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Arch Oral Biol. 2008 Sep;53(9):826-34. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2008.02.005. Epub 2008 Mar 21.

Thin-plate spline analysis of the cranial base in African, Asian and European populations and its relationship with different malocclusions.

Author information

1
Paleoanthropology Group, Department of Palaeobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain. arosas@mncn.csic.es

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To test the hypothesis that midline basicranial orientation and posterior cranial base length are discriminating factors between adults of different populations and its potential maxillo/mandibular disharmonies.

DESIGN:

Twenty-nine 2D landmarks of the midline cranial base, the face and the mandible of dry skull X-rays from three major populations (45 Asians, 34 Africans, 64 Europeans) were digitized and analysed by geometric morphometrics. We used, first, MANOVA to test for mean shape differences between populations; then, principal components analysis (PCA) to assess the overall variation in the sample and finally, canonical variate analysis (CVA) with jack-knife validations (N=1000) to analyse the anatomical features that best distinguished among populations.

RESULTS:

Significant mean shapes differences were shown between populations (P<0.001). CVA revealed two significant axes of discrimination (P<0.001). Jack-knife validation correctly identified 92% of 15,000 unknowns. In Africans the whole cranial base is rotated into a forward-downward position, while in Asians it is rotated in the opposite way. The Europeans occupied an intermediate position. African and Asian samples showed a maxillo/mandibular prognathism. African prognathism was produced by an anterior positioned maxilla, Asian prognathism by retruded anterior cranial base and increase of the posterior cranial base length. Europeans showed a trend towards retracted mandibles with relatively shorter posterior cranial bases.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results supported the hypothesis that basicranial orientation and posterior cranial base length are valid factors to distinguish between geographic groups. The whole craniofacial configuration underlying a particular maxillo-facial disharmony must be considered in diagnosis, growth predictions and resulting treatment planning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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