Correlation of Posterior Curve Length of Sternum and Stature: A Postmortem Study in Delhi Population

Rajendra Baraw, Monisha Pradhan, Anuradha Singh



Background: The primary characteristics to establish the identification of an individual are sex, age, and stature [1]. Determination of stature is easy if a complete body or the entire skeleton is found. When only some parts of the body or skeleton are available, it is necessary to have different formulae for determination of stature from their osteometric measurements. The present study aims to assess the stature of an individual from his or her sternum with the help of Posterior Curve Length (PCL).
Methods: The study was conducted on 100 cadavers, including 50 females and 50 males, died 18 years or older age. The cases were referred for medico-legal postmortem examination to the Department of Forensic Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. Sternum samples were obtained during autopsy (as fresh sternum) and after removal of muscular coverings, cleaned and dried at room temperature (as dry sternum) for the study. PCL was measured and linear regression was used to recognize sternum correlation with stature.
Results: In our study which was conducted on fresh and dry samples of sternum, the stature can be estimated by 68% accuracy with linear regression equation of Y=91.51+3.5 (Posterior Curve Length of fresh sternum) with standard error±3.5 cm and correlation coefficient of 0.872. Also the stature can be estimated through Y=96.1+3.4 (Posterior Curve Length of dry sternum) with standard error of ±3.9 cm and correlation coefficient of 0.610.
Conclusion: From the present study we found some synergistic factors which are helpful for estimation of stature from respective PCL of sternum which clearly shows that sample of sternum obtained from decomposed body, or in cases where long bones are missing, PCL of sternum acts as an alternative to estimate stature in Delhi population.


Identification, Stature, Posterior Curve Length, Dry sternum, Fresh sternum

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