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Br J Radiol. 1981 Feb;54(638):117-21.

A longitudinal study of the growth of the nasopharynx and its contents in normal children.


The areas of the nasopharynx and its contents have been measured on the lateral cephalometric radiographs of 41 normal children who had been examined at yearly intervals for a minimum of 12 years between the ages of three and 19. The means and standard deviations of the areas of the nasopharynx, the soft tissues and the airway have been calculated for each year from three to 11 and for alternate years to age 19. The size and shape of the soft tissues of individual children are shown to vary from year to year, and the anterior convexity changes to a concave shape with maturity. The soft tissues appear to grow more rapidly from three to five than does the nasopharynx, with a consequent decrease in size of the airway at this period. Subsequently the soft tissue area remains relatively constant whilst the nasopharynx increases in size so that the airway progressively enlarges. There is a significant difference between the sexes in nasopharyngeal area from 13 onwards (p less than 0.005).

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