Facial Tissue Thickness in Chilean Cadavers with Medico-Legal Purposes
The reconstruction of facial features is a key process in human identification with anthropological methods, and represents the ultimate aim of forensic facial reconstruction. This study aimed to record the values of facial tissue thickness of the Chilean population to have a reference table with forensic purposes. We used 40 Chileans cadavers of both sexes, with dates of death between 3 and 48 hours (mean 13.05 hours, SD 10.49) kept in cold storage at -4 º C, aged between 23 and 76 years (mean 45.95 years, SD 11.23), with a BMI average 25.38 (SD 2.27) in men and 26.41 (SD 3.09) in females. We analyzed the facial tissue thicknesses in 20 cephalometric points, eight median and six bilateral paramedian, using the needle puncture--method. We evaluated the presence of sexual dimorphism. The men have a greater thickness at the midpoints, unlike women, where thickness was greater in the paramedian points. However, the differences were significant only in the nasion point. Several studies have reported differences in tissue thickness between men and women, that would justify their systematic determination to develop protocols for facial reconstruction for forensic sculpture. In our study there were no differences, suggesting that different methods of preservation, postmortem time and BMI have influence on gender differences and should be considered in generating population data.