Assessment of mandibular growth and response to orthopedic treatment with 3-dimensional magnetic resonance images

Lucia H.S. Cevidanes, Alexandre A. Franco, Guido Gerig, William R. Proffit, Dennis E. Slice, Donald H. Enlow, Helio K. Yamashita, Yong Jik Kim, Marco A. Scanavini, Julio W. Vigorito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Three-dimensional (3D) craniofacial images are commonly used in clinical studies in orthodontics to study developmental and morphologic relationships. Methods: We used 3D magnetic resonance imaging to study relationships among craniofacial components during the pubertal growth spurt and in response to Fränkel appliance therapy. The sample for this prospective study was 156 high-resolution magnetic resonance images with 1 mm isotropic voxel resolution of 78 subjects taken initially (T1) and 18 ± 1 months (T2) after treatment or an observation period. The subjects were Brazilian children; 28 were treated and 25 were untreated for Class II malocclusion, and 25 were untreated with normal occlusions. A Procrustes geometric transformation of 3D skeletal landmarks was used to assess growth or treatment alterations from T1 to T2. The landmarks were located on the mandibular rami and the other craniofacial parts specifically related to the mandibular growth (the middle cranial fossae and the posterior part of the bilateral nasomaxilla). This allowed visualization of the entire volumetric dataset with an interactive 3D display. Results: Statistically significant differences were found in the relative 3D skeletal growth directions from T1 to T2 for treated vs untreated Class II children (Bonferroni-adjusted P < .001) and for treated Class II vs normal-occlusion subjects (P < .001). The major differences in the treated group were increased mandibular rami vertical dimensions and more forward rami relative to the posterior nasomaxilla and the middle cranial fossae. Principal component analysis made it possible to show individual variability and group differences in the principal dimensions of skeletal change. Conclusions: These methods are generalizable to other imaging techniques and 3D samples, and significantly enhance the potential of systematically controlled data collection and analysis of bony structures in 3 dimensions for quantitative assessment of patient parameters in craniofacial biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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