International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 3, pp 791–798 | Cite as

The role of multislice computed tomography of the costal cartilage in adult age estimation

  • Kui Zhang
  • Fei Fan
  • Meng Tu
  • Jing-hui Cui
  • Jing-song Li
  • Zhao Peng
  • Zhen-hua Deng
Original Article


To establish population-specific age estimation models in adults from costal cartilage for contemporary Chinese by using three-dimensional volume-rendering technique. Five hundred and twelve individuals (254 females and 258 males) with documented ages between 20 and 85 years were retrospectively included. Their clinical CT examinations (1 mm slice thickness) were used to develop the sex-specific age prediction model. A validation sample comprising 26 female and 24 male individuals was then used to test the predictive accuracy of the established models. Simple linear regression (SLR), multiple linear regression (MLR), gradient boosting regression (GBR), support vector machine (SVM), and decision tree regression (DTR) were utilized to build the age diagnosis models from calibration samples. By comparison, the decision tree regression was the relatively more accurate age prediction model for male, with mean absolute error = 5.31 years, least absolute error = 0.10 years, correct percentage within 5 years = 54%, and the correct percentage within 10 years = 88%. The stepwise multiple linear regression equations was the relatively more accurate one for female, with mean absolute error = 6.72 years, least absolute error = 0.68 years, correct percentage within 5 years = 42%, and correct percentage within 10 years = 77%. Our results indicated that the present established age estimation model can be applied as an additional guidance for age estimation in adults.


Costal cartilage Adult Age estimation Simple linear regression Multiple linear regression Gradient boosting regression Support vector machine Decision tree regression 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81373252), the Applied Basic Research Programs of Science and Technology Commission Foundation of Sichuan Province (No. 2013JY0148), and the Opening Project of Key laboratory of Evidence Science (China University of Political Science and Law), Ministry of Education (No. 2016KFKT04).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kui Zhang
    • 1
  • Fei Fan
    • 1
  • Meng Tu
    • 1
  • Jing-hui Cui
    • 1
  • Jing-song Li
    • 2
  • Zhao Peng
    • 2
  • Zhen-hua Deng
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Forensic Pathology, West China School of Basic Medical Sciences & Forensic MedicineSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, Ministry of Education(China University of Political Science and Law)BeijingChina

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