Three dimensional evaluation of upper airway volume in children with different dental and skeletal malocclusions

Katherine Kula, Ahn Eun Jeong, Halum Stacey, Dillehay Kendall, Ahmed Ghoneima


Objective: The objectives of this retrospective study using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) were to determine if there are differences in the volume of various upper airway segments and the most constricted area (MCA) of children with different dental and skeletal patterns.

Methods: The initial CBCTs of 83 orthodontic patients (Angle’s Class I [n = 30]; Class II [n = 26]; and Class III [n = 27]) were collected from a private orthodontic office. Following reliability studies, various parameters of the craniofacial complex, airway volume, and MCA were measured utilizing Dolphin three-dimensional (3D) software. Comparisons among three dental and three skeletal malocclusions were performed using one-way ANOVA and Fishers Protected Least Significant. Associations of the airway volumes and the MCA with other parameters were determined using correlation coefficients, accepting p < 0.05 as significant for all tests.

Results: Maxillary right sinus volume was the only airway segment showing significant difference among different dental classes. Maxillary sinus volume also correlated moderately with anterior facial height and mandibular length. No significant differences were found between the MCA and different dentoskeletal classifications.

Conclusions: The only significant difference in airway parameters among the dental and skeletal malocclusions was that the dental Class II subjects had greater sinus volume than the other malocclusions. Shorter anterior facial height or mandibular length could be indicators for decreased airway volume in the sinus.


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Journal of Biomedical Graphics and Computing    ISSN 1925-4008 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4016 (Online)

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