A Study on the determination of sex, age and stature from the sternum

Manoharan, C (2007) A Study on the determination of sex, age and stature from the sternum. Masters thesis, Tirunelveli Medical College, Tirunelveli.


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INTRODUCTION : Identification connotes the determination or establishment of the individuality of a person living or dead. Identification of an Individual whether living or dead is one of the most crucial tasks in medico-legal practice. The experts always face problems in identifying whether skeletal remains are of human origin or not, as well as estimation of correct sex, age, stature etc. It is an exacting, painstaking and time consuming process that requires considerable scientific knowledge and expertise. The services of forensic medicine experts are sought in establishing the identity of the dead, especially in mass disasters like fires, explosions, ship wrecks, air crash and railway accidents. Extreme mutilation, advanced decomposition, skeletal and fragmentary remains, make the process more confounding and complicated. Therefore, given the complexities of such situations, it is highly essential that medico-legal men should be well versed in various aspects of identity establishment. Most of the time forensic medicine specialists have to mainly depend upon the bones for establishing the identity. They are often required to estimate sex, age and stature of a person from dismembered body parts and bones. Sex, age and stature are very important criteria in establishing the identity of an individual. Other findings such as racial features, moles, scars professional Sex, Age & Stature From Sternum marks and colour/complexion which are fairly permanent throughout life may also be useful in establishing the identity of a person. The determination of sex is an important criterion in personal identity. This is fairly easy if the primary and secondary sexual characters are intact . But in cases of intersexes and concealed sex and when only few skeletal remains are available, a cautious scientific approach is required to establish the sex of the individual. Determination of the sex from the skeletal remains is an accepted procedure. OBJECTIVES : 1. Determination of sex of an individual from the sternum. 2. Determination of age of an individual from the sternum. 3. Determination of stature of an individual from the sternum. 4. To correlate the findings of the present study with previous similar studies in this aspect. MATERIALS AND METHODS 33 Sex, Age & Stature From Sternum This chapter describes the study design, setting, sample size, source population, inclusion and exclusion criteria, procedure of dissection, technique of preparing of specimens, osteometric parameters used for analysis and the method adopted for analysis. Study design: Cross sectional study Setting: Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical College, Tirunelveli. Sample Size: 100 sterna collected during medico-legal autopsy. Source population Dead bodies brought for autopsy to the Mortuary wing of Department of Forensic Medicine during the period from June 2004 to June 2006. Inclusion criteria: Sterna collected from 100 documented medico-legal autopsies with established identity. Exclusion criteria: 1. Fracture of sternum 2. Unknown dead bodies 3. Cases where exact age is not known 4. Diseased and deformed bones CONCLUSIONS : The Sternae collected from 100 documented cases of medicolegal autopsies during the period from June 2004 to June 2006 were studied with a view to determine sex, age and stature of a person. Analysis of data showed the following conclusions  We could categorize an unknown skeleton as male if the : 1. Length of manubrium is more than 50 mm. 2. Length of body of sternum is greater than 87 mm. 3. Breadth of manubrium is more than 60 mm. 4. Breadth of body of sternum is more than 38 mm. 5. Sternal index is 47 or below. 6. Total length is more than 136 mm. Among the above results, length of body of the sternum and the total length are more reliable parameters. • We could differentiate an unknown skeletal remain as female if the: 1. Length of the body of sternum is less than 72 mm. 2. Breadth of manubrium is less than 48 mm. 3. Breadth of body of sternum is less than 29 mm. 4. Sternal index is 70 or above. 5. Total length is below 119 mm. Anyhow, accuracy of the above results are minimal. Comprehensively, In both Sexes it was evident that all parameters except Sex, Age & Stature From Sternum length of the manubrium had equivocal area and such area could not be sexed as male or female. This can be noted as a limitation of this study. • Fusion of various segments of sternum revealed following findings: 1. Fusion between the segments of sternal body seems to be a more reliable one. Minimum age of the individual could be 21 years if all the segments of the body of sternum are fused. 2. Age determination from union of manubrium and xiphoid process with the body is rather unpredictable. i. However, if the manubrium and body of sternum are fused, the age of the individual could be more than 35 years in males and more than 43 years in females. ii. Moreover, fusion of xiphoid with the body occurs anywhere in between 32 to 60 years irrespective of sex. This trend of variations in fusion as observed in this study could possibly be due to the influence of nutritional, genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. • Conclusions derived in the determination of stature are as follows: 1. In males, length of body of sternum or total length seem to be more reliable. 2. In females, length of body of sternum could be taken for determination of stature of an individual. 3. When the sex is not known, length of body or total length could be Sex, Age & Stature From Sternum used for stature determination. Totally, determination of stature from length of body of sternum is more reliable in both males and females as well as in the condition where the sex is not determined. The regression formulae obtained in this study can be used for determination of stature from the length of mesosternum in cases of indigenous people of in and around Tirunelveli, particularly when there are no other suitable means.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: determination of sex ; age ; stature ; sternum.
Subjects: MEDICAL > Forensic Medicine
Depositing User: Subramani R
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 17:47
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2018 17:47
URI: http://repository-tnmgrmu.ac.in/id/eprint/5901

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