Research Article| Volume 40, ISSUE 4, P371-376, July 1987

A computer-based method of measuring facial asymmetry. Results from an assessment of the repair of cleft lip deformities

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      The appearance of the nose, mouth and nostrils was analysed in two series of unilateral, complete cleft lip patients. A programme was written for use on a BBC microcomputer to measure the symmetry of facial features traced from photographs. Symmetry was measured using one of two methods: determining the area of non-overlap when one side was reflected on the other (area method) or calculating the distance from regularly spaced points on the outline of one side to the nearest point on the reflection of the opposite side (curve method). The rankings of the photographs based on these results were compared with the subjective rankings given by a lay panel. The results based on the curve method agreed well with the subjective rankings (P for Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficients =<0.02). The technique provides a cheap, simple and quick method of comparing symmetry in groups of patients.


        • Burke P.
        Serial stereophotogrammetric measurements of the soft tissues of the face.
        British Dental Journal. 1983; 155: 373
        • Coghlan B.A.
        • Mathews B.
        • Pigott R.W.
        Computer aided assessment of the results of cleft lip surgery.
        in: Communication to the Winter Meeting of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons. 1984
        • Coghlan B.A.
        • Matthews B.
        • Pigott R.W.
        A method of measuring facial asymmetry.
        Journal of Physiology. 1985; 364: 20P
        • Hodgkinson P.D.
        • Rabey G.P.
        Three-dimensional nasal morphology in adult bilateral cleft palate patients: a morphanalytical study.
        British Journal of Plastic Surgery. 1986; 39: 193
        • Kawai T.
        • Yamamoto T.
        • Nemoto T.
        Computerized three-dimensional analysis of facial shape by means of Moire Conturography.
        in: Presented at the Third International Congress on Cleft Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies, Toronto1977
        • Larson L.
        • Nilsson B.
        Early bone grafting in complete cleft lip and palate cases following maxillofacial orthopedics. VI. Assessments from photographs and anthropometric measurements.
        Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 1983; 17: 209
        • Rabey G.P.
        Current principles of morphanalysis and their implications in oral surgical practice.
        British Journal of Oral Surgery. 1977; 15: 97
        • Rabey G.P.
        Morphanalysis of craniofacial dysharmony.
        British Journal of Oral Surgery. 1977; 15: 110
        • Woodward R.H.
        • Goldsmith P.L.
        Cumulative Sum Techniques.
        in: Monograph No. 3, Mathematical and Statistical Techniques for Industry. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh1964