Evaluation of velopharyngeal closure by 4D imaging using 320-detector-row computed tomography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Current imaging techniques for velopharyngeal closure (VPC) evaluation are two-dimensional, static, or distressing, thus necessitating multiple procedures to understand this three-dimensional and dynamic area. We validated the use of a novel four-dimensional (4D) computed tomography (CT) technique for the morphological and kinematic evaluation of VPC in cleft palate patients based on dynamic volume scanning with 320-detector-row CT. Methods Five patients aged 4-10 years (40% males) with persistent velopharyngeal insufficiency post palatoplasty underwent conventional tests (cephalometry and video-nasal endoscopy) and 4D-CT. For each patient, complete multiplanar reconstruction, 4D airway CT, and 4D-CT endoscopy data for all scanning phases were compared with cephalometric and video-nasal endoscopy data. The movements of the velum and posterior pharyngeal walls were graded by each modality. Results 4D airway CT revealed higher anatomical detail than cephalometry, additionally providing dynamic images. 4D-CT endoscopy and video-nasal endoscopy were in agreement for all patients regarding the patterns of VPC, with complete visualization of VPC in five versus one patient, respectively. 4D airway CT and cephalometry showed a discrepancy in one case, wherein grading by cephalometry was overestimated. 4D-CT was also useful in determining the width and length of a proposed pharyngeal flap. The examination time (mean ± standard deviation (SD), seconds), including patient preparation time, was 224 ± 73, 492 ± 145, and 718 ± 123 for cephalometric radiographs, CT, and video-nasal endoscopy, respectively. The mean estimated radiation dose during 4D-CT was 4.44 ± 1.64 mSv. Conclusions 4D-CT provides detailed morphological and kinematic analysis of VPC and may offer advantages over conventional procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-484
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1


  • 4D-CT
  • Cleft palate
  • Velopharyngeal closure
  • Virtual endoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of velopharyngeal closure by 4D imaging using 320-detector-row computed tomography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this