Frontal and lateral cephalometry in patients with sleep-disordered breathing

Yehuda Finkelstein, David Wexler, Eran Horowitz, Gilead Berger, Ariela Nachmani, Myra Shapiro-Feinberg, Dov Ophir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: The traditional lateral-view cephalometric analysis is limited because it provides only two-dimensional analysis of the three-dimensional craniofacial structure. The objectives were to analyze lateral and frontal cephalometric radiographs in a series of normal patients and those with varying degrees of sleep-disordered breathing and to define the degrees of narrowing or other unfavorable anatomical changes that might differentiate the patients with sleep-disordered breathing from normal subjects. Study Design: A prospective study of 100 adult patients with sleep-disordered breathing and 60 age-matched normal subjects. Methods: An analysis of the lateral and frontal cephalometric measurements was performed to assess velopharyngeal anatomical features. A comparison was made between the patients' polysomnographic and cephalometric analyses. Results: The compromised cephalometric parameters that may be found in patients with sleep-disordered breathing include acute skull-base and bony nasopharynx angles, inferior hyoid position, thickening of the velum, reduced retrovelar posterior air space along with thickening of the velum, thickening of the posterior pharyngeal wall, and narrowing of the velopharyngeal lumen. Worsening of sleep-disordered breathing was generally associated with increased numbers of compromised cephalometric parameters. As body mass index increases, there is reduced velopharyngeal width, the velum thickness is increased, and the posterior pharyngeal wall thickness is increased. Conclusions: Sleep-disordered breathing is associated with statistically significant changes in a number of cephalometric measurements. Frontal cephalometric analysis adds further information regarding the anatomical assessment of patients with upper airway obstruction, enhancing the traditional lateral cephalometric view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-641
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cephalometry
  • Obesity
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • Velopharynx


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