Volumetric analysis of the buccal fat pad
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There is still insufficient knowledge about the anatomical features of the buccal fat pad as well as its behavior in various clinical conditions. The aim of this study was to elucidate some of the anatomical features of the buccal fat pad using volumetric analysis. The volumes of the buccal fat pads were measured bilaterally in 106 individuals based on their 3-D CT scan images. There were five study groups. Twenty-eight individuals of various age groups were the controls while patients with congenital unilateral cleft (n=39), facial trauma (n=25), temporomandibular joint disease (n=7) and fibrous dysplasia (n=7) formed the groups with pathological conditions. Assessment of volume differences was performed between each side of the same individual, between males and females, and between the various age groups. Comparison of the pathologies with controls was done when necessary. The volume did not significantly differ between both sides of the same individual both in the control group, in the unilateral cleft group and in the fibrous dysplasia group (p>0.05), and between male and female, whereas significant differences appeared between the volumes of the both sides in trauma patients. The general volume of the buccal fat pad appeared to increase with growth. It appeared from this study that the buccal fat pad can be affected by clinical conditions and this fact should be kept in mind when planning its surgical use.
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