• Logo
  • SBMUJournals

Research Paper: Sex Identification by Morphometric Study of Hyoid Bone

Arash Okasi, Mohammad Hossein Sadeghian, Behnam Behnoush, Ali Shakori Rad




Background: Morphometric measurements are important for identification in forensic medicine. Gender is one of the important components of identity. Many studies have reported that hyoid bone can be used for sex estimation but this claim must be verified in different populations.
Methods: We evaluated 372 hyoid bones of 15 to 87 years old Iranian people who had a valid identity certification. Nine anthropometric indices of hyoid bone were measured and investigated in this regard. Computerized tomography scan was done after fixation of dissected tissue in formalin. Logistic regression analysis was performed. The cut-off point (ROC) and discriminative formula were determined.
Results: In this study, hyoid bones of Iranian bodies were studied, of which 217 were male and 155 were female cases. The length of the hyoid body, great left horn length, angle between right great horn and left great horn with body of hyoid are associated with sex determination.
Conclusion: Hyoid bone in male is generally larger than in females. The result indicate that the hyoid bone morphometry with a high degree of accuracy can determine the sex. Discriminant formula was determined for hyoid bone.


Hyoid bone, Delete CT-Scan and morphometry, Exchange sex estimation with sex determination, Anthropology, Human identification


Saukko P, Knight B. Knight’s Forensic Pathology. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2003.

Kim DI, Lee U, Park DK, Kim YS, Han KH, Kim KH, et al. Morphometrics of the hyoid bone for human sex determination from digital photographs. Wiley Online Library. 2006; 51(5):979-84. [DOI:10.1111/j.1556-4029.2006.00223.x]

Mukhopadhyay PP. Determination of sex from an autopsy sample of adult hyoid bones. Medicine, Science and the Law. 2017; 52(3):152-5. [DOI:10.1258/msl.2011.012001] [PMID]

Soltani S, Aghakhani K, Fallah F. Sex prediction potential of hyoid metric measurements in Iranian adults. Legal Medicine. 2016; 25:6-10. [DOI:10.1016/j.legalmed.2016.12.010]

Priya KS, Kumari GA. Sexual dimorphism with the shape of hyoid bone. Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology. 2016; 3(3):351-6. [DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2017.118]

Fisher E, Austin D, Werner HM, Chuang YJ, Bersu E, Vorperian HK. Hyoid bone fusion and bone density across the lifespan: Prediction of age and sex. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. 2016; 12(2):146-57. [DOI:10.1007/s12024-016-9769-x]

Mukhopadhyay PP. Morphometric features and sexual dimorphism of adult hyoid bone: A population specific study with forensic implications. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 2010; 17(6):321-4. [PMID]

Naimo P, O’Donnell C, Bassed R, Briggs C. The use of computed tomography in determining development, anomalies, and trauma of the hyoid bone. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. 2015; 11(2):177-85.

Williams PL, Warwick R, Dyson M, Bannister LH. Gray's anatomy. London: Churchill Livingstone; 1989.

Sameera SS, Fatima SN, Faisal GM. Sexing of hyoid bone based on shapes. Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology. 2016; 3(3):351-6.[DOI:10.5958/2394-2126.2016.00081.5]

Urbanová P, Hejna P, Zátopková L, Šafr M. What is the appropriate approach in sex determination of hyoid bones? Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 2013; 20(8):996-1003. [DOI:10.1016/j.jflm.2013.08.010] [PMID]

Loth A, Corny J, Santini L, Dahan L, Dessi P, Adalian P, et al. Analysis of hyoid–larynx complex using 3D geometric morphometrics. Dysphagia. 2015; 30(3):357-64. [DOI:10.1007/s00455-015-9609-2]

D’Anastasio R, Viciano J, Di Nicola M, Cesana DT, Sciubba M, Del Cimmuto M, et al. Estimation of sex from the hyoid body in skeletal individuals from archeological sites. HOMO-Journal of Comparative Human Biology. 2014; 65(4):311-21. [DOI:10.1016/j.jchb.2014.01.002] [PMID]

Logar CJ, Peckmann TR, Meek S, Walls SG. Determination of sex from the hyoid bone in a contemporary white population. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 2016; 39:34-41.[DOI:10.1016/j.jflm.2016.01.004] [PMID]

Marlow EJ, Pastor RF. Sex determination using the second cervical vertebra-a test of the method. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 2011; 56(1):165-9. [DOI:10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01543.x] [PMID]

Iito K, Ando S, Akiba N, Watanabe Y, Okuyama Y, Moriguchi H, et al. Morphological study of the human hyoid bone with three-dimensional CT images: Gender difference and age-related changes. Okajimas Folia Anatomica Japonica. 2012; 89(3):83-92. [DOI:10.2535/ofaj.89.83]

Balseven Odabasi A, Yalcinozan E, Keten A, Akçan R, Tumer AR, Onan A, et al. Age and sex estimation by metric measurements and fusion of hyoid bone in a Turkish population. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 2013; 20(5):496-501. [DOI:10.1016/j.jflm.2013.03.022] [PMID]

Ito K. Morphological study of the human hyoid bone with Three-dimensional CT images-Age-related changes. Okajimas Folia Anatomica Japonica. 2012; 89(3):83-92. [PMID]

Pollard J, Piercecchi Marti MD, Thollon L, Bartoli C, Adalian P, Bécart Robert A, et al. Mechanisms of hyoid bone fracture after modelling: Evaluation of anthropological criteria defining two relevant models. Forensic Science International. 2011; 212(1):274.e1-e5.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/ijmtfm.v8i4(Autumn).23034