The effect of head posture on the pharyngeal airway space (PAS)

Toshikata Muto, S. Takeda, M. Kanazawa, A. Yamazaki, Y. Fujiwara, I. Mizoguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between cranio-cervical inclination and pharyngeal airway space (PAS) by measuring these parameters at different head postures in the same subjects and to obtain a regression equation to correct the values measured. Fifty lateral cephalometric radiographs taken at five different head postures per individual were obtained from ten adults (seven males and three females) aged from 25 to 30 years with nose breathers and Class I occlusion. The changes in cranio-cervical inclination produced by head extension were correlated with changes in the variables describing the PAS. The OPT/NSL (cranio-cervical inclination in the second vertebrae) and C3-Me (distance between the third vertebrae and the Menton) correlated strongly with PAS-TP (the most proximal distance measured between the posterior pharyngeal wall and the tongue base) in the pharyngeal airway space (r=0.807 and 0.854 respectively). The regression equations were Y= - 27.177+0.39X (Y=PAS-TP, X=OPT/NSL), and Y= - 21.105+0.402X (Y=PAS-TP, X=C3-Me), respectively. From these equations we could conclude that an increase of 10° in OPT/NSL or 10 mm in C3-Me increased the pharyngeal airway space (PAS-TP) by about 4 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-583
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Head posture
  • Lateral Cephalometric radiograph
  • Pharyngeal airway space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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