A recent longitudinal analysis documented changes in the facial skeletons of a small cohort of patients over time.
The researchers suggested studies of facial aging have been limited by a focus on soft tissue, rather than bony changes, and that few studies have investigated the same cohort of patients over time. The current case series included CT records for five men and nine women aged 40 to 55 years from a single hospital system. The images were timed at least 8 years apart and evaluated for changes in glabellar, piriform and maxillary angles, along with piriform height and width.
After a mean follow-up of 9.7 years (mean, 1.4), a statistically significant decrease in mean glabellar angles, from 68.8° (mean, 7.6°) to 66.5° (mean, 8.6°), was reported. Maxillary angles on the right decreased from 82.5° (mean, 6.3°) to 81.0° (mean, 7.1°), while those on the left decreased from 83.0° (mean, 5.8°) to 81.0° (mean, 7.0°). An increase in piriform width also was observed, from 24.5 (mean, 1.6) mm to 25.5 (mean, 1.3) mm.
Three-dimensional analysis results showed that mean maxillary angles decreased from 56.5° (mean, 6.6°) to 51.6° (mean, 7.6°), while piriform angles decreased from 50.8° (mean, 3.4°) to 49.1° (mean, 3.4°).
The researchers also observed statistically significant differences between men and women regarding certain parameters, including glabellar angle, which was 61.7° (mean, 5.7°) in men and 72.7° (mean, 5.4°) in women. Final values for glabellar angle were 57.9° (mean, 4.9°) in men and 71.2° (mean, 6.0°) among women.
Initial values for the right mean maxillary angle were 87.8° (mean, 6.1°) in men and 79.6° (mean, 4.3°) in women, while those on the left were 87.1° (mean, 4.9°) for men and 80.6° (mean, 5.0°) for women. Final value results on the right mean maxillary angle were 87.0° (mean, 4.4°) in men and 77.7° (mean, 6.1°) in women. Left mean maxillary angles were 86.9° (mean, 4.1°) for men and 77.7° (mean, 6.2°).
Men had an initial mean piriform height of 35.0 mm (mean, 2.0), compared with 31.3 mm (mean, 2.8) for women. The final piriform heights were 35.5 mm (mean, 2.1) among men and 31.6 mm (mean, 3.0) among women.
“Our pilot study of repeated CT images of patients over several years supports previous studies of bony facial aging and further characterizes these changes,” the researchers concluded. “This study is the first, to our knowledge, to document bony changes of the face in the same group of patients at different time points to better characterize facial aging.” – by Rob Volansky
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.