Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 236
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102-106

Anthropometric measurement and cross-sectional surveying of ear pinna characteristics in Northern India


Department of Anatomy, Teerthanker Mahaveer Medical College, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication24-Feb-2017

Correspondence Address:
Nidhi Sharma
Department of Anatomy, Teerthankar Mahaveer Medical College, Delhi Road, Moradabad - 244 001, Uttar Pradesh
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1596-2393.200914

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 

Background: Pinna is a part of external ear. Its lateral surface shows various depressions and elevations, which makes it irregularly concave. Variations in ear proportions during growth, aging, and according to sex were reported. These differences were noticed in diverse ethnic groups such as Italian, European, Caucasian, Turkish, Dutch German, North American, and other countries. However, literature regarding the morphometry of pinna in Indians is lacking. Materials and Methods: Four hundred subjects (200 males and 200 females) between 10 and 50 years of age were selected for the study. According to age, the subjects were divided into four groups (A–D). For the purpose of study, unique digital signal processing technology, the megapixel camera was used to enable high-resolution system. Various anthropometric parameters of the external ear including total length of ear, total width of ear (TWE), total lobule length (TLL), and total lobule width (TLW) were measured by indirect method, and variations according to age and sex were studied. Results: All parameters of the cohort for both left and right ears showed an increase in values with increasing age, but this growth was statistically insignificant. Differences in three parameters of the pinna (TWE, TLL, and TLW) were statistically significant (P < 0.05) in both the sexes. Two important indices (auricular and lobule) were calculated in both the sexes. In males, the right lobule index was found to be statistically higher (P = 0.01) as compared to left one. However, it was not so in females. Conclusion: These parameters become a mainstay for plastic reconstructive surgeries. Besides this, the designing of hearing instruments also requires the information regarding anthropometry of ear in different ethnic groups. Ear dimensions exhibit significant effect of gender also.

Keywords: Anthropometry, ear pinna, gender, hearing aids


How to cite this article:
Sharma N. Anthropometric measurement and cross-sectional surveying of ear pinna characteristics in Northern India. J Exp Clin Anat 2016;15:102-6

How to cite this URL:
Sharma N. Anthropometric measurement and cross-sectional surveying of ear pinna characteristics in Northern India. J Exp Clin Anat [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Nov 24];15:102-6. Available from: https://www.jecajournal.org/text.asp?2016/15/2/102/200914


  Introduction Top


Anthropometry refers to the study of dimensions of different parts of the human body which shows variation according to age, sex, and race. Thus, the study of these physical variations plays an important role in establishing the identity of individual as well as holds importance in plastic surgeries and prosthesis development (Deopa et al., 2013).

The identification of an individual by age and sex possesses difficulty in revealing its identity. Various parameters have been used to establish the identification of individuals. Anthropometry of external features of the pinna is one of them (Brucker et al., 2003). Different studies proved that variations in ear proportions during growth, aging, and according to sex were reported. These differences were noticed in diverse ethnic groups such as Italian, European, Caucasian, Turkish, Dutch German, North American, and other countries (Ferrario et al., 1999; Gualdi-Russo 1998; Sforza et al., 2005; Sforza et al., 2009; Bozkir et al., 2006; Kalcioglu et al., 2006). Extensive MEDLINE search revealed limited literature regarding morphometry of the pinna in North India (Deopa et al., 2013; Kalra et al., 2015).

Pinna is a part of external ear. Its lateral surface shows various depressions and elevations, which makes it irregularly concave (Sinnatamby, 2000). According to some studies, the irregularities on the surface of pinna can be considered for the identification of the individual. Abeysekera and Shahnavaz reported in their study that the earpiece designed for males of the United States fitted only in 95% Germans, 75% Frenchmen, 60% Italians, 45% Japanese, and 10% Thais (Abeysekera and Shahnavaz, 1989). The size and shape of pinna differ in people of different nations was also reported (Deopa et al., 2013; Ferrario et al., 1999; Gualdi-Russo 1998; Abeysekera and Shahnavaz, 1989). Besides this, some studies reported that not only ethnic group but also age and sex are the determinants of ear anthropometry (Agnihotri and Singh, 2007; Azaria et al., 2003). The medial surface shows irregularities which correspond to its lateral surface and thus also shows ethnic, age, and sex variations (Agnihotri and Singh, 2007).

