Skeletal dimensions as predictors for the shape of the nose in a South African sample: A cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) study

A. F. Ridel*, F. Demeter, J. Liebenberg, E. N. L'Abbé, D. Vandermeulen, A. C. Oettlé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The profile of the nose is an important feature for facial approximations. Although several manual and semi-automated prediction guidelines exist for estimating the shape of the nose, the reliability and applicability of these methods to South Africans groups are unknown. The aim of this study was to predict the displacements of capulometric landmarks from hard-tissue planes to facilitate nasal soft-tissue reconstruction in a South African sample. Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans of 120 adult South Africans were selected from the Oral and Dental Hospital, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Measurements involving craniometric and capulometric landmarks of the nose were obtained as plane-to-plane distances. Correlation coefficients between hard- and soft-tissue measurements were determined, and regression equations computed to assist in the prediction of the most probable shape and size of the nose. All hard- and soft-tissue measurements appeared significantly different between groups, except for the distance between the pronasale and nasion in the transverse plane and for the distance between the alare and the nasion in the coronal plane. The nasal height, nasal bone length and the nasal bone projection were significant predictors of the pronasale, subnasale and alare positions. More precisely, the nasal height and the nasal bone length were significant predictors of the pronasale position in both groups. Nasal bone projection was only useful for predicting shape in white South Africans. The variation in the skeletal predictors of the external shape of the nose noted between black and white South Africans and the results of the cross-validation testing emphasize the need for population specific guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Capulometric landmarks
  • Craniometric landmarks
  • Facial approximation
  • Human variability
  • Plane-to-plane distances
  • Regression equations


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