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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 399-404

Personal identification and sex determination using cheiloscopy


1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Mamata Dental College and Hospital, Khammam, Telangana, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sibar Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Submission14-Jan-2015
Date of Acceptance02-Nov-2015
Date of Web Publication25-Nov-2015

Correspondence Address:
Kotya Naik Maloth
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Mamata Dental College and Hospital, Khammam - 507 002, Telangana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-1363.170470

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   Abstract 

Introduction: Identification of an individual is a prerequisite for certification of death and for personal, social, and legal reasons. The study of lip prints (cheiloscopy) was thought of as a method of identification of a person. It is safe to assume that cheiloscopy, in its present stage of development, has become a means of criminal identification dealing with lip prints. Aims and Objectives: To evaluate the lip prints of different individuals in various parts of the lip, to find out the incidence of any particular pattern in relation to specific gender, to ascertain the authenticity of lip prints as a tool for identification of an individual and establish its evidentiary value. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on 500 subjects, which included 250 males (4 twins) and 250 females, in the age group of 18-30 years. After application of lipstick evenly, the lip print of each subject was obtained on a simple bond paper. The lip prints of each individual were scanned using an image scanner set at a resolution of 600 dpi for better interpretation. Results: We had correctly matched the gender of 487 individuals out of 500 samples taken. We also found that no lip prints were similar among the 500 subjects and even in twins. Interpretation and Conclusion: Along with other traditional methods, cheiloscopy can also serve as a very important tool in the identification of a person based on the characteristic arrangement of lines and grooves appearing on the red portion of the lips. It can be used for sex determination and personal identification for forensic purposes.

Keywords: Cheiloscopy, lip prints, personal identification, sex determination


How to cite this article:
Gugulothu RN, Alaparthi RK, Maloth KN, Kesidi S, Kundoor V, Palutla MM. Personal identification and sex determination using cheiloscopy. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2015;27:399-404

How to cite this URL:
Gugulothu RN, Alaparthi RK, Maloth KN, Kesidi S, Kundoor V, Palutla MM. Personal identification and sex determination using cheiloscopy. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Nov 14];27:399-404. Available from: http://www.jiaomr.in/text.asp?2015/27/3/399/170470


   Introduction Top


The moral and professional obligation of a dental surgeon to mankind is not only to serve in examination, investigation, diagnosis, and treatment of oral and oro-facial lesions of local origin and oral manifestations of systemic diseases, but also to serve in other community services and legal matters. "Cheilos" is a Greek word meaning lip and "scopy" means to examine. Cheiloscopy is the study of lip prints. [1],[2] It can be defined as a method of identification of a person based on characteristic arrangement of lines appearing on the red part of the lips or as a science dealing with lines appearing on the red part of lips. [3],[4] Lip prints are similar to fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints which are used for individual identification. [5]

Tsuchihashi named the wrinkles and grooves visible on the lips as sulci labiorum rubrorum and the resulting pattern as "Figura Liniae Labiorum Rubrorum." [1],[6] Fischer was the first anthropologist to describe the furrows on the red portion of the human lips in 1902. [3] The use of lip prints was first recommended as early as in 1932 by Edmond Locard (1877-1966), one of France's greatest criminologists. [3],[7] Le Moyne Snyder in his book Homicide investigation, written as early as in 1950, mentioned the possible use of lip prints in the identification of individuals. [3] In 1967, Santos was the first person to classify lip grooves and wrinkles into simple and compound types. Simple type was further subdivided into four types, namely, straight line, curved line, angled line, and sine-shaped curve. Compound type was further subdivided into bifurcated, trifurcated, and anomalous groups. [3],[5],[8] In 1981, Cottone reported that cheiloscopy is one of the special techniques used for the purpose of identification. [6],[8]

It is one of the most interesting and emerging methods of human identification, and originates from criminal and forensic practice. [9] Lip prints are unique and do not change during the entire life of a person. The position and form of furrows does not vary with environmental factors. It has been suggested that variation in patterns among males and females could help in personal identification and sex determination. [10] The present study was conducted to ascertain whether the lip prints behold the potential for personal identification and sex determination of the individual from the configuration.


   Materials and Methods Top


The study was conducted at Sibar Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, after obtaining institutional ethical committee clearance. The study group consisted of 500 members, who were divided into two groups. Group-I consisted of 250 males (4 of them were identical twins) and group-II consisted of 250 females; all were aged between 18 and 30 years. Individuals with lesions on the lip, trauma (or), any deformities on the lip and individuals with known hypersensitivity to lipsticks were not included in the study group. The materials used were: Cotton rolls, brown and pink-colored lipstick (Street wear make), lipstick applicator brush, pen/pencil for labeling the individual details, cellophane tape (Magic make), scissors, bonded paper book, image scanner (600 dpi), and Adobe Photoshop 7.0 software 100% (RGB).

