The application of traditional and geometric morphometric analyses for forensic quantification of sexual dimorphism: preliminary investigations in a Western Australian population.
ABSTRACT A current limitation of forensic practice in Western Australia is a lack of contemporary population-specific standards for biological profiling; this directly relates to the unavailability of documented human skeletal collections. With rapidly advancing technology, however, it is now possible to acquire accurate skeletal measurements from 3D scans contained in medical databases. The purpose of the present study, therefore, is to explore the accuracy of using cranial form to predict sex in adult Australians. Both traditional and geometric morphometric methods are applied to data derived from 3D landmarks acquired in CT-reconstructed crania. The sample comprises multi-detector computed tomography scans of 200 adult individuals; following 3D volume rendering, 46 anatomical landmarks are acquired using OsiriX (version 3.9). Centroid size and shape (first 20 PCs of the Procrustes coordinates) and the inter-landmark (ILD) distances between all possible pairs of landmarks are then calculated. Sex classification effectiveness of the 3D multivariate descriptors of size and shape and selected ILD measurements are assessed and compared; robustness of findings is explored using resampling statistics. Cranial shape and size and the ILD measurements are sexually dimorphic and explain 3.2 to 54.3 % of sample variance; sex classification accuracy is 83.5-88.0 %. Sex estimation using 3D shape appears to have some advantages compared to approaches using size measurements. We have, however, identified a simple and biologically meaningful single non-traditional linear measurement (glabella-zygion) that classifies Western Australian individuals according to sex with a high degree of expected accuracy (87.5-88 %).
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ABSTRACT: A number of previous studies have demonstrated that osteometric analysis of the sternum provides a highly accurate method for discriminating adult sex in diverse population groups. In this study, sternal measurements were recorded from posteroanterior digital radiographs of the chest plate of 116 Spanish individuals (65 males and 51 females). Results demonstrated that all linear dimensions of the manubrium and mesosternum, sternal area, and sternal index were significantly sexually dimorphic in this population group. Discriminant function analyses incorporating several of these variables, individually or in combination, provided sex classification accuracy rates greater than 80.0 %, with associated sex biases below 5.0 %. A stepwise procedure, which can be used when a complete sternum is present, yielded the highest correct sex classification rate at 89.7 %. Only slightly lower allocation accuracy rates were obtained for multivariate equations which incorporated either dimensions of the manubrium or mesosternum (87.1 % for both formulae). Thus, the derived discriminant function equations should prove useful in forensic investigations, particularly those in which the pelvis or bones of the extremities are not available for analysis.Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 09/2013; · 2.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is widely accepted that the most accurate statistical estimations of biological attributes in the human skeleton (e.g., sex, age and stature) are produced using population-specific standards. As we previously demonstrated that the application of foreign standards to Western Australian individuals results in an unacceptably large sex bias (females frequently misclassified), the need for population-specific standards is duly required and greatly overdue. We report here on the first morphometric cranial sexing standards formulated specifically for application in, and based on the statistical analysis of, contemporary Western Australian individuals. The primary aim is to investigate the nature of cranial sexual dimorphism in this population and outline a series of statistically robust standards suitable for estimating sex in the complete bone and/or associated diagnostic fragments. The sample analysed comprised multi-detector computed tomography cranial scans of 400 individuals equally distributed by sex. Following 3D volume rendering, 31 landmarks were acquired using OsiriX(®), from which a total of 18 linear inter-landmark measurements were calculated. Measurements were analysed using basic descriptive statistics and discriminant function analyses employing jackknife validations of classification results. All measurements (except frontal breadth and orbital height - Bonferroni corrected) are sexually dimorphic with sex differences explaining 3.5-48.9% of sample variance. Bizygomatic breadth and maximum length of the cranium and the cranial base contribute most significantly to sex discrimination; the maximum classification accuracy was 90%, with a -2.1% sex-bias. We conclude that the cranium is both highly dimorphic and a reliable bone for estimating sex in Western Australian individuals.Forensic science international 03/2013; · 2.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Extra-oral radiographs of dry skulls on scientific or forensic context have head position as a critical procedure. The aims of this article are to present a multi-purposed head-positioning device, and to describe the new method of image acquirement using the device to adequately keep the head in a correct and safe position during radiological or tomographic exam. The design was created from an average-sized skull and then tested in 20 others with different morphologies, sizes, weights, and structural state of preservation. A series of digital and analog orthopantomographies followed by a cone-beam computer tomography were obtained to assure that the correct positioning standards and anatomical visualization were achievable. The developed device properly kept adult skulls in position for all extra-oral radiographic exams, providing to operators a secure and facilitated way to achieve the proper position standards. The device did not impair the visualization of the anatomical structures neither on radiographs nor in cone-beam computer tomography.International Journal of Legal Medicine 08/2013;