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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-13

Neonatal line as a linear evidence of live birth: Estimation of postnatal survival of a new born from primary tooth germs


1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Amrita School of Dentistry, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of Forensic Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Department of Periodontology, Royal Dental College, Palakkad, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Mahija Janardhanan
Associate Professor, Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Amrita School of Dentistry, Kochi, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-1475.85284

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Background: The presence of neonatal line indicates live birth and it is possible to estimate the exact period of survival of the infant in days by measuring the amount of postnatal hard tissue formation, and thus can be an evidence to the brutal act of infanticide. Materials and Methods: Primary tooth germs of both the arches were removed from the sockets of an infant who died few days after birth. Ground sections were made with hard tissue microtome. Decalcified sections were made from the crown of primary right mandibular canine and the sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. To visualize the neonatal line, the sections were subjected to light mocroscopy, polarized microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. A developing permanent molar from a one and a half year old boy and ten fully developed deciduous molars were used as controls. Results: The ground sections of all the developing tooth germs showed the presence of neonatal line and the analysis of enamel showed six distinct cross striations along the enamel rod length indicating the period of survival of the baby to be six days which was later confirmed with the hospital records. Conclusion: Neonatal line could be used as an evidence of infanticide. Accurate detection of neonatal line with advanced techniques could rewrite this supplementary evidence of infanticide into substantial evidence.


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