Normal human craniofacial growth and development from 0 to 4 years

Ce Liang, Antonio Profico, Costantino Buzi, Roman H Khonsari, David Johnson, Paul O'Higgins, Mehran Moazen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of human craniofacial growth (increase in size) and development (change in shape) is important in the clinical treatment of a range of conditions that affects it. This study uses an extensive collection of clinical CT scans to investigate craniofacial growth and development over the first 48 months of life, detail how the cranium changes in form (size and shape) in each sex and how these changes are associated with the growth and development of various soft tissues such as the brain, eyes and tongue and the expansion of the nasal cavity. This is achieved through multivariate analyses of cranial form based on 3D landmarks and semi-landmarks and by analyses of linear dimensions, and cranial volumes. The results highlight accelerations and decelerations in cranial form changes throughout early childhood. They show that from 0 to 12 months, the cranium undergoes greater changes in form than from 12 to 48 months. However, in terms of the development of overall cranial shape, there is no significant sexual dimorphism in the age range considered in this study. In consequence a single model of human craniofacial growth and development is presented for future studies to examine the physio-mechanical interactions of the craniofacial growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9641
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2023


  • Humans
  • Child, Preschool
  • Skull/diagnostic imaging
  • Acceleration
  • Brain
  • Eye
  • Growth and Development

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