University of Pretoria
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The use of micro-focus X-ray computed tomography scans in anatomical variability

posted on 2024-05-08, 14:15 authored by Angelique CarmichaelAngelique Carmichael

The study is conducted in a South African population using micro-XCT scans to evaluate the effect of sex and population affinity on these parameters (e.g., size, angle, buccal plate and bucco-lingual thickness). Eighty-nine micro-focus X-ray computed tomography (micro-XCT) scans of crania (aged 21 to 78 mean age of 40) with intact dental arches were used. Measurements were taken on 3D models of the crania at interlandmark distances placed equidistant from each other on the lateral nasal wall (LNW), as well as on 2D slices on the apex of the maxillary alveolar crest (MAC). Measurements were taken between the alveolar crest (AC) of the canine and premolars and the LNW on the 3D model, while buccal plate and bucco-lingual measurements were taken on the 2D slices.

Descriptive statistics, including range, mean, standard deviation, minimum, and maximum values, were documented for maxillary interlandmark distances, angles, and alveolar bone thicknesses. Interlandmark distances ranged from 12.19 mm to 56.82 mm, with angular measurements varying between 62.8 degrees and 148.91 degrees. Bucco-lingual thickness ranged from 6.65 mm to 14.42 mm, and buccal plate thickness from 0.147 mm to 2.24 mm. These measurements exhibited statistically significant variations across all teeth. Additionally, biological factors such as sex and population affinity displayed statistically significant distinctions among the tested groups. The observed buccal plate thicknesses also followed a consistent trend of increasing thickness from anterior to posterior, aligning with existing research findings.

Micro-XCT was utilized to evaluate interlandmark distances, angles, and alveolar bone thickness in a dentate South African population, providing descriptive statistics such as minimum, maximum, mean, and median measurements to characterize the maxilla. The linear and angular measurements exhibited variability influenced by biological factors such as measurement side, sex, and population affinity. Notably, buccal plate measurements followed a consistent trend, with thickness increasing from the anterior to posterior regions (ranging from 0.147 to 2.24 mm, with a mean between 0.545 and 0.772), while bucco-lingual thickness ranged from 6.65 to 14.42 mm. Given these findings, further exploration into the practical utility of these measurements in assisting with sex and population classifications in forensic anthropology is warranted for future research in the field.


Department of Sports Arts and Culture




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