Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2009 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 > Computational Fluid Dynamic Study on Obstructive Sleep Apnea...
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31819b9671
Clinical Notes

Computational Fluid Dynamic Study on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Treated With Maxillomandibular Advancement

Yu, Chung-Chih MD*; Hsiao, Hung-Da MS†; Lee, Lung-Cheng MS†; Yao, Chih-Min PhD†; Chen, Ning-Hung MD‡; Wang, Chau-Jan MD§; Chen, Yu-Ray MD*

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Maxillomandibular advancement is one of the treatments available for obstructive sleep apnea. The influence of this surgery on the upper airway and its mechanism are not fully understood. The present research simulates the flow fields of narrowed upper airways of 2 patients with obstructive sleep apnea treated with maxillomandibular advancement. The geometry of the upper airway was reconstructed from computed tomographic images taken before and after surgery. The consequent three-dimensional surface model was rendered for measurement and computational fluid dynamics simulation. Patients showed clinical improvement 6 months after surgery. The cross-sectional area of the narrowest part of the upper airway was increased in all dimensions. The simulated results showed a less constricted upper airway, with less velocity change and a decreased pressure gradient across the whole conduit during passage of air. Less breathing effort is therefore expected to achieve equivalent ventilation with the postoperative airway. This study demonstrates the possibility of computational fluid dynamics in providing information for understanding the pathogenesis of OSA and the effects of its treatment.

© 2009 Mutaz B. Habal, MD

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