Saturday, January 02, 2010

Problems with Pediatric Sleep Medicine

Pediatric sleep medicine is a difficult field. Pediatric sleep studies are hard to interpret and firm guidelines for diagnosing sleep apnea in children are lacking. The new scoring manual (The AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events) has brought some much needed uniformity to the scoring of respiratory events for children (and also adults), however.

One of the problems with this field is that good textbooks are lacking; there is nothing comparable to Kryger, Roth, and Dement's "Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine", which focuses on adult sleep medicine.

I have a teenager with a slow-wave sleep parasomnia coming in next week. I unwrapped my copy of the 2nd edition of "A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Sleep" by Jodi A. Mindell, Phd, and Judith A. Ownes, MD, Phd. Both are luminaries in the field of pediatric sleep medicine. This clinical guide appears to primarily aimed at pediatricians and family practitioners. I found several errors when briefly skimming through this book. Most notably, in several places in the book tricyclic antidepressants are called "potent SWS suppressants", while in reality the tricyclics have variable effects on SWS (slow wave sleep) and may actually slightly increase SWS.

Several years ago when I read Sheldon, Ferber, and Kryger's "Principles and Practice of Pediatric Sleep Medicine", I found the chapters uneven in quality but am not able to recall enough to offer a detailed criticism in this post.

If anyone has come across a good pediatric sleep medicine textbook, please leave it's name in the comment section. thanks.