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Sex Differences in Velopharyngeal Anatomy of 9- and 10-Year-Old Children.

Authors
  • Perry, Jamie L1
  • Lee, Myoung Keun2
  • Tahmasebifard, Neda1
  • Gilbert, Imani R1
  • Snodgrass, Taylor D1
  • Shaffer, John R2, 3
  • Schleif, Eshan Pua1
  • Weinberg, Seth M2, 3
  • 1 Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
  • 2 Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, PA.
  • 3 Department of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, PA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
Publication Date
Dec 11, 2023
Volume
66
Issue
12
Pages
4828–4837
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1044/2023_JSLHR-23-00279
PMID: 37902502
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Understanding the normal anatomy of velopharyngeal (VP) mechanism and the emergence of sexual dimorphism provides valuable insights into differences of VP anatomy among males and females. The purpose of this study is to examine sex differences in VP anatomy in a large data set of 3,248 9- and 10-year-old children. Static three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare five VP characteristics including velar length, velar thickness, effective velar length, levator veli palatini muscle length, and pharyngeal depth between age-matched males (n = 1,670) and females (n = 1,578). Additionally, these dimensions were used to determine the VP ratio and effective VP ratio. Males showed significantly larger dimensions for all VP distances and significantly lower ratios of velar length and effective velar length to pharyngeal depth (p < .05). The magnitude of these effect sizes was small to medium, with Cohen's d values ranging from 0.12 to 0.63. Additionally, the VP ratio and effective VP ratio are lower among males compared to females (p < .05). Results suggest the presence of sexual dimorphism in the VP mechanism among 9- and 10-year-old children. These findings emphasize the necessity of using different normative data for males and females when making comparisons to patients with cleft palate.

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