Effect of Maxillary Expansion Treatment Protocols On Maxillary Sinus Volume, Pharyngeal Airway Volume, and Hyoid Bone Position: A Prospective, Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Study

The Open Dentistry Journal 16 Nov 2022 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18742106-v16-e2208220



This study aimed to investigate the changes in maxillary sinus volume, pharyngeal airway volume, and hyoid bone position in patients treated with Rapid Maxillary Expansion (RME) and Alternate Rapid Maxillary Expansion and Constriction (AltRaMEC) – Facemask therapy and compare between the groups.

Materials and Methods:

The records of 15 patients between the age group of 8-14 years with Class I and Class III malocclusion were collected, and the patients were assigned into two groups. The first group comprised of 8patients (4 girls and 4 boys) who were treated with Rapid Maxillary Expansion. The second group comprised 7 patients (5 boys and 2 girls) treated with expansion devices using Alt-RaMEC protocol followed by maxillary protraction using a facemask. Pre and post-treatment CBCT scans were obtained and analyzed for changes in the pharyngeal airway, maxillary sinus volume, and hyoid bone position. The maxillary sinus volume was calculated in 3 dimensions by measuring the craniocaudal height, anteroposterior depth, and mediolateral width. Measurements were taken before and after the procedure to compare the groups and between the groups. The data were analyzed using Paired t-test and an Independent t-test.


In the RME group, a significant increase in the total maxillary sinus volume (mean difference = 520±576.57mm3), especially in the craniocaudal height, was seen, but no changes were noted in the pharyngeal airway and hyoid position. The AltRAMEC group showed a statistically significant increase in the maxillary sinus volume (anteroposteriorly) and nasopharyngeal volume with a p-value <0.005. Comparing the maxillary sinus volume changes in RME and AltRAMEC groups showed a statistically significant increase in the volume of the maxillary sinuses in both groups, significantly higher in the RME group.


RME and AltRAMEC protocol followed by facemask therapy caused a significant increase in the maxillary sinus volume, while no changes were noted in the nasopharynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and hyoid bone position. While comparing the treatment effects between the groups, RME showed a greater increase in maxillary sinus volume (p < 0.05), specifically in the anteroposterior dimension. Since there are no changes in airway volume and hyoid position with the skeletal expansion protocols, there will be no difference in nasal resistance to airflow.

Keywords: RME, AltRaMEC, Maxillary sinus, Pharyngeal airway, BCT, Patients.
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