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Manual strangulation: Experimental approach to the genesis of hyoid bone fractures

By Catherine Lebreton-Chakoura, Yves Godio-Raboutet, Romain Torrents, Katia Chaumoitre, Catherine Bovala, Christophe Bartoli, Pascal Adalian, Marie-Dominique Piercecchi-Marti and Lionel Thollon

Abstract

International audienceDiscovery of a fracture of the hyoid bone during forensic autopsy is a feature that raises suspicions of constriction of the neck. Studies have shown the influence of gender and build of the individual on the morphology of this bone. Our aims were to confirm these findings and to develop an experimental protocol for simulating manual strangulation in order to determine the force required to fracture the hyoid bone and the influence of anthropometric parameters on this force. A total of 77 intact hyoid bones were obtained, scanned, modeled, measured and embedded in resin. Using a hydraulic press, we applied force to the distal extremity of the greater horn. The relationships between the parameters of sex, weight and height of the subject, anteroposterior length of the hyoid, width between the greater horns, angle, fusion of the greater horns and force applied were analyzed. Our study confirmed sexual dimorphism, shown by greater length in males ( > 37.8 mm) than in females, and a larger angle in females (a shorter bone with a width > 43.7 mm and an angle > 31 8 01). The study confirmed the positive correlation between the length of the hyoid and the weight and height of the subject ( p 0.05). Fused bones were not more susceptible to fracture than non-fused bones. Fracture occurred at a mean force of 30.55 N ( 18.189). Multiple linear regression showed a significant negative correlation between force required for fracture and age, weight and height of the subject, anteroposterior length and angle. The younger the individual, the slighter their build, the longer the bone and the smaller the angle, the greater the force required to fracture the hyoid bon

Topics: Hyoid bone, Morphology, 3D reconstruction, Forensic anthropology population data, Manual strangulation, Fracture, [SHS.ANTHRO-BIO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Biological anthropology, [SDV.MHEP.AHA]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Human health and pathology/Tissues and Organs [q-bio.TO]
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.02.014
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01060097v1
Provided by: HAL AMU
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