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J Forensic Sci. 2005 Mar;50(2):294-7.

Body height estimation based on dimensions of sacral and coccygeal vertebrae.

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Department of Anatomy, Başkent University, Faculty of Medicine, Bağlica, 06530 Etimesgut, Ankara, Turkey.


This study is to evaluate whether it is possible to predict living stature from sacral and coccygeal vertebral dimensions. Individual vertebral body heights, sacral height (SH), and sacrococcygeal height (SCH) were recorded from the magnetic resonance images of 42 adult males. Sum of the heights of five sacral vertebrae (sigmaS), the first four coccygeal vertebrae (sigmaC), and the total height of the sacral and the first four coccygeal vertebrae together (sigmaSC) were also recorded. Linear regression equations for stature estimation were produced using the above mentioned variables. The regression equations were constructed and tested by using jack-knife procedure. Statistical analyses indicated that the combined variables (SH, SCH, sigmaS, sigmaC, sigmaSC) were more accurate predictors of stature than the heights of individual vertebrae. The results of the study pointed out that the equations derived from sacrococcygeal dimensions perform somewhat better than ones based on foot and head variables, but worse than those based on long-bone length. As a conclusion, the dimensions of sacral and coccygeal vertebrae could be used for stature estimation when long bones are not available.

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