Analysis of Pharyngeal Airway Using Lateral Cephalogram vs CBCT Images: A Cross-sectional Retrospective Study

Pegah Bronoosh , Leila Khojastepour*
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Dental School, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

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© Bronoosh and Khojastepour; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Dental School, Qasrodasht Street, Shiraz, Iran; Tel: +98-711-6270325; E-mail:


Background : As the basic biological relationship of form and function, changes in the normal pattern of nasopharyngeal space can profoundly affect the development of the craniofacial growth. The lateral cephalogram, part of the patient’s normal records for orthodontic treatment, may show some of these changes either at the initial examination or later during treatment. The validity of the information the lateral cephalogram may present, have been questioned previously. The aim of this study was to assess correlation between the area and the volume measurements of pharyngeal airway size in a lateral cephalogram and a 3-dimensional (3D) cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan in adolescent subjects. Materials and Methods : CBCT scan and a lateral cephalogram of 35 subjects which were taken within 1 week were included in this study. Airway area of the region of interest from the lateral cephalogram and airway volume over the same of region of interest from the CBCT scan were assessed for all patients. The correlation between the area and the volume measurements were evaluated statistically by Pearson’s correlation coefficient test. Mann Whitney U Test was used for comparing the area and the volume measurements in different sex. Results : Strong correlation was found between lateral cephalogram and CBCT measurements of pharyngeal airway. (r=0.831). Conclusion : Pharyngeal airway area on a lateral cephalogram is correlated strongly with volumetric data on CBCT images. Henceforth the use of CBCT images for volume measurements in orthodontic patients can aid in the better evaluation of airways and acted as a diagnostic instrument in this area.

Keywords: Cephalogram, cone-beam computed tomography, pharyngeal airway space, three dimensional measurement.