Journal Article

Effect of growth and development on cephalometric shapes in orthodontic patients: a Fourier analysis

Virgilio F. Ferrario, Chiarella Sforza, Carlo E. Poggio, Anna Colombo and Massimiliano Cova

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 19, issue 6, pages 669-680
Published in print December 1997 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online December 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Effect of growth and development on cephalometric shapes in orthodontic patients: a Fourier analysis

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The age- and gender-related shape variations of the craniofacial skeleton in skeletal Class I children were quantified using a Fourier analysis on the pre-treatment lateral head films of 122 orthodontic patients (age range 7–15 years), who were subdivided into six groups for sex and age (2-year intervals). Seven landmarks representative of the maxillo-mandibular sagittal and vertical relationship were identified and digitized. The contiguous landmarks were connected by segments, the form was normalized with respect to its orientation and size, and a Fourier analysis of the contour was performed. Mean values of the cosine and sine coefficients of the first six harmonics in the sex and age classes were computed. The size-standardized outlines of the oldest boys were narrower and longer than the outlines of the youngest boys (differences at gonion, menton, sella and nasion). Shape differences between mean plots in girls were negligible. In the youngest patients, girls had a larger size-independent shape in the mandibular region; their shape was narrower (anterior-posterior direction) and longer (vertical direction) than male shape. In the oldest patients, boys had a larger size-independent shape at gonion, and a narrower shape at articulare and pogonion than girls. Size increased from the youngest to the oldest boys; size differences were not conspicuous in girls. Within an age class, male size was always larger than female. Fourier analysis allowed a global evaluation of the cephalometric forms, with separate quantifications of the age- and gender-related differences in size and shape.

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Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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