A novel approach for pre-surgical evaluation of facial morphometry in children using magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain: A feasibility analysis: Facial morphometry in magnetic resonance imaging
Pre-surgical evaluation of facial morphometry is frequently warranted for children with facial dysmorphism. Though many methods utilized previously for such purposes, data is scarce on using magnetic resonance (MRI) brain images for such purposes. The purpose of this study was to appraise the feasibility of utilizing MRI brain scans done in epilepsy imaging protocol to assess facial morphometry. Measurements of the face; orbit, mouth, and nose of children aged 1 to 7 years were obtained using T1 sagittal, T2 axial and three dimensional (3D) MRI images of the brain (n=20). Ability to obtain facial measurements, inter and intra-observer variability calculated. The mean age of the studied children was 4±2 years, of which 40% (n=8) were boys, and 60% (n=12) were girls. Obtaining facial measurements were reliable with high intra-observer (α=0.757 to 0.999) and inter-observer agreements (α=0.823 to 0.997). The landmarks of the cranium, upper face, and upper nose could be identified (100%) in both two dimensional (2D) and 3D images when such landmarks were contained in the imaging field of view (FOV). Landmarks of lower nose, (subalar width = 0%) or mouth (0%) were not contained in the FOV of 2D images, but contained in 3D images (100%). Both 2D and 3D images did not allow assessment of lower face or the mandible as such landmarks were not contained in the FOV. We conclude that Brain MRIs performed to evaluate cerebral pathology can be executed to assess facial measurements, provided the FOV of the scan is adjusted to include all significant landmarks.