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Reproducibility of Frankfort horizontal plane on 3D multi-planar reconstructed MR images

Amro Daboul, Christian Schwahn, Grit Schaffner, Silvia Soehnel, Stefanie Samietz, , Mohammad Habes, Katrin Hegenscheid, Ralf Puls, Thomas KlinkeShow More
Published in Public Library of Science
PMID: 23118970
Volume: 7
Issue: 10


The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy and reliability of Frankfort horizontal plane identification using displays of multi-planar reconstructed MRI images, and propose it as a sufficiently stable and standardized reference plane for craniofacial structures.

Materials and Methods

MRI images of 43 subjects were obtained from the longitudinal population based cohort study SHIP-2 using a T1-weighted 3D sequence. Five examiners independently identified the three landmarks that form FH plane. Intra-examiner reproducibility and inter-examiner reliability, correlation coefficients (ICC), coefficient of variability and Bland-Altman plots were obtained for all landmarks coordinates to assess reproducibility. Intra-examiner reproducibility and inter-examiner reliability in terms of location and plane angulation were also assessed.


Intra- and inter-examiner reliabilities for X, Y and Z coordinates of all three landmarks were excellent with ICC values ranging from 0.914 to 0.998. Differences among examiners were more in X and Z than in Y dimensions. The Bland–Altman analysis demonstrated excellent intra- as well as inter-examiner agreement between examiners in all coordinates for all landmarks. Intra-examiner reproducibility and inter-examiner reliability of the three landmarks in terms of distance showed mean differences between 1.3 to 2.9 mm, Mean differences in plane angulation were between 1.0° to 1.5° among examiners.


This study revealed excellent intra-examiner reproducibility and inter-examiner reliability of Frankfort Horizontal plane through 3D landmark identification in MRI. Sufficiently stable landmark-based reference plane could be used for different treatments and studies.

About the journal
JournalPloS one
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Open AccessNo