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Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
Year : 2018, Volume : 12, Issue : 4
First page : ( 34) Last page : ( 39)
Print ISSN : 0973-9122. Online ISSN : 0973-9130.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0973-9130.2018.00191.3

Sexual dimorphism of complete and incomplete metopic suture: A regional South Indian study

Pillay VV1, Gopalan M2, Tintu TS3, Pillay Minnie4,*

1Professor & Head, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

2Head, Department of Medical Illustration, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

3Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

4Professor, Department of Anatomy, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

*Corresponding author: Dr. Minnie Pillay, Phone: Official: +91-484-2858101 Mobile: +919895511577, Fax: +91-484-2802020, E-mail address: minniepillay@aims.amrita.edu., pillayminnieanat@gmail.com

Online published on 13 December, 2018.

Abstract

The metopic suture which is the persistent suture between two halves of the frontal bone beyond early childhood can be of importance to forensic pathologists. Persistence of the suture and its relation to age, sex and race can provide information with regard to identity fixation in skeletal remains. Though a plethora of studies on metopic suture exists in medical literature, only very few studies have correlated its prevalence with gender. Therefore, in the present study, an attempt has been made to study the prevalence and morphology of complete and incomplete metopic sutures in adult skulls belonging to the southern state of Kerala, India, and to correlate the findings with the sex of the skulls.

Materials and method

180 (90 male and 90 female) adult dry skulls were studied over a period of 10 years in the Department of Anatomy, for the presence of complete and incomplete metopic sutures. The incomplete sutures were classified according to morphology, based on the classification by Ajmani et al. Findings were documented by digital photography.

Results

Complete metopic suture was observed in 2.8% of skulls. All were female skulls. An incomplete suture was observed in 80/180 (44.4%) skulls. 58/90 (64.4%) were male skulls and 22/90 (24.4%) were female skulls. No vestige of metopic suture was observed in 95/180 (52.8%) skulls.

Conclusion

Complete metopic suture was only observed in female skulls in this study. But when the suture was incomplete, it was found to be more prevalent in male skulls to the extent of more than sixty percent. These observations can have significance in forensic investigations of skeletal remains.

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Keywords

Metopic suture, Metopism, Gender, Frontal bone.

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