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Comprehensive Evaluation of Three-Dimensional Philtral Morphology

Kishi, Naoko DDS, PhD*; Tanaka, Susumu DDS, PhD*†; Iida, Seiji DDS, PhD*‡; Kogo, Mikihiko DDS, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31822e5ebf
Original Articles

This study was designed to evaluate detailed philtral morphology involving sex and racial differences and to clarify the objective parameters related to subjective judgments regarding the clarity of the philtrum. Fifty-five Japanese and 20 Mexican normal subjects aged 24 to 40 years were recruited, and three-dimensional facial data were acquired using a noncontacting optical surface scanner. The visual classification of the philtral column morphology in Japanese adults using facial photographs revealed that the predominant philtral column shape was different by sex. The three-dimensional anthropometric data showed significant sex differences, which were reflected in the more pronounced visual impression of the philtrum in men. A comparative study between Japanese and Mexican women also revealed certain racial differences. Furthermore, both the philtral depth and central angle of Cupid's bow were extracted as explanatory variables related to the subjective judgments for the clarity of the philtrum. These results suggest that the comprehensive evaluation of philtral morphologic features by three-dimensional analysis is a useful means of identifying the ideal parameters in philtral construction in cleft surgery.

From the *First Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry; †Department of Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Osaka Police Hospital, Osaka; and ‡Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan.

Received February 28, 2011.

Accepted for publication July 4, 2011.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Susumu Tanaka, DDS, PhD, First Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, 1-8 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan; E-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2011 Mutaz B. Habal, MD