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Minerva Medicolegale 2020 December;140(4):63-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4849.21.01798-3


lingua: Inglese

Revaluation of traditional methods for forensic identification by the frontal sinuses: critical comparison of case studies with literature

Daniela MESSINEO 1, Tatiana MANGIULLI 2, Fernanda PACELLA 3, Simone DE SIO 4, Vito M. MALVASI 3, Enzo AGOSTINELLI 5, Mauro SALDUCCI 3, Elena PACELLA 3 , Simona ZAAMI 6, Enrico MARINELLI 6

1 Department of Radiological, Oncological and Anatomo-Pathological Sciences, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopedic Sciences, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Sense Organs, Umberto I Polyclinic, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 4 Department of Anatomical, Histological, Medical, Legal And Locomotor Apparatus Sciences, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 5 Department of Sense Organs, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 6 Unit of Forensic Toxicology (UoFT), Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopedic Sciences, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

BACKGROUND: Body identification is an important activity in the forensic field both for ethical, juridical and civil reasons. It consists of a comparison between the biological data obtained from the body and the ante-mortem material of one or more unidentified deceased or missing person.
METHODS: Radiographic images of the skull of 100 Italians people were analyzed through X-rays scans and a graphic software (Adobe Photoshop 6; Adobe, Mountain View, CA, USA). The images were digitalized and stored as computer files. The subjects were classified into 6 levels with 5 lobes and the data obtained were evaluated with statistical methods: the F-test was performed to verify the equality of the variance; the Pearson correlation coefficient was used for the evaluation of the variables that characterize the frontal sinus models, the Fisher’s Exact test and the χ2 test were used for the comparisons between groups and the t-test for the one between genders.
RESULTS: The F-test was applied to verify the distribution of the asymmetry index between the two genders observing that P=0.284; Pearson correlation index showed that the correlations between right border and asymmetry index (inverse) and between right border and left border, between septa and left border, between septa and right border (direct) are significant.
CONCLUSIONS: The main finding shown in the study is a statistically significant correlation between right edge and asymmetry index, between right edge and left edge, between septa and left edge and between septa and right edge. We can therefore affirm that the morphology, the presence of septa and the size of the area, are an excellent basis for personal identification, though the asymmetry index of the area of the frontal sinuses (easy to perform in daily practice) is in our opinion the method worthy of further investigation, so as to apply it methodologically homogeneously in forensic practice.

KEY WORDS: Frontal sinus; Cadaver; Forensic sciences

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