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Indian J Dent Res. 2019 May-Jun;30(3):368-374. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_526_18.

Relationship of the airway size to the mandible distance in Chinese skeletal Class I and Class II adults with normal vertical facial pattern.

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Department of Orthodontics, Institute of Stomatology, Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.



This study aims to evaluate the pharyngeal airway dimensions among Chinese adults in relation to Class I and Class II facial skeletal patterns using three-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 156 initial CBCT images were evaluated, which were classified into skeletal Class I and Class II according to ANB angle with mean (SD) age being 22.56 ± 4.0 years and 22.32 ± 3.6 years. The pharyngeal airway volume, airway area, minimum cross-sectional area (MCA) and the distance from uvula (tip of the soft palate) to mental spine (U-MS distance) were assessed with Dolphin imaging software.


Compared with Class I group, Class II group displayed significantly smaller pharyngeal airway volume, airway area and MCA (P <.01, P =0.03, and P =0.008, respectively), and shorter U-MS distance (P <.001). Comparing gender subgroups, the female subgroup showed the smallest airway measurement. Spearman correlation test results showed that the airway volume and area had a significant positive correlation with U-MS distance (r = 0.22, P = 0.005, and r = 0.28, P < 0.005, respectively) and negative correlation with ANB angle (r = -0.23, P = 0.002, and r = -0.21, P = 0.007, respectively).


Pharyngeal airway volume, airway area, MCA, and the U-MS distance were smaller in skeletal Class II than Class I Chinese adult subjects and lower in female Class II subgroup. Additionally, there was a correlation observed between the mandibular distance (U-MS), ANB angle and airway size.


Adults; cone-beam computed tomography; mandible; pharyngeal airway

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