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Soft tissue thin-plate spline analysis of pre-pubertal Korean and European-Americans with untreated Angle's Class III malocclusions



Soft tissue thin-plate spline analysis of pre-pubertal Korean and European-Americans with untreated Angle's Class III malocclusions



Journal of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 19(2): 94-101



The purpose of this study was to assess soft tissue facial matrices in subjects of diverse ethnic origins with underlying dentoskeletal malocclusions. Pre-treatment lateral cephalographs of 71 Korean and 70 European-American children aged between 5 and 11 years with Angle's Class III malocclusions were traced, and 12 homologous, soft tissue landmarks digitized. Comparing mean Korean and European-American Class III soft tissue profiles, Procrustes analysis established statistical difference (P < 0.001) between the configurations, and this difference was also true at all seven age groups tested (P < 0.001). Comparing the overall European-American and Korean transformation, thin-plate spline analysis indicated that both affine and non-affine transformations contribute towards the total spline (deformation) of the averaged Class III soft tissue configurations. For non-affine transformations, partial warp (PW) 8 had the highest magnitude, indicating large-scale deformations visualized as labio-mental protrusion, predominantly. In addition, PW9, PW4, and PW5 also had high magnitudes, demonstrating labio-mental vertical compression and antero-posterior compression of the lower labio-mental soft tissues. Thus, Korean children with Class III malocclusions demonstrate antero-posterior and vertical deformations of the labio-mental soft tissue complex with respect to their European-American counterparts. Morphological heterogeneity of the soft tissue integument in subjects of diverse ethnic origin may obscure the underlying skeletal morphology, but the soft tissue integument appears to have minimal ontogenetic association with Class III malocclusions.

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Accession: 011372457

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PMID: 10416152


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