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Three-dimensional prediction of nose morphology in Chinese young adults: a pilot study combining cone-beam computed tomography and 3dMD photogrammetry system

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Abstract

The nose is the most prominent part of the face and is a crucial factor for facial esthetics as well as facial reconstruction. Although some studies have explored the features of external nose and predicted the relationships between skeletal structures and soft tissues in the nasal region, the reliability and applicability of methods used in previous studies have not been reproduced. In addition, the majority of previous studies have focused on the sagittal direction, whereas the thickness of the soft tissues was rarely analyzed in three dimensions. A few studies have explained the specific characteristics of the nose of Chinese individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the hard nasal structures and soft external nose in three dimensions and to predict the morphology of the nose based on hard-tissue measurements. To eliminate the influence of low resolution of CBCT and increase the accuracy of measurement, three-dimensional (3D) images captured by cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and 3dMD photogrammetry system were used in this study. Twenty-six measurements (15 measurements for hard tissue and 11 measurements for soft tissue) based on 5 craniometric and 5 capulometric landmarks of the nose of 120 males and 120 females were obtained. All of the subjects were randomly divided into an experimental group (180 subjects consisting of 90 males and 90 females) and a test group (60 subjects consisting of 30 males and 30 females). Correlation coefficients between hard- and soft-tissue measurements were analyzed, and regression equations were obtained based on the experimental group and served as predictors to estimate nasal morphology in the test group. Most hard- and soft-tissue measurements appeared significantly different between genders. The strongest correlation was found between basis nasi protrusion and nasospinale protrusion (0.499) in males, and nasal height and nTr-nsTr (0.593) in females. For the regression equations, the highest value of R2 was observed in the nasal bridge length in males (0.257) and nasal tip protrusion in females (0.389). The proportion of subjects with predicted errors < 10% was over 86.7% in males and 70.0% in females. Our study proved that a combined CBCT and 3dMD photogrammetry system is a reliable method for nasal morphology estimation. Further research should investigate other influencing factors such as age, skeletal types, facial proportions, or population variance in nasal morphology estimation.

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Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81701869, No.61971343), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2019M653664).

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Correspondence to Shao-yi Du or Yu-cheng Guo.

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Ethical approval was granted by the ethics committee of Stomatological Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

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Chu, G., Zhao, Jm., Han, Mq. et al. Three-dimensional prediction of nose morphology in Chinese young adults: a pilot study combining cone-beam computed tomography and 3dMD photogrammetry system. Int J Legal Med 134, 1803–1816 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02351-8

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