Facial soft tissue thickness among various vertical facial patterns in adult Pakistani subjects

Document Type



Dental-oral, Maxillo-facial Surgery



Facial reconstruction techniques are used to obtain an approximation of an individual's appearance thus helping identification of unidentified decedents from their dried skeletal remains. Many of these techniques rely on the sets of average facial soft tissue thickness (FST) values at different anatomical landmarks provided by the previous studies. FST is influenced by the age, sex, ethnicity and the body mass index of the individual. Recent literature has shown that the anthropological variations of the skull may also affect FST at certain points. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of such variations in vertical skull morphology on FST as around one third of different population groups have either a long or short facial pattern as compared to the average facial pattern. Moreover, this study also provides a FST database for the adult Pakistani subjects that may have potential implications in the facial reconstruction of the local subjects. A retrospective analysis of 276 lateral cephalograms of adult subjects having normal sagittal facial pattern was performed. Subjects were categorized into three vertical facial patterns (long face=95, average face=102, short face=79) according to the vertical dimensions of the skull and the FST was measured at 11 midline points. To compare the FST between males and females Mann-Whitney U test was used. Kruskal-Wallis test was applied to compare FST among three vertical facial patterns. The results of our study revealed significant differences in FST at nine landmarks between males and females. These sex-based differences were more pronounced in the long and short facial patterns as compared to the average facial pattern. FST at stomion, pogonion, gnathion and menton was significantly greater in the short facial pattern as compared to the long facial pattern in both the sexes. The results of the present study highlight the importance of anthropological analysis of the skull and taking the vertical skeletal dimension into consideration while performing facial reconstruction.


Forensic Sci Int.