Sexual dimorphism of complete and incomplete metopic suture: A regional South Indian study
*Corresponding author: Dr. Minnie Pillay, Phone: Official: +91-484-2858101 Mobile: +919895511577, Fax: +91-484-2802020, E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org., email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
Metopic suture, Metopism, Gender, Frontal bone.