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[Magnetic resonance imaging survey of the upper airway in different age non-snoring males].

[Article in Chinese]

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Depatment of Orthodontics, Stomatology College of Shandong University School & Hospital, Jinan 250012, China.



To investigate the morphology characters of upper airway and its surrounding tissues in different age non-snoring males.


Total of 114 non-snoring males, with age-range from 22 to 78 year old, were included in this study. They were divided into 3 groups: 30 in younger group (22-29 years old), 57 in middle-aged group (36-57 years old), and 31 in aged group (70-78 years old). All subjects had magnetic resonance imaging scanning.


(1) The nasopharynx in aged group was statistically different from that of the younger group and the middle aged group. The volume of nasopharynx in aged group (7.81 +/- 1.59) cm3 (x +/- s, same herein after) is greater than that in younger group (4.89 +/- 1.20) cm3 and middle aged groups (6.06 +/- 2.07) cm3. (2) The AP diameter/transverse diameter of velopharynx, glossopharynx and laryngopharynx in the aged group tended to be smaller. The average value of AP diameter/transverse diameter of velopharynx in aged group is 0.46 +/- 0.14, while the value is 0.59 +/- 0.14 and 0.57 +/- 0.14 in middle and young groups respectively, compared with that of the aged group, there is statistical difference (P < 0.01). Further more, the min/max section area of velopharynx, glossopharynx, laryngopharynx in aged group are smaller than that of young group and midlife groups. (3) The aged group had the thinnest thickness of posterior and lateral velopharyngeal walls, but the largest volume of soft palate and fat pads among all groups.


In non-snoring males, there is more fat deposition around the upper airway with aging. While the large nasopharynx and large transverse diameter of upper airway seem to balance the disadvantaged changes and to benefit the their sleep respiration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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