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A three-dimensional computerized tomography study of the relationship between cranial base angle and maxillofacial architecture in caucasic human skull

INTRODUCTION: The relationship of cranial base angle (CBA) and its influence on the craniofacial morphology remains unclear. The articular mobility of the cranium because of sutures and synchondroses suggests that the individual behavior of cranial base during ontogenic development determines the variable position and relation of the craniofacial structures. The purpose of this study was to analyze the correlation between cranial base angle and the morphology of different craniofacial structures in three-dimensionally reconstructed skulls of a European caucasic adult population.

METHOD: Several three-dimensional angular and linear measurements obtained from cone beam computerized tomography scanning images of 302 skulls from the Weisbach collection at the Vienna Natural History Museum were analyzed and correlated.

RESULTS: Significant correlations were found between CBA and different craniofacial structures including positive correlations with the inclination and spatial rotation of vomer bone, the inclination of the maxilla, and posterior occlusal plane. The vertical dimension of the total and the lower facial height showed a negative correlation; similar negative results were observed with occlusal plane height to Sella-Nasion plane, and the sagittal facial dimensions.

CONCLUSION: The CBA shows an interesting interrelation with other structures on the three-dimensional morphology of craniofacial architecture.

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