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J Forensic Sci. 2009 Jul;54(4):773-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01074.x. Epub 2009 May 26.

Age at death estimation using multislice computed tomography reconstructions of the posterior pelvis.

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Service de Radiologie Générale, Hôpital de Rangueil, Avenue du Professeur Jean Poulhès, 31403 Toulouse Cedex 4, France.


Thanks to recent advances, computed tomography is now seen as a tool of great value in the field of physical anthropology. In this study, we focused on the posterior pelvis and the auricular surface and evaluated the accuracy of 3D reconstructions of the auricular surface, using a methodology derived from a previous study by Lovejoy et al. We also looked for trabecular bone criteria expressing age-related changes. Forty-six coxal bones were scanned, and scoring of macroscopic criteria showed a good agreement between 3D reconstructions and photographs, especially for transverse organization (k = 0.90). The changes occurring in the posterior part of the sacropubic trabecular bundle were evaluated on CT reconstructions via three new criteria, which exhibited a good intra- and inter-observer agreement (k = 0.77-0.89), and were particularly useful in identifying older subjects. We concluded that these CT-evaluated trabecular bone criteria are promising and yield useful information about age at death.

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