Longitudinal composite 3D faces and facial growth trends in children 6–11 years of age using 3D cephalometric surface imaging

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Background: Normative craniofacial anthropometry provides clinically important reference values used in the treatment of craniofacial conditions. Few objective datasets of normative data exist for children. Aim: To establish normative data regarding craniofacial morphology changes with growth in children. Subjects and methods: 3D surface images of the same group of healthy children aged 6 − 11 years old recruited from a Dallas school were taken annually between the years 2015 − 2020. Composite 3D cephalometric faces were created for boys and girls of each age. General and craniofacial anthropometric measurements were compared. Results: Seven hundred ninety one individual stereophotogrammetric acquisitions were used (400 boys, 391 girls) taken from 180 children. Linear facial, orbital, nasal, and oral anthropometric measurements revealed a consistent increase in magnitude with age. Composite 3D face comparisons revealed prominent vertical and anteroposterior growth trends in the lower and upper facial regions. Conclusion: This study presents a longitudinal 3D control dataset of the same group of children over a 6-year period that can serve as reference norms for facial growth values and trends in children aged 6–11 years. The composite 3D normative faces are available for clinical and research purposes upon request, which may be interrogated and measured according to user need and preference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • 3D cephalometric surface imaging
  • Craniofacial anthropometry
  • facial growth
  • longitudinal normative data
  • paediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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