1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2. Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Hospital Seberang Jaya, Penang, Malaysia.
3. Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
4. Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Introduction: The fundament of forensic science lies in identifying a body. The morphological complexity of the paranasal sinus (PNS), which varies greatly amongst individual, possess a discriminatory value that potentially contributes to the radiological identification. The sphenoid bone represents the keystone of the skull and forms part of the cranial vault. It is intimately associated with vital neurovascular structures. The sphenoid sinus, located within the body of the sphenoid bone, has variable morphology. The sphenoid septum's inconsistent position and the degree, as well as the direction disparities of sinus pneumatization, have indeed accorded it a unique structure in providing invaluable information in forensic personnel identification. Additionally, the sphenoid sinus is situated deep within the sphenoid bone. Therefore, it is well protected from traumatic degradation from external causes and can be potentially utilized in forensic studies. The authors aim to study the possibility of variation among the race, and gender in the Southeast Asian (SEA) population, using volumetric measurements of the sphenoid sinus.
Materials and methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of computerized tomographic (CT) imaging of the PNS of 304 patients (167 males, 137 females) in a single centre. The volume of the sphenoid sinus was reconstructed and measured using commercial real-time segmentation software.
Result: The total volume of sphenoid sinus of male gender had shown to be larger, 12.22 (4.93 - 21.09) cm3 compared to the counterpart of 10.19 (3.75 - 18.72) cm3 (p = .0090). The Chinese possessed a larger total sphenoid sinus volume, 12.96 (4.62 - 22.21) cm3) than the Malays, 10.68 (4.13 - 19.25) cm3 (p = .0057). No correlation was identified between the age and volume of the sinus (cc= -.026, p = .6559).
Conclusion: The sphenoid sinus volume in males was found to be larger than those of females. It was also shown that race influences sinus volume. Volumetric analysis of the sphenoid sinus can potentially be utilized in gender and race determination. The current study provided normative data on the sphenoid sinus volume in the SEA region, which can be helpful for future studies.
Keywords: sphenoid sinus, volume, computed tomography, x-ray, ethnic groups, sex