Growth Effects on Velopharyngeal Anatomy Within the First 2 Years of Life

Katelyn J. Kotlarek, Sierra Levene, Annalisa V. Piccorelli, Krystle Barhaghi, Ilana Neuberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Limited quantitative data exist regarding growth of the velopharynx within the first 2 years of life. The purpose of this study was to (a) quantify changes in velopharyngeal structures due to growth during the first 2 years of life, (b) examine the impact of sex and race within this age range, and (c) provide normative measures for comparison to individuals with cleft palate. Method/Description: A retrospective chart review was completed of all patients up to 24 months of age that underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the head for medical necessity within the past 18 months using a three-dimensional fluidattenuated inversion recovery sequence. Measurements of the velopharynx were obtained from 200 scans consistent with previous literature. Participants were divided into five groups based on corrected age for comparison. Variables of interest included adenoid depth, angle of origin, effective velopharyngeal ratio, effective velar length, levator veli palatini length, origin–origin distance, pharyngeal depth, sagittal angle, velopharyngeal ratio, velar insertion distance, velar length, and velar thickness. Results: Velopharyngeal dimensions were significantly different among corrected age groups after controlling for sex and race. Regarding age, analyses revealed significant differences in all variables of interest except effective velopharyngeal ratio. Regarding sex, significant differences were observed for angle of origin, effective velopharyngeal ratio, effective velar length, levator veli palatini muscle length, and velar insertion distance. Regarding race, a significant difference was only observed for angle of origin. Conclusions: Results of this study demonstrate growth of velopharyngeal anatomy in normative infants with race and sex effects apparent in children up to 24 months of age. Variable growth trends were observed among different velopharyngeal measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3365-3376
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume65
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

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