Three-dimensional stereophotogrammetric analysis of nasolabial soft tissue effects of rapid maxillary expansion: a systematic review of clinical trials

E. Staderini, R. Patini, M. De Luca, P. Gallenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The aim of this systematic review is to analyse the quality and clinical evidence in the literature analysing, through 3D stereophotogrammetry, the nasolabial soft tissue modifications that may occur after rapid maxillary expansion (RME). This systematic literature review was based on the PRISMA-P statement and was registered in the PROSPERO database with the following protocol ID: CRD42017079875. Pubmed, Cochrane, EBSCO, Scopus, Web of Science databases were searched with no restriction of year or publication status. Selection criteria were: randomised clinical trials, controlled clinical trials, cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, case-control studies on patients with unilateral/bilateral crossbite, transverse maxillary deficiency and crowding, treated with RME and monitored by 3D stereophotogrammetry. 652 articles were retrieved in the initial search. After the review process, 11 full-text articles met inclusion criteria. After the evaluation process, 4 publications were included for the present literature review. Due to the heterogeneous methodology meta-analysis was not possible; consequently, a systematic assessment of the studies and summary of the findings from the available evidence were used to answer the research question. The maximum widening of the alar cartilage is 1.41 ± 0.95 mm, whose clinical significance is open to question. The effect of RME on the mouth width remains controversial. In Altindis et al., the difference between pre-treatment and post-treatment mouth width (1.80 mm increment in the banded RME group) was statistically significant, while in Baysal 1.86 mm was considered a non-significant value. Inconsistencies and limitations in the study population and measurement protocols were detected between studies. These data underline the necessity for updated guidelines that allow to standardise, for this type of study, sample selection, measurement methods and collection of results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalActa otorhinolaryngologica Italica : organo ufficiale della Societa italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Dentofacial orthopaedics
  • Face
  • Growth
  • Nose
  • Photogrammetry
  • Soft tissue
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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