The conchal bowl is a portion of auricular cartilage commonly utilized as an autologus graft for various maxillofacial procedures. This study will provide detailed information about the anatomy of the auricular cartilage in the conchal bowl that may assist in surgical design of graft harvest.
Methods: 35 pairs of cadaver ears were dissected to expose the cartilage skeleton. Each cartilage was stabilized, and the conchal bowl was mapped. A starting reference spot was selected so that a prefabricated grid could be used to imprint pinpoint ink spots on the surface of each cartilage. Next, a Microscribe 3-D digitizer was used to capture three-dimensional coordinates for each point. A Boley gauge was used to measure the thickness of the cartilage at each pre-marked spot. The gathered data points were examined to describe our parameters of interest.
Results: The average maximum conchal bowl depth, was 10.5 ± 3.0 mm in females, and 10.7 ± 2.5 mm in males. Mean cartilage thickness ranged from 0.77 mm to 1.79 mm in females (mean = 1.15 ± 0.26 mm) and from 0.95 mm to 1.45 mm in males (mean = 1.25 ± 0.23 mm). Both sexes showed an increase in the conchal bowl depth from inferior to superior and from lateral to medial, but the exact shape is complex.
Conclusions: The results presented in this study will provide the surgeon with information on the overall dimensions, thickness, and curvature of the conchal bowl that may allow a more advantageous donor site selection during facial surgery.
Conflict of interest: None declared.