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Age Estimation Based on Pulp Cavity to Tooth Volume Ratio Using Postmortem Computed Tomography Images

NCJ Number
246241
Journal
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 58 Issue: 6 Dated: November 2013 Pages: 1531-1535
Author(s)
Ayaka Sakuma Ph.D.; Hisako Saitoh Ph.D.; Yoichi Suzuki Ph.D.; Yohsuke Makino M.D.; Go Inokuchi M.D.; Mutsumi Hayakawa Ph.D.; Daisuke Yajima Ph.D.; Hirotaro Iwase Ph.D.
Date Published
November 2013
Length
5 pages
Annotation
Pulp cavity size is known to decrease with age and can therefore serve as an indicator for age estimation.
Abstract
Pulp cavity size is known to decrease with age and can therefore serve as an indicator for age estimation. Here, we evaluated whether reconstructed images of multidetector-row computed tomography MDCT acquired before forensic autopsy are useful for estimating age at death. Images of 136 mandibular first premolars obtained from bodies of known age at death were analyzed, and the volume of the regions corresponding to pulp cavity and that of the whole tooth were determined using a voxel counting function. The pulp cavity was clearly distinguishable from dental hard tissue on the reconstructed images when using a cutoff value of 1400 Hounsfield units. Regression analysis adjusted for sex showed that estimated age correlated significantly with the pulp cavity to tooth volume ratio r = 0.76. MDCT is gaining more widespread use in forensic medicine, and analyzing dental images to obtain parameters for age prediction is a practical approach for postmortem identification. Abstract published by arrangement with Wiley.