Objective: To clarify the relationship between the cross-sectional morphology of the mandible and vertical, transverse, and anteroposterior facial skeletal patterns using statistical shape analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM). Materials and Methods: We used 150 cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images to obtain three-dimensional (3D) facial landmarks and cross-sectional images of the mandible. The morphology of the inner and outer cortices of the mandible was analyzed using statistical shape analysis, including generalized Procrustes analysis and principal component analysis (PCA). Factor analysis was performed to determine factors pertaining to the skeletal measurements and shape variations for the inner and outer cortices, following which a structural equation model was constructed. Results: Using factor analysis, characteristics of the vertical, transverse, and anteroposterior facial skeletal patterns were determined. PCA of the cross-sectional morphology of the mandible revealed 70% of the cumulative proportion by PC1 and PC2 after generalized Procrustes superimpositions. SEM showed complex relationships between the facial skeletal patterns and variations in the cross-sectional morphology of the mandibular cortices. The influence of the transverse factors on the outer cortex as a latent variable was relatively significant (P ¼ .057). However, the influence of the vertical factors on the outer and inner cortices was not significant. Conclusions: The transverse skeletal pattern is associated with the morphology of the outer cortex of the mandible.
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