Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Graduate School for Health Sciences, Dept. of Restorative, Preventive and Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine (ZMK Bern), University of Bern, Switzerland.

2 Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Postgraduate Student, Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Statement of the Problem: Sex determination using skeletal remains is of paramount importance in forensic studies. Skull accounts for the most sexual dimorphism after the pelvis. Recent studies have shown that paranasal sinuses are valuable in sex determination, and considering the location of the sphenoid sinus, the risk of traumatic injuries to this structure is low.
Purpose: The present study aimed to evaluate the morphology of the sphenoid sinus and determine the validity of sphenoid sinus volume (SSV) in sex determination using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images.
Materials and Method: In this cross-sectional retrospective study, CBCT images of 469 Iranian patients (186 male and 283 female) aged 24-45 years were selected. The morphology of the sphenoid sinus was recorded. 3D Slicer software (4.10.0) was used to assess SSVs in coronal and axial planes. For data analysis, t-test, chi-square test, and discriminant function analysis (DFA) were performed using predictive analytics software (ver. 18.0).
Results: The most common morphology of the sphenoid sinus in both genders was the sellar type (50.5%). SSV was significantly larger in males than in females (p < 0.001). DFA showed that the capability of SSV in sex identification was 86.0% and 92.9% in males and females, respectively.
Conclusion: The findings of our study suggest that SSV is a reliable variable in gender discrimination in a northeast Iranian population. However, since the morphology of the sphenoid sinus and sex were independent of each other, the morphology of the sphenoid sinus is not a suitable indicator for sex determination.

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