Sexual Diagnosis Through Morphometric Evaluation of the Proximal Femur

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Vitor Caiaffo; Pedro Paulo Feitosa de Albuquerque; Priscilla Virgínio de Albuquerque & Belisa Duarte Ribeiro de Oliveira


The determination of variables such as age, height, ethnicity and sex are extremely important to the identification of biological findings, especially in accidents with fatal victims. The diagnosis of sex can be 100 % certain for cases in which the skeleton is complete and in a good state of conservation, the individual is an adult and the morphometric variables of the population to which the individual belongs are known. The aim of the present study was to perform a morphometric evaluation of the proximal femur and compare measurements between males and females. Sixty pairs of femurs were acquired from the Department of Animal Morphology and Physiology of the Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco. The bones were measured with the aid of the ImageJ software program and the following variables were compared between bones from male and female cadavers: DFH – diameter of femoral head on the craniocaudal and sagittal axes; DFN – diameter of femoral neck on the craniocaudal and sagittal axes; FNL – femoral neck length; ILL – intertrochanteric line length. The morphometric variables had the following mean values in the male bones: DFH-craniocaudal axis – 45.10 ± 0.35 mm; DFH-sagittal axis – 48.27 ± 0.35 mm; DFN-craniocaudal axis – 33.21 ± 0.40 mm; DFN-sagittal axis – 29.96 ± 0.05 mm; FNL – 31.71 ± 0.05 mm; ILL – 66.47 ± 0.59 mm. The mean values for the female bones were as follows: DFH-craniocaudal axis – 40.68 ± 0.20 mm; DFH-sagittal axis – 42.61 ± 0.20 mm; DFN-craniocaudal axis – 29.11 ± 0.03 mm; DFN-sagittal axis – 26.05 ± 0.04 mm; FNL – 31.10 ± 0.04 mm; ILL – 60.80 ± 0.41 mm. With the exception of the femur neck length, all variables measurements were significantly larger (p < 0.0001) on the male bones. The present findings demonstrate that the femur bone, particularly the proximal portion, exhibits important sexual dimorphism and has high potential for forensic purposes.

KEY WORDS: Morphometry; Proximal Femur; Morphology; Anatomy.

How to cite this article

CAIAFFO, V.; ALBUQUERQUE, P. P. F.; ALBUQUERQUE, P. V. & OLIVEIRA, B. D. R. Sexual diagnosis through morphometric evaluation of the proximal femur. Int. J. Morphol., 37(2):391-396, 2019.