Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 60–65

The influence of sex, age and body mass index on facial soft tissue depths

  • S. De Greef
  • D. Vandermeulen
  • P. Claes
  • P. Suetens
  • G. Willems
Original Article

Abstract

Facial soft tissue depth charts are used in the majority of forensic facial approximation methods. In the past, based on the multitude of available soft tissue depth charts, a number of hypotheses were advanced concerning the impact of sex, BMI and age on the depth of tissues. In this study, for the first time, a multivariate analysis was performed on a large-scale study on Caucasian adults to determine the “real” impact of these attributes. The calculation of a robust multiple linear regression of soft tissue thickness versus BMI, age and sex for each landmark separately, allowed us to study the impact from a statistical as well as practical point of view. Former findings were re-evaluated. Additionally, the results confirm the dominant role of BMI in the alterations of facial soft tissue thickness. However, excluding age and sex from the equation should be considered with care and can certainly not be applied to all landmarks. Finally, the regression equation allows increase in the specificity of tissue depths used in real cases by offering practitioners the possibility of calculating individual tissue depths.

Keywords

Facial soft tissue depths Influences age BMI Sex Forensic craniofacial identification Facial approximation Facial reconstruction 

References

  1. 1.
    Aulsebrook WA, Van Rensburg JHJ. The significance of race determination in facial reconstruction. Abstract of lecture given at the 20th Scientific congress of International Association of Dental Reasearch. J Dent Res. 1982;67:783.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    De Greef S, Claes P, Mollemans W, Vandermeulen D, Suetens P, Willems G. Semi-automated ultrasound facial soft tissue depth registration: method and validation. J Forensic Sci. 2005;50(6):1282–8. doi:10.1520/JFS2004547.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    De Greef S, Claes P, Vandermeulen D, Mollemans W, Suetens P, Willems G. Large-scale in vivo Caucasian facial soft tissue thickness database for craniofacial reconstruction. Forensic Sci Int. 2006;159(Suppl 1):S126–46. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.02.034.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dumont T, Simon E, Stricker M, Kahn JL, Chassange JF. Facial fat: descriptive and functional anatomy, from a review of literature and dissections of 10 split-faces. Ann Chir Plast Esthet. 2007;52(1):51–61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Holland PW, Welsch RE. Robust regression using iteratively reweighted least-squares. Commun Stat Theory Methods. 1977;A6:813–27. doi:10.1080/03610927708827533.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Maat GJR. Facial reconstruction: a review and comment. Barge’s Anthropologica, Leids universitair Medisch Centrum 1998. (Personal communication).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rohrich RJ, Pessa JE. The fat compartments of the face: anatomy and clinical implications for cosmetic surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007;119(7):2219–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Starbuck JM, Ward RE. The affect of tissue depth variation on craniofacial reconstructions. Forensic Sci Int. 2007;172:130–6. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.01.006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stephan CN, Norris RM, Henneberg M. Does sexual dimorphism in facial soft tissue depths justify sex distinction in craniofacial identification? J Forensic Sci. 2005;50:513–8. doi:10.1520/JFS2004251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stephan CN. Beyond the sphere of the English facial approximation literature: ramifications of German papers on western method concepts. J Forensic Sci. 2006;51(4):736–9. doi:10.1111/j.1556-4029.2006.00175.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stephan CN, Simpson EK. Facial soft tissue depths in craniofacial identification (Part I): an analytical review of the published adult data. J Forensic Sci. 2008;2008(Sep):9. (Epub ahead of print).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Suzuki K. On the thickness of the soft parts of the Japanese face. J Anthropol Soc Nippon. 1948;60:7–11.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sutton PRN. Zygomatic dialeter: the thickness of the tissues over the zygions. Am J Phys Anthropol. 1969;30:303–10. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330300215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Taylor KT. Forensic art and illustration. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2001.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ward RE, Jamison LG, Farkas LG. The craniofacial variability index: a simple measure of normal and abnormal variation in the head and face. Am J Med Genet. 1998;80:232–40. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19981116)80:3<232::AID-AJMG11>3.0.CO;2-0.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wilkinson CM, Neave RAH, Smith D, Hons BA. How important to facial reconstruction are the correct ethnic group tissue depths? Proceedings of the tenth meeting of the international association for craniofacial identification; 2002 Sep 11–14; Bari Italy. Bari: Università degli Studi di Bari; 2002.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wilkinson C. Forensic facial reconstruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2004.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. De Greef
    • 1
  • D. Vandermeulen
    • 2
  • P. Claes
    • 3
  • P. Suetens
    • 2
  • G. Willems
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, School of Dentistry, Oral Pathology and Maxillofacial SurgeryKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering - ESAT, Center for Processing Speech and Images - PSIKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.School of Dental ScienceUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations