Analysis of Craniofacial Remodeling in the Aging Midface Using Reconstructed Three-Dimensional Models in Paired Individuals

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Aging leads to a panoply of changes of facial morphology. The present study was conducted to analyze modifications of the facial skeleton with aging, using high-resolution imaging and comparing the same individuals at two time points.


The electronic medical record system was reviewed since its inception in 2001 for patients for whom two computed tomographic scans of the midface were obtained at least 9 years apart. The computed tomographic scans were converted into three-dimensional craniofacial models for each patient, using the initial and the follow-up computed tomographic scan data. The models were used to highlight areas of bone growth and bone resorption using a color scale and to perform a cephalometric analysis.


Seven patients with a mean age of 61 years and computed tomographic scans on average 10.3 years apart were included. Bone resorption was consistently present (100 percent) at the pyriform aperture and the anterior wall of the maxilla. Resorption was noted at the superocentral (71 percent), inferolateral (57 percent), and superomedial (57 percent) aspects of the orbital rim. Resorption occurred earlier at the inferolateral orbital rim followed by the superomedial orbital rim in later decades of life. Paired-analysis of change in the orbital rim height and width demonstrated a mean decrease over time but was not significant.


Bone remodeling in the same individual, over a period of 10 years, was characterized by resorption at the pyriform aperture; anterior wall of the maxilla; and superocentral, superomedial, and inferolateral aspects of the orbital rims.

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