Cephalometric norms for the upper airway in a healthy Hong Kong Chinese population

N. Samman, H. Mohammadi, James J. Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objective. To obtain normative data for cephalometric measurements of the upper airway in the local Chinese population. Design. Observational study. Setting. University department and teaching hospital out-patient clinic. Subjects and methods. Subjects included 74 healthy patients, 29 males (age range, 18-35 years) and 45 females (age range, 16-42 years), with normal skeletal facial profile, no history of snoring, sleep apnoea, upper airway disease, tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy, obesity, of pathology in the pharynx. Twenty cephalometric airway measurements, including size of the tongue, soft palate, nasopharynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and relative position of the hyoid bone and valleculae were obtained. Landmarks on cephalometric radiographs were digitised and measurements were made using a specially designed computer programme. Error analysis of measurements was performed and comparison of measurements according to sex was made. Results. Significant sex dimorphism was seen for the majority of measurements, with the exception of minimal depth of the airway, oropharyngeal depth of the airway, and the soft palate angle with the hard palate. Conclusion. A minimum sagittal dimension of the upper airway was evident despite differences in measurements between sexes. Findings from this study should be a useful reference for the assessment of sleep apnoea in the local population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalHong Kong Medical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Cephalometry
  • Mongoloid race
  • Pharynx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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