Medical Research Center Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, PO Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland; Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, PO Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland; Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, PO Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accurate sex estimation (sexing) is crucial for successful forensic identification. For the cases in which only a part of the skeleton or individual skeletal elements are available, we investigated the sex estimation potential of the fourth lumbar vertebra (L4) among 20-, 30-, and 46-year-old Northern Finns.
Magnetic resonance imaging scanned living subsamples of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (scan at 46years, n=1363) and the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (repeated scans at 20 and 30years, n=375) provided the material for the study. After screening the scans for vertebral pathologies, we measured the maximum and minimum widths, depths, and heights of the L4 body. The mean vertebral width, depth and height were calculated together with vertebral cross-sectional area and volume. Sex estimations were performed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.
We detected marked sex discrepancy in all the studied parameters of L4 (p80%. Vertebral width, depth, and height seem to yield as accurate sex estimates as more complicated vertebral parameters.