A Midsagittal-View Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of the Growth and Involution of the Adenoid Mass and Related Changes in Selected Velopharyngeal Structures

Jamie L. Perry, Abigail E. Haenssler, Katelyn J. Kotlarek, Xiangming Fang, Shea Middleton, Robert Mason, David P. Kuehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The adenoids, or pharyngeal tonsils, consist of a pad of lymphoid tissue, located on the posterior pharyngeal wall of the nasopharynx. During childhood, the adenoid pad serves as a contact site for the soft palate to assist with velopharyngeal closure during oral speech. During adenoidal involution, most children are able to maintain appropriate velopharyngeal closure necessary for normal speech resonance. The purpose of this study is to determine age-related trends of normal adenoid growth and involution from infancy through adulthood. Method/Description: Lateral view magnetic resonance imaging was used to analyze velopharyngeal variables among 270 participants, between 3 months and 34 years of age. The velopharyngeal measures of interest included velar length, effective velar length, pharyngeal depth, adenoid height, adenoid thickness, adenoid depth, and adenoid area. Participants were divided into four age groups for statistical comparison. Results: There was a statistically significant difference (p < .05) in all linear and area measurements between the four age groups. Adenoid depth reached peak growth at age 4 years, whereas adenoid height and adenoid thickness peaked at 8 years of age. Qualitatively, adenoid growth progresses in an anterior and inferior direction whereas involution occurs in a posterior and superior direction. Conclusions: This study contributes to the knowledge of time specific changes across an age span for adenoid growth and involution and presents a visualization of the shape and growth trends of adenoids. A new sequence of involution is reported beginning first with adenoid depth, followed by adenoid height at a slightly faster rate than adenoid thickness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1282-1293
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume65
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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