Dr. Tanuj Kanchan, Dr. Ritesh G. Menezes and Dr. Prateek Rastiji

Assistant Professors, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore- 575001, India


We read with interest a recently published article titled "Sex determination from fingerprint ridge density" by Dr. Sudesh Gungadin on a vital issue of sex determination from fingerprint ridge density [1].  We wish to congratulate the author for his work on this important issue. However we would like to seek few clarifications and contribute on this all important issue.

The fingerprint pattern is an absolute proof of identity. No two fingers have ever been found to have identical prints. Owing to endless variations in fingerprints it has been speculated that there is one chance in sixty-four thousand millions of two persons having identical fingerprints [2].  The authors have studied the gender differences in fingerprint ridge density in South Indian population that in addition would help the investigating authorities by restricting their search to a particular gender. The study was conducted on subjects of south Indian origin, aged 18- 60 years and the results were found to be encouraging.

It needs to be highlighted here that health status of subjects is an important exclusion criteria in such study as fingerprint pattern and finger ridge density is known to alter in various diseases [2]. On similar lines, stature and weight of an individual may have a role on finger ridge density, probably the reason why the authors recorded the height and weight of each subject [1]. However since they have not commented on this aspect we would like to know if these factors had any effect on the finger print ridge density in their study.

The author counted number of ridges per 25 mm2 area for each finger and calculated the mean value from all ten fingers that represented the approximate number of ridges for a particular individual. It is surprising to note that mean value derived from ten fingers in all 500 subjects appears in whole figures, as apparent from table 1. We feel that the mean value from all ten fingers should appear upto one decimal place at least in few subjects, if not all.

Author’s explanation and confirmation on the above aspects is desirable so that the study is helpful for future researchers.


  1. Gungadin S. Sex determination from fingerprint ridge density. Internet Journal of Medical Update. 2007;2 (2):
  2. Reddy KSN. The essentials of forensic medicine and toxicology, 22nd edition. Hyderabad: Devi K.S.; 2003:70.

Dr. Tanuj Kanchan

Author responds

Thank you very much for your kind interest in my work. Well I wish to mention that the height and weight of the subjects were recorded taking into consideration that they could affect the ridge count, and it was found that these two parameters had no influence on the ridge count. As far as mean value in concerned, even the study conducted by Marc Acree from USA did not show decimal value. This means that my study supports the one carried out by Acree.

Dr. S K Gungadin