HIGHLIGHT: There were conflicting results regarding sexual dimorphism and population characterization of the palatal rugae patterns. All rugae showed positional changes, increased lengths, and lower numbers, but no significant shape changes with growth. The lengths, numbers, and positions of the rugae were affected by orthodontic treatment, especially their lateral points, but their individual characteristics did not change.
CONCLUSION: The diversity in rugae patterns and their potential for sex discrimination among different populations showed differing results due to individual variations and the complex influence of genetic, growth, and environmental factors on their morphology.
METHODS: We sourced articles from Scopus, Ovid and PubMed databases for journal publications related to post-mortem diagnostic imaging. We highlight the most relevant full articles in English that explain the type of modality that was utilised and the added value it provided for diagnosing the cause of death.
RESULTS: Minimally invasive autopsies assisted by imaging modalities added a great benefit to forensic medicine, and supported conventional autopsy. In particular the role of post mortem computed tomography (PMCT), post mortem computed tomography angiography (PMMR) and positron emission tomography computed tomography (PMCTA) that have incremental benefits in diagnosing traumatic death, fractures, tissue injuries, as well as the assessment of body height or weight for corpse identification.
CONCLUSION: PMCT and PMMR, with particular emphasis on PMCTA, can provide higher accuracy than the other modalities. They can be regarded as indispensable methods that should be applied to the routine autopsy protocol, thus improving the findings and accuracy of diagnosing the cause of death.