The subject was asked to wet the lips, clean with wet cotton, and allow it to dry for 1 min. A brown or pink-colored lipstick was applied with a single stroke evenly on the vermillion border, i.e. red portion of the lip. The subject was asked to spread the applied lipstick evenly by slightly closing or rubbing the lips against each other. After 2 min, a cellophane tape was evenly placed and stuck to the lips, covering the entire portion of both lips, without any movement. The strip of cellophane was removed and was properly stuck to the white bond paper without any wrinkles. The lip prints of each individual on paper were then scanned using an image scanner set at a resolution of 600 dpi. The images were inverted and scanned in grayscales. They were stored as Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) files using Adobe Photoshop 7.0 for maximum details. Each lip print of the subject was selected, randomized, and uniformly enlarged in the computer up to 100% RGB by using Adobe Photoshop 7.0 software for blind review analysis. Then each lip print was analyzed in each quadrant for the first and second most predominant lip patterns present in that quadrant. Lip print patterns were classified in the present study according to the classification of Suzuki and Tsuchihashi [6],[11],[12],[13],[14] [Figure 1]:
Figure 1: Types of lip print patterns

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  1. Type I: Clear-cut vertical grooves that run across the entire lips.
  2. Type I': Similar to type I, but the grooves do not run across the entire lips.
  3. Type II: Branched groove (branched Y pattern).
  4. Type III: Intersected grooves.
  5. Type IV: Reticular grooves.
  6. Type V: Undetermined.
This classification was followed in the present study for the interpretation of lip prints to determine personal identification. The gender of each lip print was determined by applying the results given by Vahanwala et al. [15] using the most predominant lip print patterns which existed in each quadrant.

The results of Vahanwala et al. [15] are as follows:

  1. Type I and I' patterns dominant: Female.
  2. Type I and II patterns dominant: Female.
  3. Type III pattern dominant: Male.
  4. Type IV pattern present: Male.
  5. Type V varied pattern: Male.
In our present study, for sex determination, we considered only the predominant patterns which existed on each quadrant of lip prints. For personal identification, the previously analyzed data were used to check if any identical lip prints existed. In case of identical subjects, a detailed examination of each groove of lip prints in each quadrant of the entire lip prints was performed. The results obtained from the study were analyzed statistically by using Chi-square test and Z-test.


   Results Top


Our study was conducted on 500 individuals who included 246 males, 4 male twins, and 250 females in the age group of 18-30 years. For sex determination, we considered only the predominant patterns which existed in each quadrant of the lip prints. For personal identification, the first two predominant patterns of lip prints in all four quadrants were considered. If they were similar, then we considered detailed examination of each groove in the lip prints in all four quadrants. In our study, by applying Vahanwala et al.'s [15] classification, the gender of 242 males and 245 females was correctly identified on the basis of the predominant patterns in their lip prints. We failed to correctly interpret the sex of eight males and five females, which was statistically significant; Chi-square (χ2 ) = 18.711, df = 5 (P = 0.05) [Table 1] and [Graph 1].
Table 1: Overall accuracy of cheiloscopy in gender determination

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In our study, on comparison of 500 individuals, based on the first and second predominant types of lip prints in all the quadrants, by using SPSS version 12.0 software, lip prints were found to be non-matching in 497 individuals. Among them were 249 males and 247 females. Matching of lip prints was observed in three individuals that consisted of two males and one female. On comparison of 500 individuals, based on all the grooves present in the lip prints in the four quadrants, the result was non-matching in all the 500 individuals. Matching was seen in 0 individuals. Statistical analysis using Z-test for two proportions gave Z value = 0, P = 0.05, and 95% confidence interval (CI): (0, 0); they were statistically significant [Table 2] and [Graph 2].
Table 2: Comparison of 500 individuals based on various patterns of lip prints in the four quadrants

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In our study, distribution of number and percentage of individual lip print patterns according to gender was determined. Among males, the most common pattern was Type II [219 (87.6%)], which was followed by Type III in 172 (68.8%), Type I' in 113 (45.2%), Type I in 94 (37.6%), Type IV in 69 (27.6%), and Type V in 68 (27.2%) individuals. In females, the most common pattern was Type II [226 (90.4%)], which was followed by Type I in 141 (56.4%), Type I' in 124 (49.6%), Type III in 116 (46.4%), Type V in 100 (40.0%), and Type IV in 41 (16.4%) individuals. Distribution of number and percentage of individual lip print patterns according to gender showed statistically highly significance; Chi-square (χ2 ) value = 34.021, df = 5 (P = 0.000) [Table 3] and [Graph 3].
Table 3: Distribution of number and percentage of individual lip print patterns according to gender

