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A Journal on Forensic Medicine




Minerva Medicolegale 2008 December;128(4):169-84

language: Italian

Observations on fracture pattern in skull firearm wounds: first part

Iesurum A., Vercelli A., Invernizzi E., Montanari E.

Istituto di Medicina Legale Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italia


This review begins with the description of a suicide case with a direct gunshot in the head and of other two cases of cranial open wound by means of the same weapon that will be examined in another report and focus on radiate fractures. In particular, in this first report the authors pay special attention to two radiate fractures that start from the entrance wound in the right temporal bone and continue in the opposite direction. One fracture orientates right-downward and bends, after a short way, in the right zigomatic cranial fossa. The second fracture departs from the superior edge of the entrance wound, surrounds the occipitis bone getting across it, and bending it reaches the squamous bone on the left. Before its flexion, this fracture presents in its inferior side the exit defect of the bullet. After having considered different factors that could have shape that exit defect, including a non homogeneous leverage effect of bone stave, authors believe that the contact between the bullet and the radiated fracture can have influenced the fracture pattern shape. The changing in direction of the radiate fractures would result from the displacement of the calvarium situated below the bullet wound.

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