Orthodontic measurements and nasal respiratory function after surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion: an acoustic rhinometry and rhinomanometry study

Published:April 20, 2012DOI:


      The present study sought to assess nasal respiratory function in adult patients with maxillary constriction who underwent surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion (SARME) and to determine correlations between orthodontic measurements and changes in nasal area, volume, resistance, and airflow. Twenty-seven patients were assessed by acoustic rhinometry, rhinomanometry, orthodontic measurements, and use of a visual analogue scale at three time points: before surgery; after activation of a preoperatively applied palatal expander; and 4 months post-SARME. Results showed a statistically significant increase (p < 0.001) in all orthodontic measurements. The overall area of the nasal cavity increased after surgery (p < 0.036). The mean volume increased between assessments, but not significantly. Expiratory and inspiratory flow increased over time (p < 0.001). Airway resistance decreased between assessments (p < 0.004). Subjective analysis of the feeling of breathing exclusively through the nose increased significantly from one point in time to the next (p < 0.05). There was a statistical correlation between increased arch perimeter and decreased airway resistance. Respiratory flow was the only variable to behave differently between sides. The authors conclude that the SARME procedure produces major changes in the oral and nasal cavity; when combined, these changes improve patients’ quality of breathing.

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