Yellow elastic cartilage folding gives the characteristic shape to the pinna. However, the part of pinna called as lobule is simply a skin fold containing fibro-fatty tissue. Embryologically, the human pinna develops in the 4th and 6th weeks of gestation. Neural crest tissues of the first and second branchial arches combine with surface ectoderm of corresponding arches. From this tissue, six auricular hillocks are derived. These hillocks fuses to form pinna, which finally shifts posteriorly and superiorly to attain the actual location of ear on the face (Wang et al., 2011).

According to some authors, the size, shape, and position of the auricle are one of the five chief features of the human face and influence the individual's appearance and beauty. Malformed and malpositioned auricle can fetter one's appearance. Because the architecture of the pinna is highly multifarious, plastic surgeons need in-depth information about its various dimensions for construction, location, and orientation of the auricular framework (Patel et al., 1992; Purkait and Singh, 2007).

The parameters generated in the study will provide a baseline data to help surgeons in the constructive and periauricular surgeries of the external ear. It will also prove to be helpful in industries involved in designing of ear prosthesis. Our study also facilitates the identification of an individual by forensic experts and anthropologists. This study was conducted to identify various morphological features of the pinna among the North Indian population.


  Materials and Methods Top


This was a cross-sectional study conducted between February 2013 and August 2015. Four hundred subjects (200 males and 200 females) between 10 and 50 years of age were selected for the study. According to age, the subjects were divided into four groups (A–D) [Table 1].
Table 1: Distribution of age and sex in the study

Click here to view


Individuals with positive history of congenital ear disease, craniofacial injury, infectious ear disease and those who have undergone surgery of the ear were excluded from the study. Subjects who lie in the age group of 10–50 years, have normal ear morphology, and belong to Indian ethnicity were included in the study. Informed verbal consent explaining the purpose and method of the study was obtained from the study subjects while the same was taken from the parents if the subject's age is <16 years.

For the purpose of this study, unique digital signal processing technology, the megapixel camera was used to enable high-resolution system. The subject was made to sit comfortably on a chair in such a way that the subject looked straight forward keeping the face in Frankfurt plane, i.e., the inferior borders of orbit and center of external auditory meatus lies in the same horizontal plane.

Lateral surface of the auricle was photographed in such a way that mid-vertical grid line of the camera aligned to pass through the mid-sagittal plane of the face while the mid-horizontal pass through the Frankfurt horizontal plane [Figure 1]. Posterior view of the auricle is photographed by aligning the mid-vertical grid line of the camera to pass through the base of the auricle coming in contact with the mastoid prominence while the mid-horizontal passes through the tragal level [Figure 2].
Figure 1:Lateral Surface of the ear. AB - Total length of ear, CD = Total width of ear, BG - Total lobular length, EF - Total lobular width

Click here to view
Figure 2:Medial surface of the ear

Click here to view


Ear features are captured using a digital camera. Digital images are transferred to a computer and the images are analyzed with Adobe Photoshop software (version 7.0, Adobe Systems, San Jose, California). First of all, various soft tissue landmarks are tagged on the subject's ear photograph and then different parameters were measured by Image J 1.48 software ImageJ (v 1.48 Java 1.6.0_20 64 bits).

The following anthropometric parameters of the external ear were measured by indirect method and variation according to age and sex were studied:

  1. Total length of ear (TLE)
  2. Total width of ear (TWE)
  3. Total lobular length (TLL)
  4. Total lobular width (TLW)
  5. Auricular index (AI): Width of auricle/length of the auricle × 100
  6. Lobular index (LI): Lobular width/lobular length × 100.


TLE was calculated as the measurement from the highest point of the pinna (A) to the lowest point of the pinna. Distance between the anterior and posterior points of the external ear was considered as TWE. The TLL was considered as the measurement from the midpoint of base of the intertragic notch to the lowest point of the lobule. LW was measured as the transverse distance of the ear lobule passing through the center of the length of lobule. AI was calculated as auricular width/auricular length × 100. LI was measured as lobule width/lobule length × 100.

The results were calculated as mean ± standard deviation. The Pearson correlation was used to institute the association between age, sex, and external ear anthropometry. The data were analyzed using BM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp., and P < 0.05 was considered as level of significance.


