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J Morphol. 2003 Jul;257(1):1-8.

Statistical estimators of frontal sinus cross section ontogeny from very noisy data.

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Institute for Anthropology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Cross-sectional areas of human frontal sinuses in the occipitofrontal projection are a good surrogate for frontal sinus volumes. This study looks at these areas in a dataset of some 200 children and 100 adults of both sexes. As measured by planimetry of roentgenograms, the areas are extremely variable ("noisy" in a statistical sense). In fact, they appear to be distributed log-normally with quite high variance. The mean of the distribution is evidently a function of age and the variances differ by sex. After logarithmic transformation, the data are adequately fitted by one sigmoid curve for each sex. Our discussion highlights implications of this finding for the biological aspects of frontal sinuses and methodological issues in ontogenetic analysis of data so noisy.

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