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Angle Orthod. 2018 Mar;88(2):133-143. doi: 10.2319/111517-787.1. Epub 2018 Jan 16.

The cervical vertebral maturation method: A user's guide.


The cervical vertebral maturation (CVM) method is used to determine the craniofacial skeletal maturational stage of an individual at a specific time point during the growth process. This diagnostic approach uses data derived from the second (C2), third (C3), and fourth (C4) cervical vertebrae, as visualized in a two-dimensional lateral cephalogram. Six maturational stages of those three cervical vertebrae can be determined, based on the morphology of their bodies. The first step is to evaluate the inferior border of these vertebral bodies, determining whether they are flat or concave (ie, presence of a visible notch). The second step in the analysis is to evaluate the shape of C3 and C4. These vertebral bodies change in shape in a typical sequence, progressing from trapezoidal to rectangular horizontal, to square, and to rectangular vertical. Typically, cervical stages (CSs) 1 and CS 2 are considered prepubertal, CS 3 and CS 4 circumpubertal, and CS 5 and CS 6 postpubertal. Criticism has been rendered as to the reproducibility of the CVM method. Diminished reliability may be observed at least in part due to the lack of a definitive description of the staging procedure in the literature. Based on the now nearly 20 years of experience in staging cervical vertebrae, this article was prepared as a "user's guide" that describes the CVM stages in detail in attempt to help the reader use this approach in everyday clinical practice.


CVM method; Cephalometrics; Cervical vertebrae; Maturation

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