A CT scan technique for quantitative volumetric assessment of the mandible after distraction osteogenesis

Douglas A. Roth, Arun K. Gosain, Joseph G. McCarthy, Michael A. Stracher, Daniel R. Lefton, Barry H. Grayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Distraction osteogenesis has become an accepted method of treatment for patients requiring reconstruction of hypoplastic mandibles. We present a quantitative analysis of volumetric changes after distraction osteogenesis in a series of 10 patients. Group I (n = 5 patients, 3 unilateral craniofacial microsomia, 1 Goldenhaar syndrome, and 1 bilateral craniofacial microsomia) underwent unilateral distraction of the mandible. Group II (n = 5 patients, 1 Nager syndrome, 1 bilateral craniofacial microsomia, 1 developmental micrognathia, and 2 Treacher Collins syndrome) underwent bilateral distraction of the mandible. Predistraction and postdistraction axial and three-dimensional computed tomographic (CT) scans were digitized and transferred to a computer for analysis with image-processing software to determine the changes in volume of the mandible and bony regenerate. The CT- derived volume method was validated by scanning three dry cadaver mandible specimens and comparing the volume data with those derived from a water- displacement method. The difference between the two methods was less than 5 percent. The mean distracted length, as recorded from the calibrated device, was 22.6 mm in the 10 patients. In the unilateral distraction group, the mean increase in hemimandibular bone volume was 2.8 cc, with a mean percentage increase of 27 percent in the distracted hemimandible. In the bilaterally distracted patients, the mean increase in total mandibular volume was 7.9 cc, with a mean percentage increase in bone volume of 25 percent. This study represents the first attempt to quantify the increase in hone volume resulting from distraction osteogenesis. Quantitative volumetric analysis of CT scans is an accurate method to measure the amount of bone regenerate in patients undergoing distraction osteogenesis of the mandible or the extremities. The concept and utility of quantifying the volumetric changes in bone following distraction osteogenesis may become more important as multiplanar devices are developed and used in other areas of the craniofacial skeleton.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1250
Number of pages14
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1997


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