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Intra vitam trauma pattern: changing the paradigm of forensic anthropology?

This study aims to improve a previous study that reported new traits to characterize a perimortem fracture pattern in human long bones. This second study aims to acquire further knowledge about these perimortem traits, specifically by improving the experimental setting-by using a Blunt Force Trauma Simulator-and increasing the sample size with a total of 43 autopsy specimens and 57 reproduced fractures. Additionally, we investigated whether these traits could be related to muscular contractions by adding axial compression in the experimentally fractured specimens. If intra vitam traits can be found, it would consequentially be more valuable for forensic anthropologists to shorten the perimortem period. We demonstrate that all traits are perimortem traits. Furthermore, based on our results, we see the tendency that the combination of traits-instead of the presence of each trait individually-may make it possible to distinguish intra vitam from perimortem fractures. This study confirms these distinct characteristics that can be valuable to utilize in the distinction between peri- and postmortem fractures.

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