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J Forensic Sci. 2003 May;48(3):504-8.

Estimation of age in adolescents --the basilar synchondrosis.

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Division of Identification and Forensic Science (DIFS), Israel Police, Headquarters, Jerusalem, Israel.


The state of fusion of the basilar synchondrosis as a biological age indicator was assessed in a sample of 91 cadavers of both sexes whose ages ranged between 8 and 26 years. The correlation between the degree of closure and chronological age was investigated. Although the female population sample was very small (n = 21), the data indicate a tendency of differences in age between the "open" and "closed" groups. In the male population (n = 70), no significant differences were detected between the "open" and "closed" categories; in fact, the mean age of the two groups was the same (p = 0.9). These findings indicate that the stage of fusion of the basilar synchondrosis is not a good indicator of age in male cadavers, while in females the feature could be useful when estimating age of unknown human remains, although further investigation on a larger sample is advocated.

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