Simple Summary The resolution of commingled assemblages is a highly demanding task in forensic anthropology, where intermixed skeletal remains from several individuals have to be sorted to their respective persons of origin. The issue has been addressed with morphological and osteometric analyses and, more recently, with virtual techniques. Digital superimposition of bone models harmonizes with this research avenue by providing a quantification of the similarity between bones that can be used for pair-matching (i.e., association of right and left bones) analysis. This study considers the pair-matching of pubic bones by superimposing three-dimensional (3D) models of bones acquired through computed tomography (CT). The correct sorting of commingled pubic bones (and, therefore, innominate bones) is paramount for the creation of accurate biological profiles of the remains. The point-to-point distance (in mm) analysis, resulting from the left-on-right superimposition of pubic bone models, allows for the determination of a threshold that discriminates pairs of pubic bones that belong to the same individual (match) from those of different individuals (mismatch). This study thus contributes to expanding the tools available to forensic anthropologists tasked with the pair-matching of bones, which is specifically relevant for the resolution of mass disasters where commingled skeletal remains are recovered. Virtual anthropology (VA) has recently produced an additional tool for the analysis of commingled remains and is based on the distance analysis between three-dimensional (3D) models of bones. To date, the pair-matching of the innominate bone through a 3D approach remains partially unexplored. Here, 44 abdominal CT scans (22 males and 22 females) were selected from a hospital database, and the pubic bones were segmented through ITK-SNAP software. The models were hollowed with Viewbox4 to minimize the amount of trabecular bone. The left pubic bones were mirrored and superimposed on the right ones, according to the smallest point-to-point difference between the two surfaces through VAM software. RMS distances between models were calculated through VAM, producing RMS values for 20 matches and 420 mismatches for each sex group. Differences in RMS distance values between matches and mismatches were investigated through Mann-Whitney tests (p < 0.05); the repeatability of the procedure was assessed through absolute and relative technical error measurement (TEM and rTEM). RMS distance values of matches and mismatches were significantly different (p < 0.01) in both groups. The method yielded optimal results with high sensitivity (100.0%) and specificity (99.8% in males, 98.8% in females) rates according to the chosen threshold. This project contributes to the research field of VA with a valuable adjunct that may bolster and strengthen the results of the current visual and osteometric methods through a multidisciplinary approach.

3D-3D Superimposition of Pubic Bones: Expanding the Anthropological Toolkit for the Pair-Matching of Commingled Skeletal Remains / A. Palamenghi, A. Cappella, M. Cellina, D. Mazzarelli, D. DE ANGELIS, C. Sforza, C. Cattaneo, D.M. Gibelli. - In: BIOLOGY. - ISSN 2079-7737. - 12:1(2022), pp. 30.1-30.10. [10.3390/biology12010030]

3D-3D Superimposition of Pubic Bones: Expanding the Anthropological Toolkit for the Pair-Matching of Commingled Skeletal Remains

A. Palamenghi
Primo
;
A. Cappella
Secondo
;
D. Mazzarelli;D. DE ANGELIS;C. Sforza;C. Cattaneo
Penultimo
;
D.M. Gibelli
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Simple Summary The resolution of commingled assemblages is a highly demanding task in forensic anthropology, where intermixed skeletal remains from several individuals have to be sorted to their respective persons of origin. The issue has been addressed with morphological and osteometric analyses and, more recently, with virtual techniques. Digital superimposition of bone models harmonizes with this research avenue by providing a quantification of the similarity between bones that can be used for pair-matching (i.e., association of right and left bones) analysis. This study considers the pair-matching of pubic bones by superimposing three-dimensional (3D) models of bones acquired through computed tomography (CT). The correct sorting of commingled pubic bones (and, therefore, innominate bones) is paramount for the creation of accurate biological profiles of the remains. The point-to-point distance (in mm) analysis, resulting from the left-on-right superimposition of pubic bone models, allows for the determination of a threshold that discriminates pairs of pubic bones that belong to the same individual (match) from those of different individuals (mismatch). This study thus contributes to expanding the tools available to forensic anthropologists tasked with the pair-matching of bones, which is specifically relevant for the resolution of mass disasters where commingled skeletal remains are recovered. Virtual anthropology (VA) has recently produced an additional tool for the analysis of commingled remains and is based on the distance analysis between three-dimensional (3D) models of bones. To date, the pair-matching of the innominate bone through a 3D approach remains partially unexplored. Here, 44 abdominal CT scans (22 males and 22 females) were selected from a hospital database, and the pubic bones were segmented through ITK-SNAP software. The models were hollowed with Viewbox4 to minimize the amount of trabecular bone. The left pubic bones were mirrored and superimposed on the right ones, according to the smallest point-to-point difference between the two surfaces through VAM software. RMS distances between models were calculated through VAM, producing RMS values for 20 matches and 420 mismatches for each sex group. Differences in RMS distance values between matches and mismatches were investigated through Mann-Whitney tests (p < 0.05); the repeatability of the procedure was assessed through absolute and relative technical error measurement (TEM and rTEM). RMS distance values of matches and mismatches were significantly different (p < 0.01) in both groups. The method yielded optimal results with high sensitivity (100.0%) and specificity (99.8% in males, 98.8% in females) rates according to the chosen threshold. This project contributes to the research field of VA with a valuable adjunct that may bolster and strengthen the results of the current visual and osteometric methods through a multidisciplinary approach.
commingled remains; point-to-point distance; pubic bones; virtual anthropology
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
Settore BIO/16 - Anatomia Umana
Settore BIO/08 - Antropologia
2022
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/962621
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