The Americleft Project: Comparison of Ratings Using Two-Dimensional Versus Three-Dimensional Images for Evaluation of Nasolabial Appearance in Patients With Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate
This study was conducted to determine if nasolabial appearance is rated with comparable results and reliability on 3-dimensional stereophotogrammetric facial images versus standard clinical photographs (2-dimensional). Twenty-seven consecutively treated patients with repaired complete unilateral cleft lip and palate were selected. Six trained and calibrated raters assessed cropped 2- and 3-dimensional facial images. Nasolabial profile, nasolabial frontal, and vermillion border esthetics were rated with the 5-point scale described by Asher-McDade using the modified Q-sort method. Cropped 3-dimensional images were available for viewing by each rater, allowing for complete rotational control for viewing the images from all aspects. Two- and three-dimensional ratings were done separately and repeated the next day.
Interrater reliability scores were good for 2-dimensional (κ = 0.607–0.710) and fair to good for 3-dimensional imaging (κ = 0.374–0.769). Intrarater reliability was good to very good for 2-dimensional (κ = 0.749–0.836) and moderate to good for 3-dimensional imaging (κ = 0.554–0.855). Bland–Altman analysis showed satisfactory agreement of 2- and 3-dimensional scores for nasolabial profile and nasolabial frontal, but more systematic error occurred in the assessment of vermillion border.
Although 3-dimensional images may be perceived as more representative of a direct clinical facial evaluation, their use for subjective rating of nasolabial aesthetics was not more reliable than 2-dimensional images in this study. Conventional 2-dimensional images provide acceptable reliability while being readily accessible for most cleft palate centers.