Medicolegal Importance of the Foramen Ovale, in Determination of Sex, in Dried Adult Egyptians Human Skulls (Morphometric & Morphological Study)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Tanta University, Egypt

2 Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt and King Abdul-Aziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabi

3 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Tanta University, Egypt.


Anatomical variations of the skull foramens have been of interest for anthropologists, forensic scientists and neuroanatomists. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of the morphometric measurements foramen ovale to proof its anatomical variations for sex determination in Egyptian dried adult skulls. This study included 25 dry adult human skulls (50 FO); 13 males and 12 females. A digital caliper was used to measure the dimensions of the FO (Length and width); these measurements were taken by two researchers separately. All measurements were conducted bilaterally and repeated three times, the data were statistically analyzed and a comparison between both sides (right and left) FO in skulls of both sexes were done. It was found that there wane differences between the averages meas ±SD length and the width of both sides of FO (left and right) in male skulls with no statistical significance. The same results were found in female skulls. Based on the gender, the linear metric measurements of F.O in skulls of both sexes showed statistical significant difference on the average means ± SD in the length and width of the right and left sides. Various shapes of the F.O were observed in the studied skulls, and the most common shape was the oval shape followed by the almond shape. It can be concluded that, the metric analysis of FO can be useful as a supplement to other skeletal measurements aiming at establishing gender identity of individuals. Also the foramen ovale has a great variation in different countries.