Facial Soft Tissue Thickness of Midline in an Iranian Sample: MRI Study

The Open Dentistry Journal 30 June 2017 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601711010375


Background and Aim:

To identify human skeletal remains, different methods can be used and using these techniques, important data can be obtained. However, facial reconstruction is the last method to indentify unknown human faces which requires knowledge about facial soft tissue thickness in the different positions of the face. The present study determined the facial soft tissue thickness in the different landmark points on the MRI images of patients referred to Radiology Department of Shahid Madani Hospital.

Materials and Methods:

In this descriptive cross-sectional trial, MRI images of 179 patients (61 males, 118 females) in the age range of 18-76 years old who did not show any pathologic lesions, were selected. The measurements of the facial soft tissue were done on 12 landmark points on the midline area by two radiologist observers using specific software on the images. The differences in the soft tissue thickness in these landmark points were statistically analyzed by Mann-Whitney U (in term of gender) and Kruskal-Wallis tests (in terms of Body Mass Index [BMI] and age groups). P value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The data were compared with the results of other studies.


The results obtained in the present study were higher than Turkish and American studies in most of the landmark points. Facial soft tissue thickness in most of the landmarks was more in males than females. In some of the landmarks, significant differences were found between emaciated, normal and overweight patients while in most cases, soft tissue thickness increased with the increased BMI. In some cases, significant differences were noted between soft tissue thickness values among the different age groups, in which the thickness increased or thinned with the increased age.

Statistical Analysis:

There were statistically significant associations between the presence and surface area of Haller cells and the occurrence of ipsilateral maxillary sinusitis. Neither the angulation of the uncinate process nor the size of the maxillary sinus ostium significantly correlates with the formation of maxillary sinusitis.


The data achieved in the present study can be used for the facial reconstruction purposes in the Iranian population; however, the slight differences existing between the studied population and other subgroup races must be considered for accurate reconstructions.

Keywords: Anatomic landmark, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Soft tissue thickness, Midface, Iranian.
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