L'Orthodontie Française


Nasomaxillary Expansion by Endoscopically-Assisted Surgical Expansion (EASE): An airway centric approach Volume 93, numéro spécial 1, Décembre 2022


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1 Sleep Apnea Surgery Center, 1900 University Avenue, Suite 105, East Palo Alto, CA, USA
2 Developmental Medicine, Health Research Course, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan
3 School of Dentistry, University of California San Francisco, 707 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
4 Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, 3165 Porter Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
5 Deceased. Formally Sleep Medicine Division, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, 3165 Porter Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
* Correspondance : drli@sleepapneasurgery.com


The aim of this study was to analyze the skeletal, dental and airway changes with endoscopically assisted surgical expansion (EASE) to widen the nasomaxillary complex for the treatment of sleep apnea in adults.


One hundred and five consecutive patients underwent EASE. Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) was conducted preoperatively and within four weeks after the completion of the expansion process. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis was performed on 20 randomly selected patients to assess airway flow changes.


One hundred patients (67 males) with the mean age of 35.0±13.5 years (17-64 years) had completed pre- and post-expansion imaging. Ninety-six patients (96%) had successful expansion defined as separation of the midpalatal suture at least 1 mm from anterior nasal spine (ANS) to posterior nasal spine (PNS). The nasal cavity expansion was 3.12±1.11 mm at ANS, 3.64±1.06 mm at first molar and 2.39±1.15 mm at PNS. The zygoma expansion was 2.17±1.11 mm. The ratio of dental expansion to skeletal expansion was 1.23:1 (3.83 mm:3.12 mm) at canine and 1.31:1 (4.77 mm:3.64 mm) at first molar. CFD airway simulation showed a dynamic change following expansion throughout the airway. The mean negative pressure improved in the nasal airway (from -395.5±721.0 to -32.7±19.2 Pa), nasopharyngal airway (from -394.2±719.4 to -33.6±18.5 Pa), oropharyngeal airway (from -405.9±710.8 to -39.4±19.3 Pa) and hypopharyngeal airway (from -422.6±704.9 to -55.1±33.7 Pa). The mean airflow velocity within the nasal airway decreased from 18.8±15.9 to 7.6±2.0 m/s and the oropharyngeal airway decreased from 4.2±2.9 to 3.2±1.2 m/s. The velocity did not change significantly in the nasopharyngeal and hypopharyngeal regions.


EASE results in expansion of the midpalatal suture from the ANS to PNS with a nearly pure skeletal movement of minimal dental effect. The expansion of the nasomaxillary complex resulted in the widening of the nasal sidewall throughout the nasal cavity. The improved air flow dynamics was demonstrated by CFD simulation.