JFOS vol 30 n. 2 December 2012

December 27, 2022
ISSN 2219-67749
Vol 30
 No 2. December 2012
Editorial Board

The development of a colorimetric scale as a visual aid for the bruise age determination of bite marks and blunt trauma

E. Nuzzolese, G. Di Vella

Medical examiners and forensic odontologists are frequently asked to establish the age of a bruise or bitemark on either a living and deceased subjects. The age of bruising has an important medico-legal significance and may be relevant in the investigations related to such crimes as child abuse, domestic violence and homicide. A colorimetric scale for forensic photography based on the colors of the bruise itself, has never been proposed due to the fact that photographic reproduction of color is unreliable and depends on several factors; the camera used, lighting, printer and photo-editing color calibration. The authors propose two colorimetric scales, both with and without linear measurements, and with 90° angulations, six bruise colors, and three circles with black and white calibrators, which are to be used for the forensic photography of injuries involving the epidermis of Caucasian subjects. The two scales could also be employed on living subjects during different stages of the healing process, or on cadavers in order to provide evidential documentation, image verification and analysis. Such an aid would provide a reliable standard condition and allow for color calibration. The colors represented on the scales would be an aid for the interpretation and objectivity required in estimating the age of the bruise, particularly when the analysis is made directly onto computer images prior to printing. The proposed colorimetric scales do not attempt to give a definitive account of the diverse scientific methods available for the assessment of the age of bruising. The observation of a large sample of blunt trauma and bite mark injuries employing the proposed colorimetric scales would be needed in order to verify and validate the use of these scales. It should be borne in mind that bruise age estimation requires an expert opinion with several degrees of accuracy and variability involved. The age of a bruise cannot be determined by color alone

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2012;30 (2):1-6)

Ethical and legal issues on HIV testing, policy and the practice of dentistry

S. Naidoo, A. Vernillo

This paper is structured around the following: autonomy and consent, confidentiality, disclosure, knowledge of patient and provider HIV status, the right to choose whom to treat, testing for HIV and  the importance of HIV policies in the workplace to guard against discrimination. The emergence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic has challenged traditional ethical values of the health care profession. These include the infectious nature of HIV, the social stigma of the disease and its ethical and legal dilemmas. This paper addresses some of the pertinent questions related to HIV infection and AIDS.  The three broad principles of ethics, namely, autonomy, beneficence and justice, provide the basic framework on which this paper is based. Advances in the biotechnology of rapid oral fluid testing particularly in the detection of HIV antibodies from patients in the dental setting have raised additional ethical and legal considerations in the subsequent management of HIV infected patients to include disclosure of test results to the patient and proper referral to physicians or nurse practitioners. The oral health care worker must thus have a solid foundation in the application of bioethical principles. A clinical case scenario related to HIV testing in the dental setting is presented to illustrate how a lack of understanding and the wrongful application of ethical principles may lead to patient harm and legal liability.  Given the increasing infection rate of HIV worldwide, polices must be upheld and revised as needed to protect healthcare providers, patients, and society generally against discrimination

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2012;30 (2):7-16)

Comparison of the applicability of four odontological methods for age estimation of the 14 years legal threshold in a sample of Italian adolescents

