Background: To determine the correlation between the anthropometric facial features and the anatomy of the nasolacrimal drainage system.
Methods: Forty-six mid-sagittal halves of 23 cadavers were studied. The inclination of the lacrimal sac (LS) and nasolacrimal duct (NLD), and the LS-NLD angle were measured in both the sagittal and coronal planes. For the facial features, the height, length and depth of the nose, the intercanthal distance, nasal breadth, nasofacial angle, distance between the external naris, and the inferior aperture of the NLD were measured. The correlations between the angles and the facial features were calculated.
Results: The LS-NLD angle was classified into three anatomical types according to the inclination of the LS and the NLD in the sagittal and coronal planes; the anterior-inward type (43.5%), anterior-outward type (37.0%), and posterior-outward type (19.5%). The nasal depth was correlated with the sagittal LS-NLD angle, and the nasal height and length were correlated with the coronal LS-NLD angle.
Conclusions: There is a large variation in the LS-NLD angle, and nasal depth, height and length can be used to predict the direction of this angle.