Measurements of adult lingual tonsil tissue in health and disease

Michael Friedman, Meghan N. Wilson, Tanya M. Pulver, Dina Golbin, George P. Lee, Gleb Gorelick, Ninos J. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives: To report computed tomography (CT) measurements of lingual tonsil tissue (LTT) in patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), both LPR and OSAHS, or neither disease. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Tertiary care center. Subjects and Methods: Ninety-eight patients with CT scans including the tongue base and complete historical data regarding the presence or absence of symptoms, signs, and laboratory confirmation of LPR and/or OSAHS were included. LTT was measured on CT. Charts of patients meeting inclusion criteria were subsequently reviewed and patients were divided into four groups: 1) those without LPR or OSAHS, 2) those with LPR only, 3) those with OSAHS only, and 4) those with both LPR and OSAHS. Statistical analysis focused on correlating LTT thickness with the presence or absence of LPR and/or OSAHS. Results: The mean LTT thickness for group 1 (21 patients without reflux or OSAHS) was 0.937 mm (range 0-2.67 mm). The mean for group 2 (29 patients with LPR only) was 3.35 mm (range 0-7.4 mm). The mean for group 3 (16 patients with OSAHS only) was 4.29 mm (range 0-9 mm). The mean for group 4 (32 patients with LPR and OSAHS) was 4.00 mm (range 0-19.2 mm). The mean for group 1 was lower than the other 3 groups (P < 0.001). Conclusion: CT images including the tongue base allow precise measurement of LTT thickness. LTT > 2.7 mm was not identified in patients without OSAHS or LPR. The mean LTT for patients with LPR and/or OSAHS was significantly greater than for patients without either disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-525
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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