skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 222335 Find in a Library
Title: Healing Following Cranial Trauma
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:53  Issue:2  Dated:March 2008  Pages:263-268
Author(s): Lenore T. Barbian Ph.D.; Paul S. Sledzik M.S.
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A total of 127 adult crania and cranial sections were analyzed for 4 types of bone response following cranial gunshot wounds: osteoblastic, osteoclastic, line of demarcation, and sequestration.
Abstract: Of the 127 adult crania and cranial sections available for observation, 53 (42 percent) were scored for the presence of at least 1 of the 4 osseous phases. Twenty-five percent of the specimens were scored for one or two of the defined osseous responses; only 17 percent of the fractured specimens exhibited three or more of the traits. The earliest observed response to cranial fracture occurred at 5 days, which involved a single case of osteoclastic response on the ectocranial surface. In most cases, no osseous response was discernible during the first week; however, after the first week, the prevalence of both clastic and blastic activity began to increase. By the sixth week, 100 percent of the cranial fractures observed showed some form of osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity. The limited number of specimens in the late stages of healing indicate that both osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity declined somewhat, although both responses were present in over 80 percent of the observations after the sixth week. Similar to the osteoblastic and osteoclastic responses, the line of demarcation and sequestration showed a latent period followed by increasing prevalence. Sequestration, on the other hand, did not exhibit any trend. This report cautions that when calculating time elapsed since trauma, the examiner should provide only a minimal response time, given that a certain number of days elapse for a response to occur. Clearly, much work remains to be done in furthering understanding of fracture timing in dry bone specimens. It is possible that histologically assessed healing rates may differ from those reported for the current study. Sample source and data collection are described. 3 tables, 3 figures, and 20 references
Main Term(s): Bone analysis; Criminology
Index Term(s): Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Time of death determination
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.