Effect of mono- and bimaxillary advancement on pharyngeal airway volume: cone-beam computed tomography evaluation

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Nov;69(11):e395-400. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.02.138. Epub 2011 Jul 27.


Purpose: To evaluate pharyngeal airway volume changes after forward movements of the maxilla or mandible, or both, using cone-beam computed tomography.

Patients and methods: A retrospective evaluation of 30 patients who underwent maxillomandibular advancement, maxillary advancement, or mandibular advancement was performed. Three groups of 10 subjects each were established: group 1, bimaxillary surgery (Le Fort I maxillary osteotomy and mandibular bilateral sagittal split osteotomy with maxillomandibular advancement); group 2, maxillary advancement (Le Fort I maxillary osteotomy); and group 3, mandibular advancement (bilateral sagittal split osteotomy). Pre- and postoperative cone-beam computed tomography scans were taken in each case, and the changes in pharyngeal airway volume were compared.

Results: A statistically significant increase in the pharyngeal airway volume occurred systematically. The average percentage of increase was 69.8% in group 1 and 78.3% in group 3. Group 2 exhibited a lower magnitude of increase (37.7%).

Conclusion: Cone-beam computed tomography provides a new method for airway evaluation using a noninvasive, rapid, low-radiation, cost-effective scan. It seems the influence of mandibular advancement on the pharyngeal airway volume is greater than the effect of the forward movement of the maxilla.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Male
  • Mandible / surgery*
  • Mandibular Advancement / methods
  • Maxilla / surgery*
  • Orthognathic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Osteotomy, Le Fort / methods
  • Osteotomy, Sagittal Split Ramus / methods
  • Pharynx / diagnostic imaging*
  • Retrospective Studies