Does Adenotonsillectomy alter Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children?

Document Type : Original


1 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Shafa Hospital, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

2 Department of Psychiatry, Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

3 Neurology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has the highest prevalence among psychiatric disorders in children. The present study investigated the effect of adenotonsillectomy on the symptoms of ADHD in a 6-month follow-up.
Materials and Methods:
This cross-sectional study was performed on 100 patients referred for respiratory problems during sleep due to adenotonsillar hypertrophy (ATH). The patients’ parents were asked to complete the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition checklist as a standard benchmark for ADHD before, 2 weeks, and 6 months after the surgery. The data were analyzed by SPSS software (version 20) through paired t-tests and McNemar’s test.
The age averages of male and female children were 7.15 and 8.4 years, respectively. The frequency of ADHD in the studied population was 30%, which is much higher than the prevalence of this disorder in the normal population. In the second week after the surgery, the mean score of ADHD decreased from 4.97±2.97 (attention deficit [AD]) and 6.77±1.61 (hyperactivity disorder [HD]) before the surgery to 3.86±2.25 (AD) and 4.28±2.02 (HD) 2 weeks after the surgery (P=0.001). After a 6-month follow-up, these figures further decreased (AD=2.34±2.32; HD=1.97±2.44; P<0.001).
Adenotonsillectomy had a significant effect on the improvement of ADHD symptoms. There is a necessity for checking patients with ADHD for ATH, especially in case of sleep disorders, sleep apnea, snoring, or mouth breathing.


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