The human nasolabial fold angle (NFA) has been measured using MRI and photogrammetry and has been shown to decrease with age. The authors aimed to evaluate a novel method using optical coherence tomography to measure the NFA.
In this cross-sectional observational series, the authors used anterior segment optical coherence tomography (ASOCT) to image the NFA of both cheeks of 126 subjects aged 21 to 79 years. A dental vinylpolysiloxane custom-designed mould was used as a chin rest. The mean of 3 scans on each side was calculated and analysis of variance, multiple comparisons, and multiple linear regression were carried out using SPSS 11.0.
Sixty-one subject (48.4%) were men and 65 (51.6%) were women. Mean age was 50.6 ± 16.8 years (range, 21–79 years). The ASOCT successfully imaged the NFA in all subjects. Mean right and left NFA were 144.4° ± 17.1° and 145.4° ± 17.7°. The NFA were dissimilar between the 6 age categories by decade (p < 0.001). Age was the significant predictor of NFA, accounting for 55% of NFA variation. Every year accounted for a decrease of 0.78° (p < 0.001) and 0.80° (p < 0.001) for the right and left cheeks, respectively. Male sex resulted in an increase in NFA of 5.4° (p = 0.007) and 4.0° (p = 0.06) in the right and left cheeks, respectively.
The NFA decreases with age and increases with male sex and can be measured with ASOCT accurately and easily.