Journal Article

Cervical column morphology in adult patients with obstructive sleep apnoea

Liselotte Sonnesen, Niels Petri, Inger Kjær and Palle Svanholt

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 30, issue 5, pages 521-526
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Cervical column morphology in adult patients with obstructive sleep apnoea

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Cervical column morphology was examined in adult patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and compared with the cervical morphology of an adult control group with neutral occlusion, normal craniofacial morphology, and no history of sleep apnoea. The sleep apnoea group consisted of 91 patients, 16 females aged 29–59 years (mean 49.4 years) and 75 males aged 27–65 years (mean 49.0 years). All patients were diagnosed with OSA by overnight polysomnography. The control group consisted of 21 subjects, 15 females aged 23–40 years (mean 29.2 years) and 6 males aged 25–44 years (mean 32.8 years). From each individual, a visual assessment of the cervical column was performed on the radiograph. Differences in the cervical column morphology, between the genders and the groups were assessed by Fisher's exact test and the effect of age by logistic regression analysis.

In the OSA group, 46.2 per cent had fusion anomalies of the cervical column and 5.5 per cent a posterior arch deficiency. Fusion anomalies occurred in 26.4 per cent as fusions between two cervical vertebrae. Block fusions occurred in 12.1 per cent and occipitalization in 14.3 per cent. A posterior arch deficiency occurred in 2.2 per cent as a partial cleft of C1 and in 3.3 per cent as dehiscence of C3 and C4. No statistical gender differences were found in the occurrence of morphological characteristics of the cervical column. The fusion anomalies of the cervical column occurred significantly more often in the OSA group.

The results indicate that the morphological deviations of the upper cervical vertebrae play a role in the phenotypical subdivision and diagnosis of OSA.

Journal Article.  2688 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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