As sex estimation is an important step to delineate the biological profile, the development of tools employing anatomical structures which may maintain their integrity even after extreme events, such as the maxillary sinus, become useful for forensic identification. Thus, the aim in the present study was to develop and validate a formula for sex estimation through measurements in the maxillary sinuses in a Brazilian population, using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans.
Material and methods
Linear and volumetric measurements in the maxillary sinus were performed bilaterally in 94 CBCT scans from 45 males (mean age 25.2 ± 0.79) and 49 females (mean age 23.7 ± 0.50). The OnDemand 3D software was employed for linear measurements (height, length and width of, and the largest distance between the right and left maxillary sinuses), while the ITK-SNAP 3.0 segmentation software was used to acquire the volume. The data obtained was applied to a mathematical model for sex estimation. To validate the developed formula, another sample composed of 60 CBCT images of Brazilian individuals was tested.
Overall, maxillary sinuses’ measurements were significantly higher in males, without statistically significant differences between the right and left sides within each group. The most dimorphic measurement was the height, with an accuracy of 77.7% regarding sex estimation. The formula created lead to a sex estimation of 87.8% for females and 80% for males, with an overall accuracy of 84%. When the formula validity was tested in another sample, it showed an accuracy of 82.4%.
The formula developed through measurements in the maxillary sinus using CBCT scans showed an accuracy of 84% for sex estimation and can be applied as a complementary method for human identification in the Brazilian population.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Research Ethics Committee of the Piracicaba Dental School—State University of Campinas (FOP/UNICAMP) approved this study without restrictions (CAAE: 46141815.0.0000.5418).
This is a retrospective study. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.
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Farias Gomes, A., de Oliveira Gamba, T., Yamasaki, M.C. et al. Development and validation of a formula based on maxillary sinus measurements as a tool for sex estimation: a cone beam computed tomography study. Int J Legal Med 133, 1241–1249 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-018-1869-6
- Sex characteristics
- Forensic anthropology
- Maxillary sinus
- Cone beam computed tomography
- Forensic dentistry