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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 127-132

Morphometric variations of nasal parameters in gujarati population: An anatomical study

Laboratory of Forensic Odontology, Institute of Forensic Science, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission07-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance28-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abraham Johnson
Institute of Forensic Science, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Sector 9, Near DFS Head Quarter, Gandhinagar 382 007, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JASI.JASI_139_19

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Introduction: Nasal morphology is an important factor in forensic investigations and facial reconstructive procedures. Found to be strongly related to ethnicity and environmental factors, and known to be sexually dimorphic, the study of nasal parameters is useful in forensic facial reconstruction. The aim of the study is to evaluate the nasal morphological characteristics of the Gujarati population as an indicator for personal identification and to assess the prevalent nasal morphology of the study population determined. Material and Methods: The study involved randomly selected 180 healthy subjects (90 males and 90 females) between three age groups. Nasal width and nasal height were measured using a digital vernier caliper, and nasal index was calculated along with other parameters. The data were statistically analyzed. Results: The mean nasal width for male and female was 38.23 mm and 34.94 mm while the mean nasal height was 47.59 mm and 44.35 mm, respectively. The mean nasal index for male subjects (81.08) was also higher than for female subjects (77.30). The morphological classification showed the mesorrhine nose type as the most prevalent among both the males (58.88%) and females (66.66%). Discussion and Conclusion: The population under the study exhibits mesorrhine type of the nose and shows sexual dimorphism in the values of nasal measurements. Thus, the current study is valuable not only in forensic facial reconstruction but also as an added method for determining the gender and ethnicity of an unidentified individual.

Keywords: Anthropometry, forensic identification, morphology, nasal height, nasal index, nasal width, sexual dimorphism, variation

How to cite this article:
Rohith M M, Roy J, Johnson A. Morphometric variations of nasal parameters in gujarati population: An anatomical study. J Anat Soc India 2020;69:127-32

How to cite this URL:
Rohith M M, Roy J, Johnson A. Morphometric variations of nasal parameters in gujarati population: An anatomical study. J Anat Soc India [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Mar 29];69:127-32. Available from: https://www.jasi.org.in/text.asp?2020/69/3/127/296908

  Introduction Top

The qualitative and quantitative assessment of the human body has a long history dating back as far as the middle kingdom where local artisans used square grid patterns to produce standard proportions of human figures establishing different formula for males and females.[1] Nasal anthropometry involves the systematic measurement and analysis of the human nose which aims to provide baseline data for the study of different human populations.

Nose is a pyramidal structure located in the midline of the mid-face and attached to the facial skeleton made up of bones, cartilages, muscles, and soft tissue.[2] During racial evolution, nose shows a high degree of variation.[3] Both genetic and environmental factors influence the shape of the nose.[4] Due to the natural selection, in cold and dry climates, the nose tends to be narrower, while in warmer and moist environment, it is broader in humans.[4] Hence, the anthropometric parameters changes with ethnicity, race, and gender. These baseline data are of great importance in nasal reconstructive surgeries, forensic science, facial reconstruction, and anthropology.

Any alteration in the shape of the nose leads to a gross change in the facial appearance of an individual. Hence, population-specific data regarding the nasal morphology are of utmost importance for the plastic surgeons in reconstructive studies and forensic investigators in facial identification and reconstructions. In any nasal reconstructive procedure, there should be a thorough analysis of the nasal morphology of population of a particular geographic area. Hence, plastic surgeons and forensic investigators both can benefit from a regional database regarding nasal anthropometry.

Nasal index is measured as the ratio of maximum breadth of nose with the maximum length of nose multiplied by 100, which helps characterize nasal morphology into five types.[5] Thus, it is clearly understood that the study and comparison of nasal index form the basis of racial, ethnic, and gender determination among different populations.

It is noted that Berom, Igbos, Yorubas, and Ijaws ethnic tribes from African region fall under the platyrrhine nose type, whereas Western Uttar Pradesh region and South Indian males have mesorrhine type of nose and females have leptorrhine type of nose.[6],[7],[8],[9] At present, there are very little data about the nasal morphology of Gujarati population. Therefore, the present study aims toward measuring and analyzing the nasal parameters of Gujarati population, thereby obtaining the mean nasal index and assessing the sexual dimorphism related to nasal morphology. The study also tries to establish the distribution of basic nose types, shape of the nose, nasal tip angle, and nostril model in Gujarati population to provide the baseline anthropometrical data for nasal reconstructive surgeries, forensic science, and anthropological studies.

