Volumetric changes in the upper airways after rapid and slow maxillary expansion in growing patients: A case-control study

Valentina Lanteri, Marco Farronato, Alessandro Ugolini, Gianguido Cossellu, Francesca Gaffuri, Francesca Maria Rita Parisi, Davide Cavagnetto, Andrea Abate, Cinzia Maspero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim is to evaluate changes in the volume of the upper airways before and after slow maxillary expansion (SME) obtained with the flexible properties of a nickel titanium leaf spring and rapid maxillary expansion (RME) with a conventional Hyrax appliance in growing patients. The records of 1200 orthodontic patients undergoing maxillary expansion from 2018 to 2019 were analyzed; among these pre and post treatment CBCT scans of 22 patients (mean age 8.2 - 0.6 years old) treated by SME were compared with those obtained from 22 patients (mean age 8.1 - 0.7 years old) treated by RME banded on the second primary molars. The following inclusion criteria were used: Maxillary transverse constriction, good general health, and no previous orthodontic treatment. Volumes of nasal cavity (NCavV), nasopharynx (NsPxV), and right and left maxillary sinuses (MSV) were calculated with ITK-SNAP. Shapiro-Wilk test revealed a normal distribution of data in each group. Paired t-test was used for within-group comparisons and independent t-test for between-group comparisons. Statistically significant increases occurred in NCavV, NsPxV, and MSVs after treatment with both appliances. No statistically significant difference between the appliances occurred in NCavV, NsPxV, and MSVs. Method error was considered negligible (mean intra-operator and inter-operator intraclass correlation coefficient were 0.928 and 0.911, respectively). It appears that both appliances produce similar effects on the different segments of the upper airway tract.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2239
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2020


  • Airway resistance
  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • Maxillary expansion
  • Maxillary sinus
  • Palatal expansion technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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