V. Pinchi, G. A. Norelli, F. Pradella, G. Vitale, D. Rugo, M. Nieri

The 14-years age threshold is especially important in Italy for criminal, civil and administrative laws. Several methods relying on dental calcification of the teeth, up to the second molar, are used for the evaluation of age in childhood. The objective of the research was to compare the inter-rater agreement and accuracy of four common methods for the dental age estimation – Demirjian (D), Willems (W), Cameriere (C) and Haavikko (H) – in a sample of Italian adolescents between 11 and 16 years. The sensitivity and specificity, and the different level of probability, according to the peculiarities of Italian criminal and civil law, were compared for the methods examined, considering the threshold of 14 years. The sample was composed of 501 digital OPGs of Italian children (257 females and 244 males), aged from 11 years and 0 days to 15 years and 364 days. The maturation stage of the teeth was evaluated according to D, W, H and C methods by three independent examiners. Mixed statistical models were applied to compare the accuracy and the errors of each method. The inter-rater agreement was high for the four methods and the intraclass correlation coefficients were all ≥ 0.81. Methods H and C showed a general tendency to underestimate the age in the considered sample while the methods D and W tended to overestimate the child’s age. In females, D and W were more accurate than C, which is more accurate than H. In the males, W is the most accurate method even though it over-estimated age. Considering the 14-years threshold, the sensitivity of D and W methods is quite high (range 0.80; 0.95) and specificity is low (range 0.61; 0.86). The principal findings of the research are: the W and D methods are much more accurate than C and H, but they tend to overestimate the age. The C method largely underestimates the age (by ~1 year) for both genders and for all operators. H is unsuitable for dental age estimation in the Italian population, while W and D yielded high sensitivity but low specificity, thus producing high rates of false positive results. The choice of method to estimate if an Italian child has reached the 14-years legal threshold should mainly be chosen according to the different legal milieu (if civil or criminal) and the gender of the examined individual. The age assessment in criminal case must be prudently managed

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2012;30 (2):17-25)

Sexual dimorphism in Brazilian human skulls: discriminant function analysis

O. Fortes de Oliveira, R. Lima Ribeiro Tinoco, E. Daruge Jnr, A. S. Silveira Dias Terada, R. H. Alves da Silva, L. R. Paranhos

Many anthropological studies have shown that sex can be determined using the human skeleton, especially by examining the pelvis and skull. The aim of this study was to verify the presence of sexual dimorphism in the Brazilian population by craniometric analysis; to identify the most reliable measurements and  to propose a discriminant function for sex determination. The selected sample was composed of 100 adult skulls, 50 male and 50 female, from Cuiabá city, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Of all the measurements taken, only the difference between the bi-euryon distances has proven insignificant, while themost dimorphic measure was the bi-zygomatic diameter. A discriminant function was obtained by applying the bi-zygomatic and the basion-lambda measurements, with a confidence level of 72%. The authors concluded that most of the traits analyzed are sexually dimorphic and the discriminant function elaborated is reliable for sex determination in human identification for forensic purposes

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2012;30 (2):26-33)

Dental age estimation in Japanese individuals combining permanent teeth and third molars

N. Ramanan, P. Thevissen, S. Fieuws, G. Willems

The study aim was, firstly, to verify the Willems et al. model on a Japanese reference sample. Secondly to develop a Japanese reference model based on the Willems et al. method and to verify it. Thirdly to analyze the age prediction performance adding tooth development information of third molars to permanent teeth. Retrospectively 1877 panoramic radiographs were selected in the age range between 1 and 23 years (1248 children, 629 sub-adults). Dental development was registered applying Demirjian ‘s stages of the mandibular left permanent teeth in children and Köhler stages on the third molars. The children’s data were, firstly, used to validate the Willems et al. model (developed a Belgian reference sample), secondly, split ino a training and a test sample. On the training sample a Japanese reference model was developed based on the Willems method. The developed model and the Willems et al; model were verified on the test sample. Regression analysis was used to detect the age prediction performance adding third molar scores to permanent tooth scores. The validated Willems et al. model provided a mean absolute error of 0.85 and 0.75 years in females and males, respectively. The mean absolute error in the verified Willems et al. and the developed Japanese reference model was 0.85, 0.77 and 0.79, 0.75 years in females and males, respectively. On average a negligible change in root mean square error values was detected adding third molar scores to permanent teeth scores. The Belgian sample could be used as a reference model to estimate the age of the Japanese individuals. Combining information from the third molars and permanent teeth was not providing clinically significant improvement of age predictions based on permanent teeth information alone