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Radiology and Medical Imaging - Science Policy

Reproducibility of Frankfort Horizontal Plane on 3D Multi-Planar Reconstructed MR Images
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Author: Amro Daboul et al.

by Amro Daboul, Christian Schwahn, Grit Schaffner, Silvia Soehnel, Stefanie Samietz, Ahmad Aljaghsi, Mohammad Habes, Katrin Hegenscheid, Ralf Puls, Thomas Klinke, Reiner Biffar


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.