Sex estimation using computed tomography of the mandible

Tanya Sella Tunis, Rachel Sarig, Haim Cohen, Bahaa Medlej, Nathan Peled, Hila May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Sex estimation of skeletal parts is of great value even in the DNA era. When computed tomography (CT) facilities were introduced to forensic institutes, new possibilities for sex estimation emerged. The aim of this study was to develop a CT-based method for sex estimation using the mandible. Twenty-five CT-based measurements of the mandible were developed and carried out on 3D reconstructions (volume rendering) and cross sections of the lower jaw of 438 adult individuals (214 males and 224 females). Intraobserver and interobserver variances of the measurements were examined using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis. Five discriminant functions were developed using different states of completeness of the mandible. The success rates of these equations were cross validated twice. The measurements were found to be highly reliable (for intraobserver 0.838 < ICC < 0.995 and for interobserver 0.71 < ICC < 0.996). For a complete mandible, the correct classification rate was 90.8%. For incomplete mandibles, the correct classification rates varied from 72.9 to 85.6%. Cross-validation tests yielded similar success rates, for the complete mandible 89% and for the incomplete mandible 67.5 to 89%. We concluded that CT techniques are appropriate for estimating sex based on the mandible size and shape characteristics. Suggested discriminant functions for sex estimation are given with data on the correct classification rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1700
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • CT
  • Discriminant function
  • Mandible
  • Sex estimation


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