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International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 5–8 | Cite as

Studies on the time frame for ossification of the medial clavicular epiphyseal cartilage in conventional radiography

  • Andreas SchmelingEmail author
  • Ronald Schulz
  • Walter Reisinger
  • Matthias Mühler
  • Klaus-Dieter Wernecke
  • Gunther Geserick
Original Article

Abstract

Radiological assessment of the degree of ossification of the medial clavicular epiphyseal cartilage plays a vital part in forensic age diagnosis of living adolescents and young adults. A total of 873 plain chest radiographs requested by the staff medical officer for members of staff aged 16–30 at the University Hospital Charité were evaluated retrospectively. Of these X-rays 699 permitted an assessment of ossification of at least 1 side of the clavicle. In addition to the customary stages (1: non-ossified epiphysis, 2: discernible ossification centre, 3: partial fusion, 4: total fusion) a stage 5 was also defined, characterised by the disappearance of the epiphyseal scar following total fusion. The earliest age at which stage 3 was detected in either gender was 16 years. Stage 4 was first observed in women at 20 years and in men at 21 years. In both genders, the earliest observation of stage 5 was at 26 years. It was concluded that plain chest radiographs can essentially be used to assess clavicular ossification. In practice, if overlap in posterior-anterior views impedes evaluation, a lateral view should also be taken to facilitate age estimation. In forensic practice the reference values of the present paper should be applied.

Keywords

Forensic age diagnosis Skeletal age Ossification Clavicle 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Schmeling
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald Schulz
    • 1
  • Walter Reisinger
    • 2
  • Matthias Mühler
    • 2
  • Klaus-Dieter Wernecke
    • 3
  • Gunther Geserick
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für RechtsmedizinUniversitätsklinikum Charité der Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institut für RadiologieUniversitätsklinikum Charité der Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Medizinische BiometrieUniversitätsklinikum Charité der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin BerlinGermany

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