Cephalometric parameters after multilevel pharyngeal surgery for patients with obstructive sleep apnea

Mike Yao, David S. Utley, David J. Terris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Cephalometric studies have shown narrowing in the upper airway at multiple levels in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), mandibular osteotomy with genioglossus advancement, and hyoid myotomy with advancement address narrowing in the retropalatal and retrolingual regions. In an effort to relate postoperative clinical changes to anatomic changes, cephalometric studies were performed on 44 patients who underwent multilevel pharyngeal surgery (UPPP, genioglossus advancement, hyoid myotomy with advancement). Both preand postoperative radiographs were available for 23 of these patients. The posterior airway space (P = .09), minimal posterior airway space (P = .04), posterior uvular space (P = .06), mandibular plane-to-hyoid distance (MP-H) (P = .06) and central incisor-to-tongue base distance (P = .02) all improved after surgery. None of the measurements of the posterior airway were significantly different between responders and nonresponders. The degree of collapse of the palate on modified Muller maneuver was highly correlated with the severity of sleep apnea as measured by the respiratory disturbance index; the collapse of the lateral pharyngeal walls was moderately correlated; and collapse of the base of tongue was not correlated. Cephalometric radiographs may reflect the anatomic changes that result from upper airway surgery for sleep apnea, but these changes are not useful for assessing surgical efficacy. The modified Muller maneuver, however, may represent a more predictive evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-795
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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