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Anomalies of the Human Chest Plate Area: Radiographic Findings in a Large Autopsy Population.

Moore, Melissa K.; Stewart, John Harlan M.A., M.D.; McCormick, William F. M.S., M.D.
American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology: December 1988
Forensic Anthropology: PDF Only

Anomalies of the sternal rib ends and costal cartilages, sternal foramina, and epi(supra)sternal bones from a large, modern autopsy population have been described. Rib abnormalities (duplications, fusions, and spurs) were found in 55 of 2,016 plastron roentgenograms, sternal foramina were found in 135, and episternal bones were found in 51. Sternal foramina were significantly more common in blacks than in whites and episternal bones more common in whites than blacks; rib anomalies had no recognizable racial predilection. Rib anomalies were almost three times more common in males than females, whereas episternal bones were only slightly more common in males. Sternal foramina had no sex predilection. Episternal bones were slightly more often unilateral than bilateral and, when unilateral, were twice as often located on the left. While none of the malformations studied appeared to be of clinical significance, they are of potential forensic value in individual identification

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