What is the focus of the physical exam to evaluate pediatric sleep disorders?

Updated: Oct 09, 2018
  • Author: Sufen Chiu, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

A full physical examination, focusing on the causes and consequences of sleep-related disorders, is warranted. Significant things to look for in a physical examination include the following:

  • Level of consciousness - extremely atypical for elementary school children to be somnolent in the office

  • Physical features - head circumference, weight and indicators of failure to thrive, features suggestive of congenital anomalies, and size of the posterior pharynx

  • Physical causes of airway blockage (eg, enlarged tonsils or adenoids)

  • Obesity and neck circumference

  • Systemic signs of heart failure (eg, clubbing or cyanosis)

  • Signs indicative of seizure activity

  • Tooth injuries on tongue

  • Incontinence

  • Postictal changes in sensorium


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