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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000279
Reconstructive: Head and Neck: Original Articles

Reliability and Reproducibility of Landmarks on Three-Dimensional Soft-Tissue Cephalometrics Using Different Placement Methods

Lin, Han B.S.; Zhu, Ping M.D.; Lin, Yi B.S.; Zheng, Yuxi B.S.; Xu, Yue M.D., Ph.D.

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Abstract

Background: Affixing markers on the face in vivo with an optical surface imaging system and placing landmarks on a computed tomographic reconstructive facial model represent two helpful approaches prevailing in three-dimensional cephalometric analysis of facial aesthetics. In this study, the authors determine the suitability of these methods for soft-tissue evaluation along with the reproducibility and reliability of landmark placement.

Methods: Thirty-seven soft-tissue landmarks were investigated in 35 normal healthy volunteers who underwent cephalometric analysis by direct and indirect placement methods. Two operators performed the analysis twice for each method at a 1-week interval. Landmark positions were measured on the three-dimensional coordinates, and data were standardized and converted into landmark placement errors for the estimation, by two-way random intraclass correlation coefficients.

Results: Using the direct method, 86.5 percent of the landmarks had a higher intraclass correlation coefficient than 0.75, and 67.6 percent were higher than 0.90. The authors found that 75.7 percent were higher than 0.75 and 43.2 percent were higher than 0.90 with the indirect method. Both methods showed good reliability in identifying midline-related structures, although the correlations of markers surrounding eyelashes and lips were better using the direct method. The direct method had a significantly smaller landmark placement error and better reproducibility than that identified indirectly (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: When evaluating well-defined contours and the natural texture of the face, the direct placement method shows better accuracy than the indirect method. The three-dimensional evaluation emphasizes the eye, lip, and some structures more laterally, therefore providing comprehensive analysis for clinical diagnosis.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Diagnostic, II.

©2014American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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