Changes in three dimensional simulation models of the airway which are due to increases in age or body mass index

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2008;132:460-2.


The aim of this study was to model the changes in the soft and hard tissues that occur around the upper airway with increasing age and weight, and to visually gauge them through the use of 3D simulation models. We created two standard 3-dimensional models, with one set to represent a healthy subject model and the other serving as an OSA model. The results of the regression models in our anatomical variables were attached to each 3D model. We compared our data with the data of previous studies to recognize the validity of our regression model. In both models the pharyngeal length increased as age increased. We observed an increase in the fat tissue, soft palate length, and a thickening of the soft palate as BMI increased. As age and BMI increased, the narrowing of the airway appeared more severe in the OSA model.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Male
  • Pharynx / physiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • United States