Edition V16N01 | Year 2011 | Editorial Original Article | Pages 165 to 174
Introduction: The lateral cephalometric, as well as the cavum radiograph, allow the evaluation of the nasopharyngeal airway (NAW). Otorhinolaryngologists routinely use the cavum radiograph, even when the patient already has a lateral cephalometric headfilm. Objectives: The aim of this study was to (a) acknowledge which exams otorhinolaryngologists use for the evaluation and measurement of the NAW; (b) evaluate if the otorhinolaryngologists are acquainted to the cephalometric method; (c) compare both radiographs to see which one is preferred to visualize the NAW and adenoids and (d) correlate the visual analysis to the measuring method of Schulhof. Methods: For this purpose, cephalometric and cavum radiographs of 15 mouthbreathing children were taken on the same day. These radiographs were masked leaving only the NAW and the adenoids visible, and were blindly presented to 12 otorhinolaryngologists. They received the radiographs together with a questionnaire asking about their familiarity with the lateral cephalometric radiograph, which exams are used for NAW and adenoid evaluation and if they use any method for measuring the NAW obstruction level. They were also asked to visually classify the NAW and the adenoids according to their sizes into small, medium and large. Results: The results demonstrated that all otorhinolaryngologists in the sample use the cavum radiograph. Only one uses the cephalometric radiograph and two are familiar with this technique. The cephalometric radiograph was preferred by 49.4% of the otorhinolaryngologists, the cavum by 22.8%, and 27.8% did not see any difference between both methods. There was low correlation between the visual method and the Schulhof measuring method.