Elements of morphology: Standard terminology for the periorbital region


  • Bryan D. Hall,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    • Department of Pediatrics, Division of Clinical/Biochemical Genetics and Dysmorphology, Kentucky Clinic, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0284.
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  • John M. Graham Jr.,

    1. Medical Genetics Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California
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  • Suzanne B. Cassidy,

    1. Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, University of California–San Francisco, San Francisco, California
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  • John M. Opitz

    1. Departments of Pediatrics (Division of Medical Genetics), Pathology, Human Genetics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • How to cite this article: Hall BD, Graham JM Jr., Cassidy SB, Opitz JM. 2009. Elements of morphology: Standard Terminology for the periorbital region. Am J Med Genet Part A 149A:29–39.


An international group of clinicians working in the field of dysmorphology has initiated the standardization of terms used to describe human morphology. The goals are to standardize these terms and reach consensus regarding their definitions. In this way, we will increase the utility of descriptions of the human phenotype and facilitate reliable comparisons of findings among patients. Discussions with other workers in dysmorphology and related fields, such as developmental biology and molecular genetics, will become more precise. Here we introduce the anatomy of the periorbital area and define and illustrate the terms that describe the major characteristics of the periorbital area. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.