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Iran J Radiol. 2012 Dec;10(1):21-6. doi: 10.5812/iranjradiol.4891. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Assessment of the stylohyoid complex with cone beam computed tomography.

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  • 1Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.



Orientation of the stylohyoid complex (SHC) may be important for evaluation of the patient with orofacial pain or dysphagia.


Our purpose was to assess the length and angulations of SHC using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).


In this study, 3D images provided by CBCT of 69 patients (36 females, 33 males, age range 15-77 years) were retrospectively evaluated. All CBCT images were performed because of other indications. None of the patients had symptoms of ossified SHC. The length and the thickness of SHC ossification, the anteroposterior angle (APA) and the mediolateral angle (MLA) were measured by maxillofacial radiologists on the anteroposterior, right lateral and left lateral views of CBCT. Student's t test, Pearson's correlation and Chi-square test tests were used for statistical analysis.


According to the results, the mean length of SHC was 25.3 ± 11.3 mm and the mean thickness of SHC was 4.8 ± 1.8 mm in the study group. The mean APA value of SHCs was 25.6° ± 5.4° and the mean MLA value was 66.4° ± 6.7°. A positive correlation coefficient was found between age and APA (r = 0.335; P < 0.01); between thickness and APA (r = 0.448; P < 0.01) and also between length and thickness was found (r=0.236).


The size and morphology of the SHC can be easily assessed by 3D views provided by CBCT. In CBCT evaluation of the head and neck region, the radiologist should consider SHC according to these variations, which may have clinical importance.


Cone Beam Computed Tomography; Stylohyoid Complex; Styloid Process

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