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Forensic Sci Int. 2014 Jan;234:185.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

Statistical analysis of biomechanical properties of the adult skull and age-related structural changes by sex in a Japanese forensic sample.

Author information

  • 1Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: number60188@chiba-u.jp.
  • 2Designing Everyday Life Function and Social System Team, Digital Human Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 2-3-26 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan. Electronic address: y.nishida@aist.go.jp.
  • 3Designing Everyday Life Function and Social System Team, Digital Human Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 2-3-26 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan. Electronic address: t.takano@amail.plala.or.jp.
  • 4Designing Everyday Life Function and Social System Team, Digital Human Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 2-3-26 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan. Electronic address: y.koizumi@aist.go.jp.
  • 5Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan; Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: ymakino-tky@umin.ac.jp.
  • 6Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: yajima.d@faculty.chiba-u.jp.
  • 7Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: moo600@faculty.chiba-u.jp.
  • 8Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: goinokuchi@graduate.chiba-u.jp.
  • 9Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: tsunetoa@graduate.chiba-u.jp.
  • 10Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.
  • 11Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: chibafumico@chiba-u.jp.
  • 12Department of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Electronic address: iwase@faculty.chiba-u.jp.

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to investigate the biomechanical properties of the adult human skull and the structural changes that occur with age in both sexes. The heads of 94 Japanese cadavers (54 male cadavers, 40 female cadavers) autopsied in our department were used in this research. A total of 376 cranial samples, four from each skull, were collected. Sample fracture load was measured by a bending test. A statistically significant negative correlation between the sample fracture load and cadaver age was found. This indicates that the stiffness of cranial bones in Japanese individuals decreases with age, and the risk of skull fracture thus probably increases with age. Prior to the bending test, the sample mass, the sample thickness, the ratio of the sample thickness to cadaver stature (ST/CS), and the sample density were measured and calculated. Significant negative correlations between cadaver age and sample thickness, ST/CS, and the sample density were observed only among the female samples. Computerized tomographic (CT) images of 358 cranial samples were available. The computed tomography value (CT value) of cancellous bone which refers to a quantitative scale for describing radiodensity, cancellous bone thickness and cortical bone thickness were measured and calculated. Significant negative correlation between cadaver age and the CT value or cortical bone thickness was observed only among the female samples. These findings suggest that the skull is substantially affected by decreased bone metabolism resulting from osteoporosis. Therefore, osteoporosis prevention and treatment may increase cranial stiffness and reinforce the skull structure, leading to a decrease in the risk of skull fractures.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Bone stiffness; Cranial thickness; Osteoporosis.; Sex difference; Skull fracture; Structure change

PMID:
24183343
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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