Establishment of the mid-sagittal reference plane for three-dimensional assessment of facial asymmetry: a systematic review : Establishment of the mid-sagittal reference plane: a systematic review

Clin Oral Investig. 2024 Apr 5;28(4):242. doi: 10.1007/s00784-024-05620-7.


Objective: To systematically review the literature for mid-sagittal plane establishment approaches to identify the most effective method for constructing the mid-sagittal plane for the evaluation of facial asymmetry.

Materials and methods: Six electronic databases (PubMed, Medline (via Ovid), EMBASE (via Ovid), Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Scopus) and grey literature were searched for the studies that computed the mid-sagittal reference plane three-dimensionally, using a combination of MeSH terms and keywords. The methodological quality and the level of evidence for the included studies were analyzed using QUADAS-2 and GRADE, respectively.

Results: The preliminary search yielded 6746 records, of which 42 articles that met the predefined inclusion criteria were included in the final analysis. All the included articles reported the construction of the mid-sagittal reference plane (MSP) using varied methods. The risk of bias and concerns regarding the applicability of the included studies were judged to be 'low'. The level of evidence was determined to be 'low' for the effectiveness of the technique and 'moderate' for the ease of clinical applicability.

Conclusion: Despite methodological heterogeneity, this review substantiates the comparable efficacy of cephalometric and morphometric MSP construction methods. A fully automated morphometric MSP holds promise as a viable option for routine clinical use. Nevertheless, future prospective studies with an emphasis on the impact, accuracy, and clinical applicability of MSP construction techniques in cases of facial asymmetry are required.

Clinical relevance: The present review will assist clinicians in selecting the most suitable method for MSP construction, leading to improved treatment planning and ultimately more favorable treatment outcomes.

Keywords: 3D; Facial asymmetry; MSP; Mid-sagittal reference plane; Orthognathic surgery; Three-dimensional.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cephalometry / methods
  • Facial Asymmetry* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies