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Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
Year : 2018, Volume : 12, Issue : 4
First page : ( 202) Last page : ( 205)
Print ISSN : 0973-9122. Online ISSN : 0973-9130.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0973-9130.2018.00224.4

Estimation of age, in a cadaver, by macroscopic examination of the spheno-occipital suture

Valiyaveettil Mathew S1, Shetty B Suresh Kumar2,*, Shetty H Pavanchand3, Rao PP Jagadish3, D'souza Haniel3, Kotian M S4

Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal

1Undergradute Student Dept. of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

2Professor and Head, Dept. of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

3Associate Professors, Dept. of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

4Selection Grade Professor, Dept. of Comminity Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

*Address for correspondence: Dr B Suresh Kumar Shetty Professor and Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Mangaluru-575001, Karnataka, India. Tel: +91 9886092392, Fax: +91 824 2428183 E-mail: sureshbshetty.2009@rediffmail.com suresh.shetty@manipal.edu

Online published on 13 December, 2018.

Abstract

Background

Age is a primary characteristic in the identification of the dead. The Spheno-occipital suture is a reliable indicator of a minimum age of 20 years. Macroscopic examination of the spheno-occipital suture dividing into open, semi-closed, and closed; has been developed for the estimation of age in adolescents. This technique is feasible because of its simplicity and accuracy.

Objectives

To examine the degree of closure of the basilar synchondrosis and estimate chronological age, using existing linear regression, to establish the existence of a link between suture closure and chronological age and to assess the feasibility and applicability of this technique in medico-legal practice.

Materials and Method

It is a cross-sectional study conducted on the population of Mangalore. The data was collected by measuring the length and degree of closure of the spheno-occipital suture among the 21 autopsied bodies performed in Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS (Statistical package for Social Science) version 11.5.

Results

The study was conducted among 20 cadavers among which 13 were males and 8 were females. The responses are 13 (62%) from 26–30 age group, 5 (24%) from 20–25 age group and 3 (8%) from 30–35 age group. It was seen that 76.92% (10) of male sutures were closed, 15.39% (2) were open, and 7.69% (1) were semi-closed; 75% (6) of female sutures were closed, and 25% (2) were open. It was seen that in male sutures 76.92% (10) were above 3.5 cm in length, and 23.08% were above 3.0cm and below 3.5cm; in females 75% (6) were above 2.5 cm, and 25% (2) were above 2.5cm, but below 3.0cm.

Conclusion

The study showed that spheno-occipital suture is an important ossification center and a reliable indicator of age in adolescents. The ossification of the Sphenoid-occipital suture shows sexual dimorphism, in characteristics like length, onset and completion of closure. However, the closure of the sphenoid-occipital synchondrosis is different races and the mean average time of closure of one race cannot denote the mean average time of closure of another race.

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Keywords

Spheno-occipital suture, Cross-sectional study, Estimation of age, Degree of closure.

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