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J Orofac Orthop. 2013 Mar;74(2):137-52. doi: 10.1007/s00056-012-0132-x. Epub 2013 Mar 8.

Short-term pharyngeal airway changes after mandibular advancement surgery in adult Class II-Patients--a three-dimensional retrospective study.

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Department of Orthodontics, University Clinic of Wuerzburg Dental School, Wuerzburg, Germany.


The purpose of this study was to investigate volume changes in posterior airway space (PAS) after bilateral mandibular advancement surgery. Measurements were taken based on three-dimensional (3D) records available for a large and homogeneous cohort of patients. Pre- and postoperative CBCT scans of 102 adult patients with Class II dysgnathia were visualized and analyzed using 3D software (MimicsĀ® Innovation Suite 14.1; Materialise, Leuven, Belgium). The PAS was divided into three segments by three planes parallel and one plane perpendicular to the Frankfort horizontal plane. Total volume, partial volumes, and cross-sectional areas were calculated from the pre- and postoperative scans. Dahlberg coefficients were obtained to verify each parameter for the measurements' reliability. The statistical significance of the changes observed was analyzed by Wilcoxon's rank-sum test. Highly significant (p=0.000) increases in total posterior airway volume (+32.0%) were noted as an effect of mandibular advancement surgery, amounting to 45.6% in the lower PAS third compared to 38.8% in the middle and 12.5% in the upper PAS third. We also obtained highly significant (p=0.000) increases in all the cross-sectional areas investigated, amounting to 48.5% on the soft-palate level compared to 21.6% on the level of the epiglottis tip, and 14.6% on the hard-palate level. These results demonstrate that bilateral mandibular advancement surgery in Class II-Patients leads to significant increases in PAS volume and significant widening of the narrower sites inside the pharynx.

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