Effects of tonsil size on pulmonary function test results after tonsillectomy in children

Mitra Samareh Fekri, Aliasghar Arabi Mianroodi, Hossein Shakeri, Narges Khanjani

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Introduction: Adenotonsillar hypertrophy is a typical cause of surgery in children. Evaluation and identification of patients as potential candidates tonsillectomy is a primary concern for otolaryngologists. This study focuses on the results of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) after tonsillectomy in children. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study examined 50 patients suffering from tonsillar hypertrophy in 2013. Full details and results of otolaryngology examinations were recorded. Moreover, patients were examined with respect to forced inspiratory flow at 50% of vital capacity (FIF50%), forced expiratory flow at 50% of vital capacity (FEF50%), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), and FEV1/forced expired volume in 0.5 seconds (FEV0.5) before and after surgery using spirometry. All data were analyzed using SPSS Software (version 19), and central descriptive measures, and data were compared by performing T-test and Chi-square tests. Results: According to tonsil size, patients were distributed as follows: 18 patients (36%) with +1 tonsil size, 18 patients (36%) with +2 tonsil size, and seven patients (14%) with +3 tonsil size, and seven patients (14%) with +4 tonsil size. Thirty-three (66%) and 17 patients (34%) were female and male, respectively, with a mean of age of 9.7±2.97 years (range, 7-18 years). Seventy-eight percent of patients were aged 10 years or less. Moreover, 25 patients (50%), 17 patients (34%), and eight patients (16%), respectively, reported obstructive symptoms, recurrent tonsillitis, and both symptoms. In patients with +3 and +4 tonsil size, spirometric parameters indicated relief of symptoms of obstruction. Only in patients with +4 tonsil size were the changes statistically significant. Conclusion: Tonsillectomy can relieve obstructive symptoms in patients with tonsils larger than +3 to a great extent. Additionally, spirometry can identify patients with +3 and +4 tonsils who do not have clinical signs of an obstructive upper airway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalIranian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Spirometry
  • Tonsillectomy

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