Identification of human remains: forensic radiology

J Clin Forensic Med. 1997 Mar;4(1):7-15. doi: 10.1016/s1353-1131(97)90002-x.


The identification of human remains is of paramount importance in medicolegal investigations. The comparison of antemortem and postmortem radiographic records is one of the main techniques used to achieve a positive identification. The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive review of the use of roentgenography in forensic medicine with special emphasis on the nature of the radiographic markers often utilized for identification. Clinical radiologists should be aware of the importance of storing radiographs over prolonged periods of time and of efficient record keeping methods to enable prompt retrieval of X-ray films in mass disaster situations. Furthermore, because of his skills in radiographic evaluation, the radiologist's expertise might prove invaluable in forensic consultations.