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Diagnosis of Skull Fractures According to Postmortem Interval: An Experimental Approach in a Porcine Model

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Additional information and reprint requests:

Fabienne Jordana, Ph.D.

Robert Picqué Armed Forces Teaching Hospital

351 Route de Toulouse

CS 80002

33882 Villenave d'Ornon Cedex

France

E-mail: jordana.fabienne@gmail.com

Abstract

Most studies on fracture morphology of fresh or dry bones, specifically skull bones, have a limited focus, and they are often based on observations rather than experimental tests. This study characterized pig cranial fractures sustained under known impact conditions. An impact machine (mobile carriage guided by columns) was used to perform a fracture on each skull. Impacts were performed at the same energy level on fresh and dry bones, with two types of impactor: a sharp striker (n = 50) and a blunt striker (n = 50). We found distinct features under different conditions, including osseous flakes on fresh bones, 90° fracture angles on dry bones, and more fractures with greater fragmentation on dry bones. These features highlighted the effects of time on perimortem fracture characteristics and the importance of bone storage conditions in the study of fracture genesis.

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