The nasolabial fold is a significant facial landmark. Its size, shape, and symmetry are important in facial reanimation surgery, while effacement is an important goal in rejuvenation surgery. However, quantitative data for the nasolabial fold volume (NLFV) and depth is still unavailable. We present a new method of measurement using 3D color speckle stereophotogrammetry and its application in the assessment of NLFV. The VECTRA-3D system was validated to determine its minimum resolution and accuracy. Normal volunteers aged 13–84 years ( n = 87) were imaged in repose. Mother–daughter pairs ( n = 15, aged 13–61) were imaged in the upright and supine positions. All data were processed using custom software and analyzed by linear regression and nonparametric tests as appropriate. NLFV varied from 0.0026 to 0.2306 ml. There was significant correlation between NLFV and age ( r = 0.7269, p < 0.0001). Men had significantly higher NLFV than women across all ages. There was no significant difference between the left and right NLFV. NLFV altered significantly from upright to supine in all subjects ( p = 0.0012). However, the mothers increased their NLFV by 32% from supine to upright postures, which was a greater change than observed in their daughters. We have demonstrated a rapid, objective, and non-invasive assessment tool for facial reanimation and rejuvenation surgery. We have quantified the effects of age and posture on NLFV, and the efficacy and longevity of rejuvenation procedures are currently under investigation.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2007
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