The accurate dating of bone fractures constitutes a critical component of trauma analysis in forensic anthropology and the research in this field represents to date a challenging opportunity to apply scientific knowledge and methods to real problems of society, including also global humanitarian and human rights issues. However, the literature review performed in order to describe the state of the art in fracture healing and dating showed that forensic studies are scarce and that the assessment of fractures lacks consensus about both the definition of fracture healing and the duration of the fracture healing process. Thus, the aim of the present PhD project, including two research lines, was to acquire a better knowledge of the process of bone remodeling both in the living and the dead with regard to the timing of injury as well as to evaluate the applicability of high-resolution radiological techniques for objective dating of the healing phase of the fracture. The 1 st retrospective study, dedicated to the living, was based on digital radiographs from the largest adult living population ever analyzed and was aimed not only at examining time frames for healing of bone fractures but also at investigating the effect of variables, including age, sex, bone type and number of fracures on the timing of healing stages of traumatic skeletal lesions. For these purposes a multivariable model was built, which showed a significant association between the healing stages and the variables analyzed, so that a dynamic nomogram was preliminary proposed to predict a time interval since fracture from digital radiographs. The 2 nd experimental study, dedicated to the dead, was based on dry human bones presenting calluses of different known age in order to preliminary assess the potential of an advanced and non-destructive imaging technology, like microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), in order to obtain a future objective dating of the healing phase of the fracture on post-cranial human bone calluses of known age. The results not only demonstrated the potential utility of micro-CT to obtain a wealth of qualitative details about the microstructure of the callus but also to reach an objective fracture dating, laying promising foundations for further studies on this topic in light of the highlighted existence of a certain trend of some parameters of trabecular microstructure relative to the age of the callus, including the degree of anisotropy, the connectivity and the trabecular spacing.

RADIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS IN FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY. FRACTURE HEALING AND DATING

Franco Tagliaro
2021

Abstract

The accurate dating of bone fractures constitutes a critical component of trauma analysis in forensic anthropology and the research in this field represents to date a challenging opportunity to apply scientific knowledge and methods to real problems of society, including also global humanitarian and human rights issues. However, the literature review performed in order to describe the state of the art in fracture healing and dating showed that forensic studies are scarce and that the assessment of fractures lacks consensus about both the definition of fracture healing and the duration of the fracture healing process. Thus, the aim of the present PhD project, including two research lines, was to acquire a better knowledge of the process of bone remodeling both in the living and the dead with regard to the timing of injury as well as to evaluate the applicability of high-resolution radiological techniques for objective dating of the healing phase of the fracture. The 1 st retrospective study, dedicated to the living, was based on digital radiographs from the largest adult living population ever analyzed and was aimed not only at examining time frames for healing of bone fractures but also at investigating the effect of variables, including age, sex, bone type and number of fracures on the timing of healing stages of traumatic skeletal lesions. For these purposes a multivariable model was built, which showed a significant association between the healing stages and the variables analyzed, so that a dynamic nomogram was preliminary proposed to predict a time interval since fracture from digital radiographs. The 2 nd experimental study, dedicated to the dead, was based on dry human bones presenting calluses of different known age in order to preliminary assess the potential of an advanced and non-destructive imaging technology, like microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), in order to obtain a future objective dating of the healing phase of the fracture on post-cranial human bone calluses of known age. The results not only demonstrated the potential utility of micro-CT to obtain a wealth of qualitative details about the microstructure of the callus but also to reach an objective fracture dating, laying promising foundations for further studies on this topic in light of the highlighted existence of a certain trend of some parameters of trabecular microstructure relative to the age of the callus, including the degree of anisotropy, the connectivity and the trabecular spacing.
Micro CT
Fracture Healing
Bone
Trauma analysis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1040979
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