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Cheiloscopy ‑ A diagnostic and deterministic mirror for establishment of person identification and gender discrimination: A study participated by Indian Medical students to aid legal proceedings and criminal investigations

Surajit Kundu
Pooja Gangrade
Ravikant Jatwar
Dharamsingh Rathia


Introduction: Positive foolproof identification of known or unknown, living or deceased individuals are the primary universal roles in forensic criminal or social investigations wherein the definite procedures such as finger printing, karyotyping, dental records play the director role although expensive and technique sensitive. Herein lies the importance of oral and peri oral tissues in which cheiloscopy is an emerging, cost effective and simple technique. Cheiloscopy (derived from the Greek word cheiloswhich meaning lips) is the study of characteristic patterns of depressions and elevations, anatomically found on oral mucosa. Previous studies have proved that lip prints were unique permanent records of human being analogous to finger prints, hence its classification for a particular individual can be a source of antemortem record in future for a correct identity. Materials and

Methods: The study sample comprised of 150 medical students i.e., 88 boys and 62 girls in age group of 18–21 years of Government Medical College, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh. With prior ethical clearance (vide ethical dispatch number 200 dated December 07, 2015) and informed consent, lip prints were recorded by application of a nonsmudged but thin and even coat of dark colored lip stick over the oral labial mucosa of the upper and lower lips and transferring the obtained replica to a cellophane paper fixed on to a permanent bond paper. The lip prints were analyzed with classification of Suzuki and Tsuchihashi for discrimination of gender in addition to individual personal identification and common lip print patterns in Raigarh.

Observation and Results: The results showed that of the total 150 students, 133 (88.67%) were correctly identified. The common lip pattern among males in the study was Type III (28.41%). Among females, Type I (33.87%) was the dominant pattern. Males showed grading of lip print pattern as III > IV > II > I’ > I > V and females had a grading pattern was of II > I > I’ > III > IV > V.

Conclusion: As lip prints do not change during the life of a person hence still further studies needs to be undertaken to substantiate the cheiloscopic technique on the upper crest as a predominant technique for personal and gender identification.

Keywords: Cheiloscopy, gender identity, lip prints, sex determination, Tsuchihashi classification

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eISSN: 1596-2393