Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2012 May;41(4):276-84. doi: 10.1259/dmfr/79433138.

Three-dimensional segmentation of the upper airway using cone beam CT: a systematic review.

Author information

Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, Department of Dentistry, Edmonton, Canada.


The objectives of this study were to systematically review the literature for studies that used cone beam CT (CBCT) to automatically or semi-automatically model the upper airway (including the pharyngeal, nasal and paranasal airways), and to assess their validity and reliability. Several electronic databases (MEDLINE®, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, all evidence-based medicine reviews including the Cochrane database, and Scopus) were searched. Abstracts that appeared to meet the initial selection criteria were selected by consensus. The original articles were then retrieved and their references were searched manually for potentially suitable articles that were missed during the electronic search. Final articles that met all the selection criteria were evaluated using a customized evaluation checklist. 16 articles were finally selected. From these, five scored more than 50% based on their methodology. Although eight articles reported the reliability of the airway model generated, only three used intraclass correlation (ICC). Two articles tested the accuracy/validity of airway models against the gold standard, manual segmentation, using volumetric measurements; however, neither used ICC. Only three articles properly tested the reliability of the three-dimensional (3D) upper airway model generated from CBCT and only one article had sufficiently sound methodology to test the airway model's accuracy/validity. The literature lacks proper scientific justification of a solid and optimized CBCT protocol for airway imaging. Owing to the limited number of adequate studies, it is difficult to generate a strong conclusion regarding the current validity and reliability of CBCT-generated 3D models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center