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In our study, the overall lip print patterns were evaluated in each quadrant, i.e. first, second, third, and fourth quadrants. It was found that in all the four quadrants, in males, Type II pattern was the most common pattern followed by Type III and in females, Type II pattern was the most common followed by Type I, which showed statistically highly significant difference. For the first quadrant, P = 0.003, Chi-square (χ2 ) value = 18.131, and df = 5. For the second quadrant, P = 0.000, Chi-square (χ2 ) value = 26.50, and df = 5. The third quadrant showed P = 0.001, Chi-square (χ2 ) value = 20.776, and df = 5. For the fourth quadrant, P = 0.036, Chi-square (χ2 ) value = 11.896, and df = 5.

In our study, when the lip print patterns were evaluated overall among all the lip quadrants of the study subjects, it was found that branched pattern (Type II) was the most common in both males and females constituting 35.2% and 37.0%, respectively. However, the least common were the undetermined/varied pattern (Type V) seen in 7.0% males and the reticular pattern (Type IV) seen in 4.9% females. In the present study, the frequency of distribution and percentage of type of lip print patterns in males and females showed statistically highly significant difference: Chi-square (χ2 ) = 60.357, df = 5 (P = 0.000) [Table 4] and [Graph 4].
Table 4: Frequency distribution of number and percentage of types of lip print patterns according to gender

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   Discussion Top


Personal identification is necessary for identifying unknown deceased persons in cases of homicide, suicide, accident, mass disaster, etc., and for living individuals who are missing or for culprits hiding their identities. Usually personal identification is made by comparing the ante-mortem record with the postmortem record. If a definitive description of the different parts of the upper lip and lower lip is established for an individual by a detailed study, the ante-mortem record can be used for matching the details of lip prints in the postmortem records for personal identification. Healthy lips were only considered for the study, and lips with inflammatory disease, trauma, malformation, deformity, or scars were not considered. However, these abnormalities themselves are identification marks. It is difficult to decide the pattern of the lip prints when inflammation is present in the lip. It has been observed that after healing, the lip reassumes its own pattern in the healthy condition; this fact in itself indicates the permanence of the lip print.

According to the study by Vahanwala et al., [15] Type I and I' patterns were dominant in females while type III and type IV were dominant in males. Similar results were obtained in a study conducted by Sharma et al. [16],[17] and Mallik et al. [18] Our results were also consistent with their studies. A study by Vahanwala et al. [15] suggests that certain patterns were prevalent in either sex. Type I and Type I' were prevalent in females in the first quadrant, Type II in the second quadrant of males, Type III never occurred in the lower lip of females (it occurred only in males), varied pattern was seen in males in all quadrants, and similar patterns were seen in all quadrants in females. Our study results are also in agreement with the above study results.

Suzuki et al. [12],[19] conducted a study and concluded that lip prints were dissimilar among different individuals. This was in accordance with the results of the present study of 500 individuals; comparison of identical twins revealed that even their lip prints were not absolutely identical. Furthermore, the dissimilarity in the details of the lip patterns in the twins signified a powerful basis to support that lip prints showed absolute dissimilarity in each individual. This finding was consistent with that of Tuchihansi. [20],[21] In the present study, the most predominant pattern in the entire population was type II, which constituted 36.1% of all patterns. These findings concur with those of Gondivkar et al., [13] Bindal et al., [14] Singh et al., [22] and Nagasupriya et al. [23] Our results differed from those obtained by Sivapathasundaram [2] who observed Type III as the predominant pattern. In our study, it was found that the least predominant pattern in the entire population was Type IV (6.75%). This finding is in agreement with the findings of Saraswathi et al., [8] Gondivkar et al., [13] and Singh et al. [21] Our results differed from the results obtained by Augustin et al., [10] where Type V (1.58%) was the least predominant. In comparison with other studies, our study enlightens the lip print patterns quadrant-wise, in which the unique importance of lip prints, like finger prints, in solving criminal cases and in personnel identification and sex determination is established.


   Conclusion Top


Cheiloscopy is a relatively new field among the large number of identification tools available to the forensic expert. Work on this subject has already elicited useful information as follows: Lip prints are unique to an individual and can be used to fix the identity of a person; they remain stable over time; and lip prints show gender differences. Further work on the subject can help to make cheiloscopy a practical reality at the ground level of the forensic identification process.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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