, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 351-357
Date: 04 Mar 2012

Postmortem CT investigation of skeletal and dental maturation of the fetuses and newborn infants: a serial case study

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Abstract

Physical maturation involving bones and teeth is a classic indication of fetal maturity in forensic practice, for which radiological examination is effective. The present study preliminarily investigated the efficacy of postmortem computed tomography (PM-CT) in estimating the gestational age of fetuses (n = 3) and newborn infants (n = 4), compared with plain radiography. Body length and weight estimated in reconstructed CT images approximated the measured values, providing additional data of body mass volume and fat development. The diaphyses of humerus and femur, and the epiphyseal ossification centers of femur and calcaneus were more easily identified and accurately measured in CT images than in plain radiographs. The developmental stage of deciduous teeth was also clearly identified. PM-CT was useful to evaluate the physical maturity of infants.