Publications of Faculty of Medicine:Applicablity of Petro-Occipital Fissure Ossification Pattern for Identification of Age and Sex of Skull base Remnants: Abstract

Applicablity of Petro-Occipital Fissure Ossification Pattern for Identification of Age and Sex of Skull base Remnants
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Abstract: Objectives: To morphologically and radiologically investigate the ossification pattern of petro-occipital fissure (POP) in dried crania of adults so as to determine the developmental changes and their value in age assessment and to evaluate its applicability for identification of age and sex of unknown forensic specimens. Materials & Methods: The study comprised 75 dry skulls (39 males & 36 females) with a mean age of 62.2+15.2 years, at the time of death. Skulls were staged for ossification at the POF midpoint, i.e., between foramen lacerum (FL) and jugular foramen (JF), description of the stage of POP ossification was defined numerically from least ossified (stage 1) to complete fissure ossification (stage 6). Also, plain-film radiographs of 15 cadaveric skulls were taken in the submentovertex position in order to evaluate the degree of POF ossification The POF ossification pattern was applied for age and sex identification of 60 skull base parts with known age and sex, collected in Forensic museum. Results: Morphological description of POF ossification reported stage I ossification in 5 skulls, stage II in 9 skulls, stage III in 11 skulls, stage IV in 17 skulls, stage V in 26 skulls and only 7 masculine skulls had stage VI ossification. There was a significant increase of the stage of POF ossification in fissures of masculine skulls in comparison to that detected in feminine tills with a positive significant conelation between chronological age of examined skulls and determined stage of POF ossification both in males and females. Such positive correlation was non-significant till fifties and thereafter was significant to reach a higher significance at above eighties in masculine skulls and return to be non-significant above eighties in feminine skulls. Analysis of radiographic findings defined the presence or absence of POF ossification in skulls but it was difficult to tix the anatomical limits of the fissure precisely and the relative degree of POF ossification. Statistical analysis reveled that the used staged pattern showed specificity fir muscaline skull identification with AUC.704 and for skull age with AUCI.498, but showed high specificity for older skull remnants. Conclusion: Evaluation of stage of ossification of POF of dried skulls revealed an age-dependent ossification that started to complete above sixties in both sexes and become sex-dependent thereafter and that stages of POF ossification could be applied for forensic identification of sex and age of skull remnants of unknown identity.