Morphometry of the ear in north Sudanese subjects with down syndrome: A three-dimensional computerized assessment

Chiarella Sforza, Fadil Elamin, Riccardo Rosati, Marco Alberto Lucchini, Marcio De Menezes, Virgilio F. Ferrario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Down syndrome (DS) is the most frequent live-born autosomal aneuploidy in humans. Scanty data on the craniofacial phenotype of African subjects with DS have been published so far. We wanted to detail the morphologic characteristics of the ears in north Sudanese subjects with DS.The three-dimensional coordinates of 13 soft-tissue landmarks on the ears were obtained using a laser scanner in 64 north Sudanese subjects with DS aged 4 to 34 years and in 682 sex- and age-matched control subjects. From the landmarks, left and right linear distances (ear width and length), ratios (ear width-to-ear length), areas (ear area), angles (angle of the auricle vs the facial midplane), and the three-dimensional symmetry index were calculated. Distances, angles, areas, and ratios were computed. Subject and reference data were compared by computing z scores and calculating Student t tests. Ear width, length, and area were significantly (Student t test, P <0.001) smaller in the subjects with DS than in the reference subjects. On the right side of the face, the subjects with DS had larger ear width-to-ear length ratios and larger angles of the auricle versus the facial midplane than the reference subjects. The three-dimensional symmetry index was significantly larger in the reference subjects. In conclusion, ear dimensions, position, and shape significantly differed in subjects with DS when compared with sex-, age-, and ethnic group-matched control subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-301
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • anthropometry
  • Down syndrome
  • Face
  • soft tissues
  • three-dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery


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