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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2008 Aug;106(2):275-84. doi: 10.1016/j.tripleo.2008.03.024. Epub 2008 Jun 13.

Cervical CT derived neck fat tissue distribution differences in Japanese males and females and its effect on retroglossal and retropalatal airway volume.

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  • 1Orofacial Pain/Oral Medicine Center, Division of Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, USA.



The objective of this study was to investigate the difference of neck fat tissue distribution by sex and its correlation with retropalatal and retroglossal airway.


A total of 38 consecutive patients (male: 19; female: 19) who received a CT scan were compared in the retroglossal region and at the narrowest cross section of the airway. Retroglossal fat tissue volume (FV) was segmented with Amira software and separated into subcutaneous and internal fat volume (SFV, IFV). These volumes were normalized by retroglossal neck volume (NV).


Men had 51.9% more IFV/NV and 64.4% less SFV/NV compared with women. Age-adjusted BMI was negatively correlated with retroglossal airway volume (normalized by NV) and with the lateral width of the smallest cross-section airway (LW) in females. In males the IFV/NV was negatively correlated with LW, after adjusting for BMI and age.


Upper airway collapsibility analysis is needed to rule out whether increased BMI or IFV causes an increase in airway collapsibility.

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