Use of computed tomography in conjunction with x-rays for positive identification of individuals using the frontal sinus
Lomba, Christina Marie
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Forensic anthropologists compare antemortem and postmortem frontal sinus radiographs to assist in the positive identification of unknown remains. Increasingly forensic anthropologists are provided with an antemortem computed tomography (CT) scan to compare with a postmortem radiograph in order to verify an individual's identity. Currently there are no protocols for comparing the three-dimensional volume of a CT scan with a two-dimensional image of a radiograph. This study investigates frontal sinus morphology as observed in CT scans and compares them to traditional 2D radiograph images of human skulls and evaluatesthe frontal sinus in a three dimensional manner. The goal of this study is to provide a valid method for comparing postmortem radiographs to antemortem CT scans to create a standardized method of positive identification for an unknown set of remains. Sixty-seven previously procured CT scans and traditional 2D radiographs were utilized in this study. Five of the sixty-seven individuals were excluded from the study due to poor image quality or lack of frontal sinus. Of the sixty-seven individuals, 4.5% lacked frontal sinuses. Volumetric analysis revealed that significant differences exist between males and females, with males exhibiting larger frontal sinuses; however differences between ancestries were not statistically significant. Analysis ofvolume did not yield significant differences between sexes or among ancestries. A reliable method for comparing 3D renderings of the frontal sinus and radiographs could not be generated at this time because only 32 out of the useable 62 patient comparisons were found to be similar enough to be deemed adequate matches.
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