Objective techniques for craniofacial assessment: what are the choices?

Am J Med Genet. 1997 May 2;70(1):1-5. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19970502)70:1<1::aid-ajmg1>3.0.co;2-3.


The approach to an individual with unusual facial appearance has traditionally involved a subjective assessment coupled with a few craniofacial measurements. Our ability to describe facial morphology has improved in recent years through the development of new techniques such as computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound studies, and stereoscopic imaging. However, the relatively simpler techniques of anthropometry, cephalometry, and photogrammetry, developed prior to the advent of microchips and imaging software, continue to provide unique advantages not afforded by these technically more sophisticated methods. These objective methods should enhance pattern recognition, particularly in rare syndromes, and allow for earlier diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Cephalometry
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / classification
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted
  • Humans
  • Photography
  • Software