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Frontal Sinus Absence Rates in Various Populations: Implications for Forensic Identification

Meghan Trant, Angi M. Christensen


Antemortem and postmortem radiologic comparisons can be used to help confirm or refute a forensic human identification. When comparing antemortem and postmortem records, knowledge of the population frequencies of shared traits (or how often a trait occurs in the relevant population) can provide a statistical basis for supporting the identification (or exclusion). While trait configurations such as frontal sinus shape are often used, even the presence or absence of such traits can provide statistically relevant information. Here we assess the frequency of frontal sinus absence in various populations through an in-depth literature review, meta-analysis, and generation of new frontal sinus absence rates for consolidated groups. Results may be useful in forensic identification comparisons involving individuals who lack a frontal sinus.

KEYWORDS: frontal sinus, population frequency, identification, radiologic comparison

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