Introduction: The purpose of this study was to use lateral cephalometry and computed tomography (CT) to examine the volumetric, planar, and linear changes in the pharyngeal airway after mandibular setback surgery. Methods: The pharyngeal airways of 12 subjects who underwent mandibular setback surgery at Seoul National University Dental Hospital were assessed linearly and volumetrically on lateral cephalometric radiographs and CT before surgery and 6 months after surgery. The pharynx, nasopharynx, and oropharynx were evaluated by volumetric analysis. Pharyngeal depth, airway space, pharyngeal soft-tissue thickness, and hyoid bone position were measured by linear analysis. The axial section area of the airway was measured by area analysis. Results: From the linear analysis, a significant decrease in pharyngeal depth and a significant posterior movement of the hyoid bone (P 0.05). Conclusions: Although the structures around the mandible inevitably moved backward after mandibular setback surgery on linear analysis, physiologic deformation could occur to preserve the airway capacity after sagittal compression. Copyright © 2010 by the American Association of Orthodontists.
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