Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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At Mayo Clinic, doctors trained in treating children with medical conditions (pediatricians) work with doctors trained in sleep medicine and other specialists to diagnose children with pediatric obstructive sleep apnea.

To diagnose your child's condition, your doctor will review your child's symptoms and medical history and conduct a physical examination. Because pediatric obstructive sleep apnea diagnostic tests and treatments differ from that of adults, it's important to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Your child's doctor may also order several tests to diagnose pediatric obstructive sleep apnea.

Tests may include:

  • Polysomnogram. Doctors may evaluate your child's condition during an overnight sleep study at the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. A sleep study (polysomnogram) uses skin sensors to record brain wave activity, breathing patterns, snoring, oxygen levels, heart rate and muscle activity while your child sleeps.
  • Oximetry. If doctors suspect obstructive sleep apnea, an overnight recording of oxygen levels in the home setting may help make the diagnosis. Sometimes the oximetry test fails to give the diagnosis, in which case your child will need to be evaluated during a polysomnogram.
  • Electrocardiogram. In an electrocardiogram, sensor patches with wires attached (electrodes) measure the electrical impulses given off by your child's heart. Doctors may use this test to determine if your child has an underlying heart condition.
Nov. 20, 2012