Korean J Orthod.  2022 Sep;52(5):345-353. 10.4041/kjod21.267.

Assessment of pharyngeal airway in Korean adolescents according to skeletal pattern, sex, and cervical vertebral maturation: A cross-sectional CBCT study

  • 1Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea


To investigate airway volumes using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) by skeletal patterns, sex, and cervical vertebral maturation (CVM) stages in Korean adolescents.
The sample consisted of pretreatment CBCT and cephalograms of 95 adolescents (aged 12–19) obtained out of 1,611 patients examined for orthodontic treatment from 2018 to 2020 in Kyungpook National University Dental Hospital. The samples were classified into two sex groups; three skeletal pattern groups, four chronological age groups and four CVM stages. Nasopharyngeal volumes (NPV), oropharyngeal volumes (OPV), total pharyngeal airway volume (TAV) and minimum cross-sectional area (MCA) measurements were taken from the CBCT. Multiple linear regression analyses to find out which one of the independent variables are good predictors for airway variables. Significant factors were analyzed by two-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) then multiple comparisons were analyzed using a t-test, and Fisher least significant difference.
Age, sex, CVM, and Sella-Nasion-B point have significant influence on airway variable. Males and females showed similar patterns of change in chronological age groups 1–3; however, males had larger NPV, OPV, and MCA at CVM in group 4. According to CVM stages, males had larger OPV, TAV, and MCA at CVM stage 6 (p-value: 0.019, 0.021, 0.015, respectively) and no sex differences at CVM stages 3, 4, and 5.
Skeletal patterns have an effect on airway volume. Sex differences were found in CVM 6.


Pharyngeal airway; Cone-beam computed tomography; Skeletal age; Craniofacial pattern


  • Figure 1 Demonstration of airway volumes. A, Nasopharyngeal volumes. B, Oropharyngeal volumes. PNS, posterior nasal spine; S, sella point; B, basion point; M, the midpoint of sella-basion line; PP, palatal plane; C2, the lowermost anterior point of the second cervical vertebrae.

  • Figure 2 A, Patient selection process and subject distribution. B, Subject distribution according to age and CVM stages. CBCT, cone-beam computed tomography; CVM, cervical vertebral maturation.

  • Figure 3 A, Changes in airway volumes across age groups. B, Changes in airway volumes across growth stages. TAV, total pharyngeal airway volume; OPV, oropharyngeal volumes; NPV, nasopharyngeal volumes; CVM, cervical vertebral maturation.


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