Abstract Title

Airway changes in relation to mandibular growth: A 2-dimensional longitudinal study

Lead Author Affiliation

Craniofacial Research Instrumentation Lab, Department of Orthodontics

Lead Author Status

Faculty/Staff/Researcher

Presentation Category

Research

Introduction/Context/Diagnosis

As airway obstruction can cause wide-ranging consequences, there have been many studies proposing the importance of airway and airway assessment. Recently, sleep apnea and the impact of orthodontic treatment on airway have been studied extensively in the literature. There is, however, relatively little longitudinal research on airway development. The purpose of this study is to investigate changes in airway size throughout the development of an untreated longitudinal sample of subjects. This project also aimed to evaluate the relationship between dentofacial skeletal growth and airway.

Methods/Treatment Plan

This project utilizes 909 lateral cephalograms from 103 participants of the Michigan Growth Study housed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Subjects were selected based on the continuity and timing of their lateral cephalograms. Three calibrated judges digitized cephalometric landmarks independently. After removing outlier, the average values were used for further analyses. For the present study, 15 landmarks on the airway, maxilla, and mandible were collected to provide a comprehensive description of airway changes. Measurements were made to assess anterior-posterior airway width, airway length, and mandibular length.

Results/Outcome

In this study, mandibular length (CoPog) measurements and age showed strong correlations in both the male and female groups (R2=0.7). Age showed stronger positive correlations with superior and middle airway measurements than inferior and tongue level measurements. Adenoid measurements did not display strong correlations with age.

Significance/Conclusions

We found more growth in superior airway than in inferior airway. The result indicates that the size of the nasopharyngeal airway increases more than the size of the oropharyngeal airway throughout adolescence. There was no visible period of accelerated growth in the oropharyngeal airway in the anterior-posterior dimension in this longitudinal sample. Also, adenoid size did not display tissue regression that we would expect to see.

Format

Event

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Airway changes in relation to mandibular growth: A 2-dimensional longitudinal study

As airway obstruction can cause wide-ranging consequences, there have been many studies proposing the importance of airway and airway assessment. Recently, sleep apnea and the impact of orthodontic treatment on airway have been studied extensively in the literature. There is, however, relatively little longitudinal research on airway development. The purpose of this study is to investigate changes in airway size throughout the development of an untreated longitudinal sample of subjects. This project also aimed to evaluate the relationship between dentofacial skeletal growth and airway.