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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229260 Find in a Library
Title: Age at Death Estimation in Adults by Computer-Assisted Histomorphometry of Decalcified Femur Cortex
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:54  Issue:6  Dated:November 2009  Pages:1231-1237
Author(s): Laurent Martrille, M.D.; Theano Irinopoulou, Ph.D.; Patrick Bruneval, M.D., Ph.D.; Eric Baccino, M.D.; Paul Fornes, M.D., Ph.D.
Date Published: November 2009
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This two-part study tested different decalcifying methods in determining the most appropriate for femoral bone and then used computer-assisted histomorphometry in order to estimate age at death in 29 samples of femoral bone.
Abstract: The study found that decalcification of bone sections can be used for age estimation at death. The study developed a bone decalcification procedure for those forensic pathologists familiar with decalcified and stained bone sections, which are routinely examined in pathology labs. Decalcification does not require constant supervision, which facilitates the examination of many specimens, such as is the case in mass disasters. The decalcifying procedure was considered complete when a fine needle could easily penetrate the bone, which was not possible in some samples, even when X-rays showed that the bone was decalcified. Although X-ray is usually accepted as an accurate method for demonstrating decalcification, the needle test used was more accurate in determining the proper time finishing point for the decalcifying process. It avoids the subsequent stiffening of the sample. In these cases, the samples were put back in the nitric acid solution in order to complete the process. Twenty-nine cross-sections from the femoral midshaft were assessed histomorphometrically, using samples taken from bodies autopsied at Lapeyronie Hospital, Montpellier, France. The histological features selected for the study were the intact osteon density, fragmented osteon density, and percentage of lamellar bone surface per unit area. Fragmented osteon density was found to be the morphometric feature most closely correlated with age, followed by intact osteon density. The best accuracy was obtained for individuals under the age of 70 when measurements of 20 fields were used for the analysis. Age at death was estimated for 29 samples. 6 figures, 7 tables, and 24 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Age determination; Bone analysis; Computer aided operations; Death investigations; Investigative techniques; Victim identification
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