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Predictive value of hyoid cephalometrics for retroglossal obstruction in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome

  • R Y Hei (a1), J Qin (a1) and S H Li (a1)



To examine the diagnostic value of hyoid cephalometrics in predicting retroglossal obstruction severity in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome.


Ninety-six obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients diagnosed by polysomnography were recruited. Polysomnography was repeated with a nasopharyngeal tube after eliminating rhinal and palatopharyngeal obstruction. Cervical vertebra lateral films and hyoid cephalometric measurements were obtained, including the distances of the hyoid to the: mental tubercle, prevertebral plane, mental tubercle coronal plane and mental tubercle horizontal plane.


The apnoea-hypopnoea index for nasopharyngeal tube polysomnography was significantly correlated with distances from the hyoid to: prevertebral plane (r = 0.350), coronal plane (r = 0.477), horizontal plane (r = 0.529) and mental tubercle (r = 0.560). It was strongly correlated with the hyoid to mental tubercle distance/hyoid to prevertebral plane distance value (r = 0.683), and (hyoid to coronal plane distance plus hyoid to horizontal plane distance)/hyoid to prevertebral plane distance value (r = 0.675).


Obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients with longer hyoid to mental tubercle distances, and/or more inferior and posterior hyoid bone position, are more prone to retroglossal stenosis and obstruction. Hyoid cephalometrics are valuable for predicting retroglossal obstruction severity.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Dr Shuhua Li, No. 83 Wenhua Road, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, 110016, China E-mail:


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Dr S Li takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



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