Characterization of the perinatal mandible growth pattern: preliminary results
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The fetal development of the mandible is nowadays quite understood, and it is already known that craniofacial growth reaches its highest rate during the first 5 years of postnatal life. However, there are very few data focusing on the perinatal period. Thus, the present article is addressing this concern by studying the mandible morphology and its evolution around the birth with a morphometric method.
Thirty-one mandibles modelled in three dimensions from post-mortem CT-scans were analyzed. This sample was divided into two subgroups composed of, respectively, 15 fetuses (aged from 36 gestational weeks), and 16 infants (aged to 12 postnatal weeks). 17 distances, 3 angles, and 8 thicknesses were measured via the prior set of 14 landmarks, illustrating the whole mandible morphology.
Although this methodology may depend on the image reconstruction quality, its reliability was demonstrated with low variability in the results. It highlighted two distinct growth patterns around birth: fetuses mandibles do not significantly evolve during the perinatal period, whereas, from the second postnatal weeks, most of the measurements increased in a homogeneous tendency and in correlation with age.
The protocol developed in this study highlighted the morphologic evolution of the mandible around birth, identifying a different growth pattern from 2 postnatal weeks, probably because of the progressive activation of masticatory muscles and tongue. However, considering the small sample size, these results should be thorough, so identification and management of anatomic abnormalities could eventually be achieved.
KeywordsMandible Infant Fetus Mandibular hypoplasia Biometrics Anthropology
The authors would like to thank Berengere Saliba-Serre for her advices in the statistical analysis of our data.
FR: protocol development, data collection, data analysis, and manuscript writing. YG: project development, data analysis, and manuscript editing. EV: project development and manuscript editing. GG: data collection and manuscript editing. PB: project development and manuscript editing. PA: project development and manuscript editing. LG: project development and manuscript editing. LT: project development, data analysis, and manuscript editing.
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