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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 166-171

Prevalence of airway obstruction: A cross-racial comparison


1 Resident, Division of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester, New York, USA
2 Chair, Division of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester, New York, USA
3 Statistician, Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, University of Rochester, New York, USA
4 Clinical Director, Division of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shaima Malik
Division of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
USA
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DOI: 10.4103/srmjrds.srmjrds_86_20

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of airway obstruction visible on lateral cephalometric radiographs among patients of different racial groups who presented to the Eastman Institute for Oral Health (EIOH) for orthodontic records. While many previous studies have confirmed the usefulness of the lateral cephalograms as a screening tool for airway obstruction, none have compared the prevalence and clinical presentation between two different patient groups, and our assumption is that the prevalence would be the same. Methods: Two groups of 56 patients with no history of adenoid/tonsil removal were identified. All patients were from two racial groups, African-American (A) and Caucasian (C), between the ages 9 and 15 years, and an equal number of male and female patients were selected. Lateral cephalometric radiographs were traced using Dolphin Imaging Software and the ImageJ program by NIH Image. Five airway measurements were used: three linear (McNamara's upper pharynx “UP,” and Linder-Aronson and Henrikson's A1 and A2), one ratio (Fujioka's adenoid-nasopharyngeal “A/N” ratio), and one area (Handelman and Osborne's Airway Percentage “Ad area”). Results: The prevalence of any clinical obstruction (enlarged adenoids and tonsils) warranting a referral to an ENT in the A Group was 0.25, and the C Group was 0.27. Two-sample t-test was used to compare the mean value of the two groups with a significance level of 0.05. The only mean airway measurement found to be significantly different between the two groups was Fujioka's A/N ratio. Conclusion: Based on our results, the prevalence of airway obstruction on lateral cephalometric radiographs between Caucasian and African-American patients presenting to EIOH for orthodontic records was not significantly different. Our sample size was small, and we believe that our study would benefit from an increased sample size. Future research could also benefit from looking at prevalence differences of airway obstruction on cone-beam computed tomography.


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