Three-dimensional craniofacial characteristics associated with obstructive sleep apnea severity and treatment outcomes



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Clinical Oral Investigations





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Objectives: This study aims to assess craniofacial dimensions in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients treated with a mandibular advancement device (MAD) and to identify anatomic influences on OSA severity and MAD therapy outcomes. Materials and methods: Twenty patients with OSA were prospectively treated with MAD. Clinical, cone-beam computed tomography, and polysomnography exams were performed before treatment and 4–6 months after achieving the MAD therapeutic position. Polysomnographic exams and three-dimensional maxillary, mandibular, and upper airway (UA) measurements were evaluated. Pearson’s correlation and t-tests were applied. Results: Before MAD treatment, the transverse width measured at the frontomaxillary suture and the angle between the mandibular ramus and Frankfurt horizontal were statistically correlated with apnea and the hypopnea index (AHI), while the gonial angle was correlated with therapeutic protrusion. After MAD treatment, all patients showed a significant AHI reduction and an improvement in minimum oxyhemoglobin saturation. The UA total volume, superior and inferior oropharynx volume, and area were statistically correlated with MAD therapeutic protrusion. The UA total area showed a statistical correlation with the improvement in AHI, and the superior oropharynx volume and area increased significantly. Conclusions: The transversal frontomaxillary suture width and the mandibular ramus facial angle may influence OSA severity. The gonial angle, volume, and area of all UA regions may indicate the amount of protrusion needed for successful MAD treatment. Clinical relevance: The craniofacial characteristics reported as important factors for OSA severity and MAD treatment outcomes impact therapy planning for OSA patients, considering individual anatomic characteristics, prognosis, and cost benefits.