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08.09.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2016

International Journal of Legal Medicine 6/2016

Optimising magnetic resonance imaging-based evaluation of the ossification of the medial clavicular epiphysis: a multi-centre study

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 6/2016
Autoren:
S. Schmidt, C. A. Henke, D. Wittschieber, V. Vieth, T. Bajanowski, F. Ramsthaler, K. Püschel, H. Pfeiffer, A. Schmeling, R. Schulz

Abstract

Evaluation of the ossification of the medial clavicular epiphysis plays a key role in forensic age estimation, particularly in determining whether the age of 18 has been attained. A key research objective in the forensic age estimation field at present is to establish non-X-ray methods for investigating the clavicle. This paper looks at the use of magnetic resonance imaging for evaluating the developmental state of the medial clavicular epiphysis. Clavicle specimens obtained from autopsies of 125 female and 270 male subjects aged from 10 to 30 were examined using a 3-T magnetic resonance scanner. One FFE-3D-T1 gradient echo sequence and one 2D-T2 turbo spin echo sequence were acquired. In each case, two investigators undertook a consensual determination of the ossification stage of the medial clavicular epiphysis using recognised classification systems. To determine intra-observer and inter-observer agreement, 80 clavicle specimens were subjected to repeat evaluation. We present statistics relating to the ossification stages. The inclusion of established sub-stages of clavicular ossification offers an additional option for determining whether a subject has attained the age of 18 which is applicable in both sexes. For both sexes, the minimum ages for ossification stages 4 and 5 allow conclusions to be drawn about a subject’s age at a point in time lying several years in the past. Magnetic resonance imaging is a valid investigatory procedure for determining the ossification stage of the medial clavicular epiphysis. This paper makes a contribution to expanding the range of methods available for forensic age estimation.

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