  Material and Methods Top

The study group consisted of 180 subjects, comprising 90 males and 90 females, in the age range of 20 years and above who were randomly chosen. They were further divided into three age groups, i.e., 20–40 years, 41–60 years, and 61 years onward [Table 1].All the subjects were volunteers and were made aware of the study. Written consent was also obtained from each and every individual. The subjects were included in the study after recording demographic data, brief history of the present illness, and medical/surgical history. Apparently healthy individuals with average-to-good built and no visible facial deformity were included, while those with hereditary facial asymmetries, history of esthetic treatment or orthognathic surgery, history of maxillofacial trauma, and history or clinical characteristics of any type of systemic disorders such as bone diseases, nutritional diseases, and endocrinal diseases were excluded. Total six parameters of the nasal structure were included in this study and they are as follows.
Table 1: Age group and number of participants

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  1. Nasal breadth
  2. Nasal height
  3. Nasal index
  4. Nose tip angle
  5. Nostril model
  6. Nose shape from lateral aspect.

The nasal breadth was measured from the alare (al) of the one side to the alare (al) of the other side by using a vernier caliper. The nasal height was measured from the nasion (n) (a fixed point between the eyes) to the subnasale (nasolabial junction) [Figure 1]. The nose tip angle is an internal angle formed between the line drawn from nasion (n) to pronasale (prn) and the line connecting pronasle (prn) and the subnasale (sn) [Figure 2]. The angle was measured by placing a protractor on the lateral aspect of the nose. The horizontal reference line of the protractor was made parallel to that of the prn–sn line, and the angle formed by the n–prn line in relation to the prn–sn line was recorded [Figure 2]. The nasal index was calculated from the nasal breadth and the nasal height as the formula for nasal index is given below:
Figure 1: Measurement of nasal width and nasal height

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Figure 2: Measurement of nasal tip angle

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Based on the nasal index, the general nose shape was determined to be one of the following types.[5]

  1. Hyperleptorrhine (≤54.9) – Very long and narrow nose
  2. Leptorrhine (55–69.9) – Long and narrow nose
  3. Mesorrhine (70–84.9) – Moderate nose of moderate size
  4. Platyrrhine (85–99.9) – Broad nose
  5. Hyperplatyrrhine (≥100) – Very broad nose [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Variations in the nasal morphology based on nasal index

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The nose shape from the lateral aspect and the nostril model were determined by comparing the parameters with the chart provided by a study done by Uzun and Ozdemir [10] [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Reference anatomical scale for nasal parameters

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Statistical analysis

The data recorded were compiled using MS Excel Spreadsheet (version-2010) and subjected to statistical analysis using Statistical Package of the Social Sciences Version 20. (SPSS 20.0, IBM, Armonk, NY, United States of America). The existence of significant differences between the means of all the parameters for the gender was analyzed using independent Student's t-test. One-way ANOVA was also performed to determine any significant changes in the parameter values due to age progression. A P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

  Results Top

Nasal index

The nasal index showed statistically significant difference between males and females in all the age groups. The nasal index was found to be higher for males than females in all the age groups [Table 2]. Based on the nasal index, the general shape of the nose was also determined. Mesorrhine type of nasal shape was found to be prevalent for both males and females [Table 3].
Table 2: Nasal index

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Table 3: Prevalence of general nose shape based on nasal index

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Nasal width and nasal height

Nasal width and height were found to be significantly different among males and females. Both of the metric parameters were found to be higher for males and lower for females. One-way ANOVA was performed for these parameters which revealed that these parameters were significantly different among the three age groups. The data suggest that these metric parameters increase with age. The results are described in [Table 4].
Table 4: Mean value and standard deviation of different metric nasal parameters among male and females of different age groups

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Nasal shape from lateral aspect and nostril model

The nasal shape from the lateral aspect and nostril model was determined by a chart provided by Uzun and Ozdemir.[10] In case of the nasal shape from lateral aspect, “Type III” was found to be prevalent for males, and “Type I” was common for females [Table 5]. “Type II” nostril model was found to be prevalent for both male and female [Table 6].
Table 5: Prevalence of nasal shape from lateral aspect

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Table 6: Prevalence of nostril model

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Nasal tip angle

The minimum value for this parameter was found to be 45° and the maximum value was 89°. Based on these data, the nasal tip angle was categorized into five types, and they are as follows:

  • Type I – 41°–50°
  • Type II – 51°–60°
  • Type III – 61°–70°
  • Type IV – 71°–80°
  • Type V – 81°-90°.

