Application of Sphenoid Sinus Morphological Characteristics in Sex Estimation Based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Images

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Hai-Yan Liu1; Zi-Yang Bai ; Wang Jing; Xiao-Fang Yang; Tae-Geon Kwon; Ke-Ming Yun ;Xiu-Ping Wu & Li Bing


Sex determination of unknown persons plays an important role in forensic science. As most bones used for sex determination are recovered in incomplete state, it is often necessary to use bones that are recovered intact e.g., the sphenoid sinus. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic value of sphenoid sinuses dimensions for sex determination using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) images in Chinese adults. MRI images of 79 sphenoid sinuses (from 44 men and 35 women) were retrospectively selected. The height, anterior-posterior diameter, area, and perimeter were measured in the midsagittal view of the sphenoid sinuses. All data were subjected to descriptive and discriminative functional analysis with unpaired t-test and canonical discriminant. Comparison between male and female groups showed significant statistical differences regarding the height, anterior-posterior diameter, area, and perimeter of sphenoid sinuses. The predictive accuracy rate of the sphenoid sinus to identify sex was 63.6 % in males and 62.9 % in females with an overall accuracy of 63.3 %. This study proposed the importance of sexual dimorphism of sphenoid sinus dimensions, especially if other methods are not available. It suggested using MRI in forensics science thus obviating the complete dependence on the usage of conventional computed tomography (CT) and facilitating the study of forensic anatomy at the level of soft tissue .

KEY WORDS: Forensic science; Sphenoid sinus; MRI; Sex determination.

How to cite this article

HAI-YAN, L.; ZI-YANG, B.; WANG, J.; XIAO-FANG, Y.; TAE-GEON, K.; KE-MING, Y.; XIU-PING, W. & LI, B. Application of sphenoid sinus morphological characteristics in sex estimation based on magnetic resonance imaging images. Int. J. Morphol., 41(4):1166-1170, 2023.