Purpose: To evaluate the upper airway dimensions of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and control subjects using a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) unit commonly applied in clinical practice in order to assess airway dimensions in the same fashion as that routinely employed in a clinical setting. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective analysis utilizing existing CBCT scans to evaluate the dimensions of the upper airway in OSA and control subjects. The CBCT data of sixteen OSA and sixteen control subjects were compared. The average area, average volume, total volume, and total length of the upper airway were computed. Width and anterior-posterior (AP) measurements were obtained on the smallest axial slice. Results: OSA subjects had a significantly smaller average airway area, average airway volume, total airway volume, and mean airway width. OSA subjects had a significantly larger airway length measurement. The mean A-P distance was not significantly different between groups. Conclusion: OSA subjects have a smaller upper airway compared to controls with the exception of airway length. The lack of a significant difference in the mean A-P distance may indicate that patient position during imaging (upright vs. supine) can affect this measurement. Comparison of this study with a future prospective study design will allow for validation of these results.
- Cone-Beam computed tomography
- Sleep apnea
- Sleep apnea syndromes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging