To investigate the relationship between nasal morphology and vertical maxillary skeletal pattern. A retrospective study. Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India. The sample included the lateral cephalometric radiographs of 190 Indian adults (103 women, 87 men), aged 18 to 27 years with no previous history of trauma, surgical intervention, congenital disease or orthodontic treatment. Seven skeletal parameters of vertical facial growth and six nasal parameters were measured. There was a significant correlation between vertical maxillary skeletal and soft tissue nasal parameters. Nasal length significantly correlated with upper anterior facial height (r=0.850, P<0.001) and inclination of palatal plane (r=0.433, P<0.001). Upward nasal tip inclination showed a significant negative correlation with inclination of the palatal plane (r=-0.462, P<0.001). The clinical significance of this study is that the nasolabial angle in itself may not reflect a midface vertical discrepancy, however its upper component, i.e. the degree of upturn of the nose with decreased nasal length in an adult subject may indicate an underlying change in inclination of the palatal plane. This might be of value during orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning.

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