We report the development of an ultrasonic facial scanning technique that allows for the visualization of continuous contours without deforming surface tissues. Adhesive markers are placed on the face to enable measurement of facial tissue thicknesses at specific landmarks. The subject immerses the face in a clear plastic box filled with water for about 20 seconds while the researcher moves the transducer along the bottom of the box, guiding transducer movement by watching the facial image in a mirror placed below. 3D Echotech® software (1) builds the images from sequentially acquired 2D frames. Reliability of repeat measurements at landmarks is good, and individual tissues (skin, subcutaneous, muscle) can be distinguished. The method is simple, reliable, less expensive and less time consuming than alternatives such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is applicable in both research and clinical contexts.
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