”Type IV” (71°–80°) was found to be most prevalent in both males and females [Table 7] and [Figure 5].
Table 7: Prevalence of nasal tip angle

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Figure 5: Variations in nasal tip angle among Gujarati population

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The data derived from all the parameters can be used to establish the difference in the nasal index among various racial groups. This may help in identification and may be used as an add-on parameter for forensic identification [Table 8].
Table 8: Comparison of other studies with the present study

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  Discussion Top

Nose being the most prominent structure of the face is of great significance in both medical science and forensic science. Because of the variations in the nasal parameters, many studies have been carried out on different population to establish the racial and ethnic differences. Previous studies have shown that there is a marked variation of nasal parameters without any specific pattern until 20 years of age. After the age of 20 years, the morphometric changes in the nose occur in a stable manner.[11],[12]

The study conducted on Yoruba tribe of Africa by Oladipo et al. suggests that males have mean nasal index of 90 and females have 88.1.[7] Another study conducted by Esomonu et al. shows male and female mean nasal index to be 94.65 and 90.33, respectively.[13] Patil et al. conducted a study on the South Indian population and suggested that the mean nasal index of males was 84.91 and of females was 67.75.[8] However, the current study on Gujarati populations shows mean nasal index of males to be 81.08 ± 8.61 and mean nasal index of females to be 77.30 ± 9.02.

This study also shows a significant difference in the value of nasal index among males and females, where the Gujarati males were found to be having higher value of nasal index than females. This is in accordance with a previous study conducted by Sharma et al.[5] Another study conducted on the Bheel-Meena tribe by Gangrade and Babel also is in correspondence with this study.[14] The study conducted by Kaushal et al., on various ethnic groups belonging to Punjab, has also concluded significant sexual dimorphism in the value of nasal index and suggested that males are having higher value for nasal index than females in most of the ethnic groups.[15]

The present study found the nasal breadth and nasal height of Gujarati males to be higher than that of the females in all the age groups (P < 0.05). This difference of nasal width between males and females was earlier described by Akpa et al. (2003) in their study on Igbo tribe.[16] Esomonu et al. also stated this variation in their study on the Bekwarra ethnic group.[13] A study conducted by Patil et al. on South Indian population also corroborates with the result of the current study.[8]

The present study also concludes that the general shape of nose based on the nasal index was mesorrhine for both males and females. It was also noted that the nasal width and nasal height increase with age. Sforza et al. demonstrated similar findings in their skeletal maturity study where they correlated the increase in nasal linear measurements with microscopic changes of the muscle and cartilage of the mid face region.[17] Numerous studies have also concluded that the elasticity and resilience of the skin due to aging attribute to the increase in the linear dimensions of nose.[18],[19],[20]

From the above data, we can understand that in the Gujarati population, the mean nasal index, nasal height, and nasal width values are having significant sexual dimorphism. Hence, we can use nasal index as a useful parameter for the identification of gender in Gujarati population. Nasal anthropometric and morphologic study of the various ethnic groups of India will help to establish a baseline database of all the nasal parameters as the parameters changes with geographic and environmental conditions. These data will be of great importance in corrective surgeries of the nasal and paranasal structures, forensic facial identification, forensic facial reconstruction, and future anthropological studies.

  Conclusion Top

Nose is the most prominent feature of the face, and it shows significant variation among different races. Thus, it is a reliable parameter for the determination of racial orientation of an individual. The significant differences in the metric and morphologic parameters may also be useful for the medical fraternity for reconstructive or corrective surgery of the nose. Determination of gender is an important aspect of forensic identification which ultimately helps in the establishment of identity of an individual. This study shows significant differences in the mean values of the nasal index, nasal height, and nasal width, which may help in forensic facial identification and gender determination. Thus, it can be stated that the nasal metric and nonmetric parameters are of great importance in medical science, forensic science, and anthropological studies. With further research involving a large sample size, the parameters will be validated. Subsequent studies with sample from various parts of the country will establish the importance of nasal parameters in medical, as well as forensic science.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patients have given their consent for their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8]


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