Evaluation of the posterior airway space following Biobloc therapy: geometric morphometrics

Cranio. 2007 Apr;25(2):84-9. doi: 10.1179/crn.2007.014.


The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the posterior airway space in patients following Biobloc therapy, using geometric morphometrics. Pre- and post-treatment lateral cephalographs of 53 children (mean age, 12.9 +/- 1.5 years; mean treatment time, 21.3 +/- 6.2 months) were scanned and 27 landmarks encompassing the airway were digitized. Mean configurations were computed using Procrustes superimposition, followed by principal components analysis (PCA) and finite-element scaling analysis (FESA). Marked shape-changes were identified using PCA for the airway following treatment (p < 0.01). Using pseudo-colored FESA, a relative 31% increase in nasopharyngeal airway area was found above and behind the soft palate. Additionally, a 23% increase in oropharyngeal airway area was located behind the base of the tongue with a 9% increase in hypopharyngeal area near the level of the hyoid bone. Functional airway improvements are associated with Biobloc treatment in actively growing patients.

MeSH terms

  • Cephalometry
  • Child
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Humans
  • Malocclusion, Angle Class II / therapy*
  • Maxilla / abnormalities
  • Orthodontic Appliances, Functional*
  • Orthodontics, Interceptive / instrumentation*
  • Pharynx / anatomy & histology*
  • Pharynx / physiology
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Retrognathia / therapy*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy