Cone beam computed tomography volumetric airway changes after orthognathic surgery: a systematic review

R. Steegman, F. Hogeveen, A. Schoeman, Y. Ren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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The aim of this systematic review was to provide a structured overview of three-dimensional airway volume changes in relation to various orthognathic surgeries. Clinical human studies performing pre- and postoperative three-dimensional airway volume assessments to investigate volumetric changes of the airway after orthognathic surgery were included. Pre-determined inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied in an extensive search of the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science electronic databases. The cut-off date was set to January 1, 2022. Forty-one articles reporting retrospective and prospective case–control and case series studies were included. All studies were determined to be of medium quality (moderate risk of bias). The included studies were categorized by type of intervention. Pre- and postoperative volumes were extracted from the available data, and volume changes as a percentage of the preoperative levels were calculated. Isolated mandibular setback surgery generally decreased the airway volume. Isolated maxillary or mandibular advancement, bimaxillary advancement, and surgically assisted maxillary expansion generally increased the airway volume in the total airway and oropharynx, among which the effect of bimaxillary advancement surgery appeared most significant. High heterogeneity exists in the terminology and definitions of the airway and its segments. A more uniform methodology for airway volume measurement is needed to provide an insight into the impact on the airway of specific types of surgical intervention. In conclusion, airway volumes are affected after orthognathic surgery, which may be of clinical significance, especially in patients who are predisposed to obstructive sleep apnoea.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1-Jul-2022


  • Le Fort osteotomy
  • Mandibular advancement
  • Mandibular osteotomy
  • Nasopharynx
  • Oropharynx
  • Orthognathic surgery
  • Systematic review
  • Three-dimensional imaging

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