Craniofacial skeletal measurements based on computed tomography: Part II. Normal values and growth trends

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1992 Mar;29(2):118-28. doi: 10.1597/1545-1569_1992_029_0118_csmboc_2.3.co_2.


Current diagnosis and surgical correction of craniofacial anomalies would benefit from accurate quantitative and standardized points of reference. A retrospective study was undertaken to define normal values for a series of craniofacial measurements and to evaluate the growth patterns of the craniofacial complex through axial computed tomography (CT). Fifteen measurements were taken from 542 CT scan series of skeletally normal subjects. The measurement values were then divided into 1-year age categories from 1 to 17 years, and into four age groups for those under 1 year of age. The normal range and growth pattern of measurement values for the cranial vault, orbital region, and upper midface are presented. The overall size of the cranio-orbito-zygomatic skeleton reaches more than 85 percent of adult size by age 5 years. The cranial vault grows rapidly in the first year of life but growth levels off early. The upper midface grows at a slower rate in infancy, but continues to grow later in childhood and early adolescence. Knowledge of the differential growth patterns and normal measurement values in the craniofacial region will help improve diagnostic accuracy, staging of reconstruction, precision of corrective surgery, and follow-up of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cephalometry
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Facial Bones / anatomy & histology
  • Facial Bones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Facial Bones / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maxillofacial Development
  • Orbit / anatomy & histology
  • Orbit / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbit / growth & development
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull / anatomy & histology
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging*
  • Skull / growth & development*
  • Temporal Bone / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Bone / growth & development
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Zygoma / anatomy & histology
  • Zygoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Zygoma / growth & development