Objective: To investigate the effects of the long-term use of a maxillary protraction facemask with miniplate (FM-MP) on pharyngeal airway dimensions in growing patients with cleft lip and palate (CLP).
Methods: The study included 24 boys with CLP (mean age, 12.2 years; mean duration of FM-MP therapy, 4.9 years), divided into two groups according to the amount of A point advancement to the vertical reference plane (VRP): Group 1, > 4 mm; Group 2, < 2 mm; n = 12/group. After evaluating the skeletodental and airway variables using lateral cephalograms acquired before and after FM-MP therapy, statistical analyses were performed.
Results: Group 1 showed greater forward and downward displacements of the posterior maxilla (posterior nasal spine [PNS]-horizontal reference plane [HRP]; PNSVRP), greater increase in ANB, more forward tongue position (tongue tip-Pt vertical line to Frankfort horizontal plane), and greater increase in the oropharynx (superior posterior airway space [SPAS]; middle airway space [MAS]) and upper nasopharynx (PNS-adenoid2) than did Group 2. While maxillary advancement (A-VRP and PNS-VRP) correlated with increases in SPAS, MAS, and PNS-adenoid2, downward displacement of the PNS (PNS-HRP) correlated with increases in SPAS, MAS, PNSadenoid1, and PNS-adenoid2, and with a decrease in vertical airway length (VAL). Mandibular forward displacement and decrease in mandibular plane correlated with increases in MAS.
Conclusions: FM-MP therapy had positive effects on the oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airway spaces without increases in VAL in Group 1 rather than in Group 2. However, further validation using an untreated control group is necessary.
Keywords: Facemask with miniplate; Growing patients with cleft lip and palate; Maxillary protraction; Pharyngeal airway dimension.