Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 501–505 | Cite as

Using the zygomatic arch as a reference line for clinical applications and anthropological studies

  • Jung Ah Park
  • Je-Sung Lee
  • Ki-Seok Koh
  • Wu-Chul SongEmail author
Original Article



The Frankfurt line is the most frequently and widely used reference line in cephalometric analysis, but has shortcomings including the difficulty of landmark identification. This study investigated using the superior border of the zygomatic arch as a new external bony landmark, including measuring the angle between the new reference line and the Frankfurt line.


Facial computed tomography scans were obtained from 170 patients (100 males and 70 females) hospitalized at Konkuk University Chungju Hospital. After three-dimensional reconstruction, the locations of the porion and the inferior orbital rim and the superior border of the zygomatic arch were identified twice by two observers using software. A horizontal line parallel to the superior border of the zygomatic arch was established. The angle between the Frankfurt line and new reference line was then measured on each side.


There was no significant intraobserver or interobserver bias. The angle between the Frankfurt line and the superior border of the zygomatic arch was 4.5° ± 2.5° (mean ± SD), and it was somewhat larger in females than males, but the difference was not statistically significant.


This study demonstrated the good reproducibility of the location of the superior border of the zygomatic arch and found that the angle between the new reference line and the Frankfurt line is relatively constant. The superior border of the zygomatic arch therefore has potential as an alternative reference line to the Frankfurt line in specific clinical applications and anthropological studies, since it is a more accessible bony landmark on the external skull.


Frankfurt plane Zygomatic arch Anatomy Anthropology Computed tomography Face Reference line 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Research Institute of Medical ScienceKonkuk University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea

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