Conclusions: The current study developed population-specific classification of crania using cranial indices. This craniometric baseline data pertaining to the craniofacial indices may be useful in presurgical planning and the postsurgical evaluation. It may also assist the forensic anthropologists in the categorization of human skulls, which may be an important component in identification of highly decomposed dead bodies and skeletal remains. More such studies need to be conducted to understand the effect of environment and genetics on the cranial shapes in different population groups.
Background: Human skull has been the most extensively studied bone for establishing the taxonomies at evolutionary levels. Crania are also the most commonly used skeletal elements in population studies because they are known to be more genetically driven and less affected by environmental factors. The craniofacial indices are considered as clinical anthropometric parameters used in the investigation of craniofacial skeletal deformities and brain development. The present research is an attempt to study the cranial indices in the South Indian population.
Methods: The sample for the study included 118 dry adult crania. All the osteometric measurements were taken using standard anthropometric instruments, and 3 indices, namely, cranial index, orbital index (OI), and index of foreman magnum (FMI), were calculated. Cranial index is calculated as (maximum cranial breadth/maximum cranial length) × 100, OI as (orbital height/orbital breadth) × 100, and FMI as (transverse diameter/anteroposterior diameter) × 100. The crania were further classified based on these indices.
Results: The cranial index ranged between 66.67 and 85.71 (mean, 78.57 [SD, 4.11]), the OI ranged between 68.89 and 102.63 (mean, 84.23 [SD, 6.64]), and the FMI ranged between 68.57 and 96.88 (mean, 79.71 [SD, 6.98]). Cranial index did not show any significant correlation with the OI (r = -0.162, P = 0.081) or the FMI (r = -0.045, P = 0.626). A statistically significant correlation was, however, observed between OI and FMI (r = -0.232, P = 0.012).
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