Evaluation of velopharyngeal insufficiency with magnetic resonance imaging and nasoendoscopy

Ozgur F., Tuncbilek G., Cila A.

ANNALS OF PLASTIC SURGERY, vol.44, no.1, pp.8-13, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/00000637-200044010-00002
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.8-13
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Several radiological methods have been utilized to assess velopharyngeal function. The more recent imaging technique, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which has a number of advantages over radiographic and computed tomographic imaging, has been used rarely for evaluating velopharyngeal insufficiency. In this study, 5 normal volunteers and 10 patients with surgically repaired cleft palate were examined with MRI using midsagittal, coronal, and axial images. Nasoendoscopy was also performed to complete and confirm the diagnoses. Complete and tight closure of the velopharynx and full backward and upward movement of the soft palate was observed in volunteers. In coronal images, medial movement of lateral pharyngeal walls could also be seen. Despite this, patients with surgically repaired cleft palate had some degree of motion of the soft palate, ranging from no movement to maximal movement. In most of the patients, short soft palates with restricted motion was seen. MRI visualizes the velopharyngeal sphincter in all planes and provides high-resolution images of the soft tissues. Objective measurements can be made as well. In this study, MRI and nasoendoscopy were used together in the diagnosis of velopharyngeal insufficiency and gave satisfactory results.