The application of post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) for the anthropological examination of juvenile remains
thesisposted on 08.08.2014, 14:02 by Alison Louise Brough
Post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) is a non-invasive medical imaging technology that could be a valuable adjunct to traditional techniques in forensic practice. However, despite numerous theoretical advantages, integration of PMCT into forensic pathology, anthropology and odontology is currently restricted by the lack of scientific evidence. This thesis reviews the literature regarding the anthropological investigation of juvenile remains. The experimental chapters use PMCT images of the Scheuer Juvenile Skeletal collection, a unique collection of remains, that span the full age range of the developing human held in Dundee, and cases from the PMCT image archive at the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit. Images were acquired using multi-detector CT scanners and analysed using OsiriX three-dimensional imaging software. This thesis considers 1) if anthropological measurements are reproducible using PMCT, 2) if PMCT-derived measurements are accurate, compared with dry bone and orthopantomogram (OPT) examinations 3) what images and data are required to conduct a full anthropological examination to determine an individual’s biological profile using PMCT and finally 4) how to format and display these images appropriately to facilitate data sharing, international interpretation and future development of this method. These techniques were also used in the anthropological investigation of Richard III. Using age as the principle parameter, and assessment of both long bones and dentition, I have shown that 1) measurements used in the most frequently applied forensic anthropology techniques can be extracted from PMCT data, 2) PMCT measurements are accurate, and repeatable by multiple practitioners of various professional backgrounds and experience and 3) the information required to conduct a comprehensive anthropological examination can be condensed into a concise twopage ‘minimum data-set’ form. The results of this thesis provide new evidence to support the implementation of PMCT for anthropological examination in events requiring forensic investigation and disaster victim identification.