Analysis of the middle region of the pharynx in adolescents with different anteroposterior craniofacial skeletal patterns

ABSTRACT Objective: To assess the volume and morphology of the middle region of the pharynx (MRP) in adolescents with different anteroposterior craniofacial skeletal patterns. Methods: One hundred twenty-six patients (56 male and 70 female), who had cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) within their records, were selected for this cross-sectional study. Participants were classified, according to their ANB angle value, in Class I (1o ≤ ANB ≤ 3o), Class II (ANB > 3o) and Class III (ANB < 1o). The total volume (tV), minimum axial area (AxMin) and morphology of the MRP and its subdivisions - velopharynx (VP) and oropharynx (OP) - were characterized by CBCT and 3-dimensional image reconstruction software. Intergroup comparisons were performed by ANOVA and Tukey post-hoc tests. Correlations between tV and Axmin with the ANB angle values were tested using linear regression analysis, considering sex as covariable. Results: Statistically significant difference between groups were observed in tV only for the VP region; Class II individuals presented significantly lower tV (6863.75 ± 2627.20 mm3) than Class III subjects (9011.62 ± 3442.56 mm3) (p< 0.05). No significant differences were observed between groups for any other variable assessed, neither in MRP nor in the OP region (p> 0.05). A significant negative correlation was evidenced between tV and Axmin and the ANB angle values; sexual dimorphism was observed for some variables. Conclusions: Class II subjects have smaller tV in the VP region. tV and Axmin tend to decrease in all evaluated regions when the ANB angle values increase.