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Tertiary (concentric) fractures in cranial gunshot trauma

Forensic Expertise Area: Forensic Anthropology

Tertiary Fractures
Tertiary Fractures


Tertiary fractures in the cranial vault are concentric fractures that are often seen around the entrance and exit wound, especially in high-energy trauma. The forensic examination of deceased victims of gunshot trauma is a frequent challenge in forensic medicine, in which the cause and circumstances of death must be reconstructed. Unfortunately, biomechanics and forensic implications on cranial tertiary fractures are very dispersed and up until today there is no revision that compiles all the available information. The importance of these fractures lies in the fact that they are one of the main clues to differentiate between gunshot trauma and blunt trauma, which is a big challenge for the Forensic Anthropologist. The aim of this thesis is to develop a state-of-the-art review on ballistic trauma in cranial bone. Particularly on the biomechanical implications of the tertiary (concentric) fractures, in order to perform a practical and reliable revision that can be of great interest for the forensic anthropologist.


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  4. Wen, Y., Xu, C., Wang, H., Chen, A., & Batra, R. C. (2013). Impact of steel spheres on ballistic gelatin at moderate velocities. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 62, 142-151.


Institute Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Catalonia


Forensic Pathology and Anthropology

Supervisor :        Dr Ignasi Galtés

UvA Co-assessor : 

Prof Roelof-Jan Oostra
UVA Coordinator Arian van Asten/Yorike Hartman