Sex determination from buccal mucosa scrapes

Tushar Mittal, K. Muralidhar Saralaya, Ajee Kuruvilla, Chandrayya Achary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Establishing individuality is an imperative aspect in any investigation procedure. At times, it becomes necessary to determine the sex of the individual to establish identity, and saliva stains found at the scene of crime are of major help in such cases. In the present study, we have determined the sex of the individual from buccal mucosal scrapings. Buccal smears prepared from 100 men and 100 women were stained by the Papanicolaou staining method. Cells were observed for Barr bodies under oil immersion with a compound microscope, and the percentage of Barr-body-positive cells was determined. It was observed that 1.14% of buccal mucosal cells in men (range∈=∈0-4%) and 39.29% of buccal mucosal cells in women (range∈=∈20-78%) showed Barr bodies. Inferences from the study show that the presence of Barr body in buccal mucosal cells can be demonstrated with a fair degree of accuracy using Papanicolaou staining. The sex of the individual can be determined accurately, as two non-overlapping ranges for the percentage of Barr-body-positive cells has been obtained for men and women. This method not only proves to be accurate but is also simple and economic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-440
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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