Effect of fusion status of sternum in stature estimation - A study from South India

H. V. Chandrakanth, Tanuj Kanchan, Kewal Krishan

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Forensic anthropologists examine and identify skeletal, dismembered and commingled remains in a legal context to establish the biological profile of the deceased. Stature estimation is one of the important parameters in establishing the biological profile. The present study is planned to derive regression models for stature estimation from sternal measurements. Various factors are likely to affect stature estimation in forensic investigations. Since, none of the previous researchers have studied the effect of fusion status on stature estimation from sternum and its segments, the present study attempts to find if the fusion status of the sternum affect its reliability and accuracy in stature estimation. The sample of the present study consisted of 117 sterna that were obtained from autopsied bodies. Five measurements i.e. Length of manubrium (M), length of mesosternum (B), combined length of manusbrium and mesosternum and the (M + B), width at first sternabrae (S1) and width of 3rd sternabrae (S3) were taken on the autopsied sterna. The sterna were classified as fused (both manubriosternal and xiphisternal joints were fused), partly fused (only one of the manubriosternal or xiphisternal joints was fused) and not fused (both manubriosternal and xiphisternal joints were not fused). Regression models were derived using statistical methods. All the sternal measurements show a positive however, a weak correlation with stature. Thus, it can be concluded that the accuracy and reliability of stature estimation from sternum and its segments is quite low in practical situations. Among the sterna classified based on the fusion status, the length measurements of completely fused sterna show significant correlation with the stature. None of the other sternal measurements on the non-fused or partly fused sterna show statistically significant correlation with stature. The present study concludes that the fusion status of the sternum is likely to affect the reliability and accuracy in estimation of stature. The findings of this study however, should be considered 'preliminary' until they are corroborated by similar studies based on larger samples from different populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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