  Results Top


In our study, [Table 2] shows values of different morphometric parameters of both ears according to age groups. All parameters of the cohort for both left and right ears showed increase in values with increasing age, but this growth was statistically insignificant.
Table 2: Different morphometric measurements of pinna in relation to age

Click here to view


[Table 3] depicts the values of ear parameters according to sex, and three of them (TWE, TLL, and TLW) were statistically significant (P < 0.05). In this study, we analyzed our interpretation by means of statistical parameters (mean [standard deviation], mode, median, and range) to get better accuracy for the pinna measurements. The standard deviation predicts the variability in the values. The range depends on the number of subjects and the dispersion of values. Such statistical parameters provide evidence to information in deciding the actual value of distance during surgical interventions. The mode enables us to know the most frequent value of the parameter in that ethnic group.
Table 3: Different morphometric parameters of pinna in relation to sex

Click here to view


Two important indices (AI and LI) were calculated in both the sexes. In males, the right LI was found to be statistically higher (P = 0.01) as compared to left one [Table 4]. However, it was not so in females. Combined results of males and females also showed significantly (P = 0.03) higher value of right LI as compared to males.
Table 4: Different indices of ear pinna

Click here to view



  Discussion Top


The knowledge of morphometric parameters of different landmarks on the face in relation to different age groups and gender has become essential in the modern era for accurate plastic reconstruction and forensic purposes (Ekanem et al., 2010; Sharma et al., 2007). The anthropometry of external ear is also very important for the companies involved in designing of earphones. The present study determined the anthropometric size of TEL, TEW, TLL, and TLW of both sides. A similar study has been done in Northern Nigeria, in which all these parameters showed the lower values as compared to the present study (Ekanem et al., 2010). Thus, it proves that ethnic variation exists in the anthropometry of external ear. Hence, the study of morphometry of the pinna becomes essential among Indians.

Lobule length and width in our study are found to be statistically higher in females as compared to males. This fact is supported by another study done on Urhobo people of South Nigeria (Eboh, 2013). In contrast to this, Wang et al. (2011) suggested that lobule dimensions are not significantly different in two genders. All the values of pinna dimensions are higher in males as compared to females was proved by Ekanem et al. (2010) in their study. Some other studies have also reported that males had larger ears than females. Agnihotri and Singh (2007) found in their study significantly big ears in Indian boys than the girls at the time of birth. However, it was interesting to find in our study that although ear dimensions were higher in males, lobule was larger in females.

When right and left sides were compared, the recent study showed no statistically significant asymmetry in the ear. Bozkir et al. (2006) also determined the morphometric measurements from right and left ears among 341 healthy young adults (150 women and 191 men) and also observed similar symmetry among them.

A study conducted by Liu (2006) reported that no significant changes in the parameter of pinna were found in different age groups. Similar to this study, the present one also found no significance in changes in the morphometry of pinna with advancing age. Sforza et al. (2009) conducted a similar study in Italian Caucasians to determine the age- and sex-related changes in the normal and healthy human ear. They observed that with age, all linear distances were influenced. Similarly, another study done on Northern Chinese by Wang et al. (2011) revealed that length and width of the auricle as well as lobule increase significantly with age in both genders. In the present study, we found no statistically significant changes in the dimensions of ear with increasing age. The reason behind this is that before three years of age, 90% of the enlargement of the ear occurs, with the remaining 10% before 20 years of age. After 20 years of age, the changes in appearance of pinna occur due to rearrangement of elastic fibers (Adamson et al., 1965). The changes in size of lobule are mainly seen after 45 years of age due to gravitational forces and also secondary to wearing of ornaments by females (Barut and Aktunc, 2006). Limitation of this study is that age group selected for morphometry was from 10 to 50 years of age. When we compare our study with previous researches, various disparities in auricular morphology are found which changes with age and sex. Different factors which attribute to these variations are geographical locations, ethnic group, genetics, and sex.


  Conclusion Top


The anthropometric data of the external ear have impending implications in the identification of congenital deformities, various syndromes affecting external ear, and traumatic deformities. Thus, these parameters are supposed to be helpful for plastic reconstructive surgeries. Besides this, the designing of hearing instruments also requires the information regarding anthropometry of ear in different ethnic groups. The different parameters of the ear exhibit significant effect of gender, and so, the prosthesis of ear should be manufactured according to the sex variation observed in the study. [22]

