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1 st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

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Foto rio. 1 st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America. Márcia Vaz, MD. The experience of the Medical Examiner’s Office in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Medicolegal identification of skeletal remains through antemortem bone changes.

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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

State population: 10,187,798 (2000 Census - IBGE)

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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Skeletal Remains

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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Positive Identification

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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 1

  • August 2000
  • Found in Viamão
  • Skeletal human remains, no clothes
  • Presumed to be R.M.S.C
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 1- Findings

  • White, 40 to 50-year-old female, 158 - 164 cm tall.
  • Right tibia and fibula with fracture callus in lower thirds, joined by bone bridge.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 1 – Presumed decedent

  • R.M.S.C
  • X-rays and hospitalization records (1998 and 1999)
  • Case 1 – Conclusion:
  • No negative matches and number of positive matches confirmed identification.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 2

  • February 2000
  • Found in Nonoai
  • Decomposed and clothed human remains
  • Presumed to be J.P.C.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 2 – Findings

  • White, 26 to 35-year-old male, 172 - 176 cm tall
  • Left radius – fracture callus in upper third of diaphysis
  • Left ulna – callus at junction of upper and middle thirds of interosseous margin
  • Left femur – fracture callus and steel wire in middle third of diaphysis, metal rod in proximal half.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 2 – Presumed decedent

  • J.P.C.
  • Radiographic studies (07/23/96 and 08/14/96):
    • Left forearm: fracture in transition from proximal to middle thirds.
    • Left thigh: complete fracture in middle third of femur. Firearm projectiles.
    • Metal rod to control femur fracture fixation
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 2 – Conclusion

  • No negative matches and number of positive matches confirmed J.P.C. identification.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 3

  • August 2004
  • Found in Venâncio Aires
  • Human remains with adipocere formation.
  • Presumed to be Z.M.S.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 3 – Findings

  • White, > 40-year-old female, 160 – 164 cm tall.
  • External female genitals
  • Right femur – fracture callus in distal end of diaphysis and distal epiphysis
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 3 – Presumed decedent

  • Z.M.S.
  • X-rays of right thigh and knee (09/04/00 and 09/17/00): metal plate and screws in fracture of distal third of right femur.
  • Medical records: three hospitalizations – removal of plate and screws, and treatment of right femur post-traumatic arthritis.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Case 3 – Conclusion

  • Comparison of medical records and radiographic studies with results of medicolegal examination revealed only positive matches. The absence of negative matches confirmed Z.M.S identification.
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Medical Examiner’s Office - Porto Alegre, Brazil 1st Paleopathology Association Meeting in South America

Conclusions

  • Anatomical changes due to fractures provide an efficient method of identification of skeletal and decomposed human remains when comparison elements are available.
  • In our community, it is difficult to obtain medical, hospital and dental records.
  • Identification by DNA profiling is the most frequently used identification method in our Service.
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