Craniofacial Anthropometry: Normative Data for Caucasian Infants

J Craniofac Surg. 2019 Sep;30(6):e539-e542. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005489.


Purpose: Craniofacial anthropometry is a valuable tool for characterization of facial dysmorphology and evaluation of treatment outcomes. Databases of normal anthropometric ranges are limited for infants. The aim of this study is to establish normative data for craniofacial anthropometric measurements in Caucasian infants.

Methods: This is a prospective cross-sectional study including Caucasian infants (≤12 months old) that were recruited from a pediatric medicine practice and Boston Children's Hospital. Infants with craniofacial deformities, trauma or operations were excluded. The sample was stratified by age (in months) into 4 groups: 0 to 3, 3.1 to 6, 6.1 to 9, and 9.1 to 12. Three dimensional (3D) photographs were obtained for all subjects. Forty-five standard anthropometric points were plotted, and 37 measurements were made on the 3D photographs. Two evaluators independently performed all measurements. One examiner repeated the measurements on 25% of the subjects. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated to assess inter-rater and intra-rater agreement.

Results: Thirty-three subjects were enrolled in the study. The mean age for the entire sample was 6.3 ± 3.0 months, and 17 subjects (52%) were female. The mean ages (months) for each group were: 1.9 ± 0.7 for group 1 (n = 6); 4.4 ± 0.7 for group 2 (n = 8); 7.5 ± 1.1 for group 3 (n = 11); and 9.9 ± 1.0 for group 4 (n = 8). Descriptive statistics are presented for each group. Inter- and intra-rater agreements were acceptable (ICC >0.6) for 21 anthropometric measurements.

Conclusions: This study generated normative craniofacial anthropometric measurements for Caucasian infants. These data can be used in the interpretation of measurements for research studies evaluating craniofacial anomalies in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anthropometry* / methods
  • Biometry
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Face / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results