of the problems associated with the use of standard guidelines derived from criteria that were initially developed for adult sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). In their study, on 2 nights of polysomnography in children, these authors indicated that “We classified an individual with normal obstructive apnea index but with nocturnal snoring for > 4 nights per week as suffering from primary snoring.” They argue that the absence of consensus did not allow the selection of any other definition of SDB. Many questions are raised by this study, which relate to the following: (1) the definition of the children’s group (ie, is age sufficient to define grouping?); (2) the use, for research purposes, of an obstructive apnea index when we know that SDB in children is rarely associated with sleep apnea; (3) can we expect good research outcome from usage of limited equipment for home recording?; and finally, (4) does “primary snoring” really exist?

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