Financial Support and Sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Abeysekera J.D., Shahnavaz H. (1989). Body size variability between people in developed and developing countries and its impact on the use of imported goods. Int J Ind Ergon 4:139-49.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Adamson J.E., Hortox C.E., Crawford H.H. (1965). The growth pattern of the external ear. Plast Reconstr Surg 36 (4):466-70.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Agnihotri G., Singh D. (2007). Craniofacial anthropometry in newborns and infants. Iran J Pediatr 17 (4):332-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Azaria R., Adler N., Silfen R., Regev D., Hauben D.J. (2003). Morphometry of the adult human earlobe: A study of 547 subjects and clinical application. Plast Reconstr Surg 111 (7):2398-402.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Barut C., Aktunc E. (2006). Anthropometric measurements of the external ear in a group of Turkish primary school students. Aesthet Plast Surg 30 (2):255-9e.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Bozkir M.G., Karakas P., Yavuz M., Dere F. (2006). Morphometry of the external ear in our adult population. Aesthet Plast Surg 30 (1):81-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Brucker M.J., Patel J., Sullivan P.K. (2013). A morphometric study of the external ear: Age and sex related differences. Plast Reconstr Surg 112 (2):647-52.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Deopa D., Thakkar H.K., Prakash C., Niranjan R., Barua M.P. (2013). Anthropometric measurements of external ear of medical students in Uttarakhand region. J Anat Soc India 62:79-83.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Eboh D. (2013). Morphological changes of the human pinna in relation to age and gender of Urhobo people in Southern Nigeria. J Exp Clin Anat 12 (2):68-74.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Ekanem A.U., Garba S.H., Musa T.S., Dare N.D. (2010). Anthropometric study of the pinna (Auricle) among adult Nigerians resident in Maiduguri metropolis. J Med Sci 10 (6):176-80.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Ferrario V.F., Sforza C., Ciusa V., Serrao G., Tartaglia G.M. (1999). Morphometry of the normal human ear: A cross-sectional study from adolescence to mid-adulthood. J Craniofac Genet Dev Biol 19 (4):226-33.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Gualdi-Russo E. (1998). Longitudinal study of anthropometric changes with aging in an urban Italian population. Homo 49:241-59.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Kalcioglu M.T., Toplu Y., Ozturan O., Yakinci C. (2006). Anthropometric growth study of auricle of healthy preterm and term newborns. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 70 (1):121-7.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Kalra D., Kalra A., Goel S. (2015). Anthropometric measurements of external ear: An in vivo study. Int J Enhanced Res Med Dent Care 2 (3):10-6.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Liu B.S. (2006). Incorporating anthropometry into design of ear-related products. Appl Ergon 39 (1):115-21.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Patel V., Champ C., Andrews P.S., Gostelow B.E., Gunasekara N.P, Davidson A.R. (1992). Diagonal earlobe creases and atheromatous disease: A postmortem study. J R Coll Physicians Lond 26 (3):274-7.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Purkait R., Singh P. (2007). Anthropometry of the normal human auricle: A study of adult Indian men. Aesthetic Plast Surg 31 (4):371-9.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Sforza C., Dellavia C., Tartaglia G.M., Ferrario V.F. (2005). Morphometry of the ear in Down's syndrome subjects: A three-dimensional computerized assessment. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 34 (5):480-6.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.
Sforza C., Grandi G., Binelli M., Tommasi D.G., Rosati R., Ferrario V.F. (2009). Age and sex related changes in the normal human ear. Forensic Sci Int 100:e1-110.e7.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.
Sharma A., Sidhu N.K., Sharma M.K., Kapoor K., Singh B. (2007). Morphometric study of ear lobule in Northwest Indian male subjects. Anat Sci Int 82 (2):98-104.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
21.
Sinnatamby C.S. (2000). Last's Anatomy, Regional and Applied. 10th ed. Churchill Livingstone, New York, 340.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
22.
Wang B., Dong Y., Zhao Y., Shizhu B.S., Wu G. (2011). Computed tomography measurement of the auricle in Han population of North China. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 64 (1):34-40.  Back to cited text no. 22
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]


This article has been cited by
1 MORPHOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE EXTERNAL EAR AMONG THE DAGAABAS IN THE UPPER WEST REGION OF GHANA
Faakuu Eric,Chrissie Stansie Abaidoo,Atta Kusi Appiah,Joshua Tetteh
Scientific African. 2020; : e00408
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 ANTHROPOMETRY OF THE EXTERNAL EAR AMONG ADULT IJAWS IN BAYELSA STATE OF NIGERIA
E. I. Edibamode,K. Mordi,L. K. David,A. M. Eghoi
International Journal of Medicine and Medical Research. 2019; 5(1): 75
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Noise-dose estimated with and without pre-cochlear amplification
Sarah K. Grinn,Colleen G. Le Prell
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 2019; 146(5): 3967
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Anthropometric analysis of 3D ear scans of Koreans and Caucasians for ear product design
Wonsup Lee,Xiaopeng Yang,Hayoung Jung,Ilgeun Bok,Chulwoo Kim,Ochae Kwon,Heecheon You
Ergonomics. 2018; : 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Materials and Me...
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
References
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed4331    
    Printed131    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded371    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]