STUDY OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether the presence of tendinous PMR could predict treatment outcome and how it affects lateral wall mechanical properties. Mandibular advancement increases the lateral dimensions of the nasopharyngeal airway via a direct connection from the airway to the ramus of the mandible. The anatomical structure in this region is the pterygomandibular raphe (PMR), but a tendinous component is not always present. Whether tendon presence influences treatment outcome is unknown. METHODS: In total, 105 participants with obstructive sleep apnea completed detailed anatomical magnetic resonance imaging with and without mandibular advancement. The study design was case-control. Variables were compared between participants with and without the tendon present. RESULTS: The amount of maximum mandibular advancement decreased when pterygomandibular tendon was present (4.0 ± 1.2 mm present versus 4.6 ± 1.4 mm absent, p = 0.04). PMR tendon-absent participants had a lower posttreatment apnea hypopnea index (16 ± 12 events/hour tendon present versus 9 ± 9 events/hour absent, p = 0.007) and were more likely to have complete response (63% versus 36%, p = 0.02). However, tendon-absent participants were more likely to not complete the study (χ 2 (3) = 10.578, p = 0.014). Tendon-absent participants had a greater increase in midline anteroposterior airway diameter (1.6 ± 1.7 mm versus 0.6 ± 2.3 mm, p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: When PMR tendon is absent, treatment response and amount of maximum advancement improve, possibly at the expense of reduced splint tolerability. Tendon presence may help predict a group less likely to respond to mandibular advancement splint therapy.
- mandibular advancement
- treatment outcome