The pterygomaxillary junction: An imaging study for surgical information of LeFort I osteotomy

Yen Po Chin, Maria Belen Leno, Sarayuth Dumrongwongsiri, Kyung Hoon Chung, Hsiu Hsia Lin, Lun Jou Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

29 Scopus citations


Maxillary osteotomy is a common surgical procedure and often involves separation of the pterygomaxillary junction (PMJ), which is a "blinded" procedure with inherent risks. Knowledge of the PMJ structure is essential. It remains unclear whether patients with different facial types have different PMJ structures, or different surgical outcome. This study evaluated the computed tomographic images of 283 consecutive patients who received orthognathic surgery. Patients were classified into Angle class I, II, III and cleft lip/palate groups. The results showed that the PMJ was 5.1 ± 1.4 mm in thickness, 9.7 ± 1.7 mm in width, and 102.0 ± 4.0 degrees relative to the sagittal plane in the level of posterior nasal spine. There were no statistically significant differences in these measurements among the groups. The class III group demonstrated significantly smaller angle relative to the maxillary occlusal plane. The cleft group showed significantly longer vertical distance between the posterior nasal spine and the lower border of PMJ, shorter distance between the second molar and PMJ, and longer distance between the descending palatine artery and PMJ. With regard to postoperative outcome, the cleft group showed higher incidence of pterygoid plate fracture. The results in this study provide additional surgical anatomic information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9953
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 12 2017

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© 2017 The Author(s).


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