• 3D computerized digitizer;
  • ectodermal dysplasia;
  • face;
  • growth;
  • longitudinal analysis

Facial growth patterns in 12 subjects (six boys and six girls) with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED) were analyzed and compared with facial growth patterns obtained in healthy reference peers. All subjects with HED were aged 7 yr (mean age ± standard deviation: 7.08 ± 0.41 yr) at the first examination and 14 yr (mean age ± standard deviation: 14.56 ± 0.34 yr) at the last examination. In each subject, the three-dimensional coordinates of facial landmarks were collected non-invasively at eight subsequent years. The volumes of forehead, nose, maxilla and mandible, upper lips, and lower lips were estimated. For each facial volume, differential values between different time points were calculated individually, separately for the ‘childhood’ (7–10 yr) and the ‘adolescence’ (11–14 yr) growth period in both HED and reference subjects. Children and adolescents with HED had a slightly reduced global facial growth in comparison with normal reference peers. The peak mandibular and maxillary development was delayed by approximately 2 yr towards later adolescence. The present non-invasive system seems to be useful for studying longitudinal changes of facial growth in healthy and syndromic subjects.