A Morphable Profile Model of the Human Head as an Outcome Tool for Craniosynostosis Surgery

Christian Duncan, Rachel Armstrong, Nicholas Edwin Pears

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Introduction: Outcome analysis in craniosynostosis surgery is difficult and often relies on limited anthropometric measurement, qualitative analysis of photography or patient reported outcome. Quantifiable morphable models of the human face have been described but, to date, a similar model of the head has not been available because of specific challenges in constructing such a tool. We present a morphable profile model of the human head, which includes an average, and demonstrate proposals for its use in outcomes analysis following craniosynostosis surgery.
Method: The “Headspace Project” was a public partnership data gathering exercise which deployed a 3dMDhead camera system to a permanent site in Liverpool between September 2013 and January 2014. Specific photographic protocols were adhered to and consent was obtained from public volunteers so that their images could be compiled into a searchable database. Appropriate 3D images were automatically aligned and compiled to produce a cross-sectional model of head shape, comprising of a mean profile and the profile’s modes of variation. The extracted profile’s of craniosynostosis patients were then compared with this model.
Results: Images of 1523 individuals were collected, consisting of 752 males, 770 females, and 1 transgender. Age ranges were categorized according to 10 year brackets with 111 under 10 years, 196 10-20 year olds, and the remainder above the age of 20. Details of facial or head trauma or surgery were collected. A preliminary profile model was constructed from a demographically matched subset and this was used to develop preliminary post-operative outcomes in scaphocephaly patients.
Conclusion: There were challenges which will be discussed, but we developed a morphable profile model of the head. Aesthetic outcomes derived by comparison of pre-operative and post-operative 3dMD surface images of scaphocephaly patients with the defined norm can be produced.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2015

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