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Development of modern human subadult age and sex estimation standards using multi-slice computed tomography images from medical examiner's offices

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2016

In contrast to the abundance of collections and techniques associated with adult skeletons, there is a paucity of modern, documented subadult skeletal material, which limits the creation and validation of appropriate forensic standards; therefore, the aim of this project is to use multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) data from a large, diverse sample of modern subadults to develop new methods to estimate subadult age and sex for practical forensic applications.


The research sample will consist of over 1,500 full-body MSCT scans of modern subadult individuals (aged birth to 20 years) obtained from two U.S. medical examiner’s offices. Statistical analysis of epiphyseal union scores, long bone osteometrics, and coxae landmark data will be used to develop modern subadult age and sex estimation standards. This project will result in a database of information gathered from the MSCT scans, as well as the creation of modern, statistically rigorous standards for skeletal age and sex estimation in subadults. Furthermore, the research and methods developed in this project will be applicable to dry bone specimens, MSCT scans, and radiographic images, thus providing both tools and continued access to data for forensic practitioners in a variety of settings. (Published abstract provided)


Date Published: October 1, 2016