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La radiologia medica

, Volume 116, Issue 7, pp 1105–1114 | Cite as

The “blind age assessment”: applicability of Greulich and Pyle, Demirjian and Mincer aging methods to a population of unknown ethnic origin

  • M. Pechnikova
  • D. Gibelli
  • D. De Angelis
  • F. de Santis
  • C. CattaneoEmail author
Musculoskeletal Radiology / Radiologia Muscoloscheletrica

Abstract

Purpose

Age estimation is one of the most crucial issues in case of unknown deceased as well as in the living and is very frequently of radiological interest. Three methods for age estimation have been designated as the most reliable among the others: Greulich and Pyle, Demirjian and Mincer. The literature provides several studies concerning their applicability in different geographic contexts. However, not always can ancestry be ascertained, for example, in the case of badly preserved corpses. In these cases, age assessment must be performed without the corrections suggested by the literature for different ethnic groups. One may therefore wonder how reliable the result of age assessment performed without knowing the racial group to which the subject belongs may be. This study aimed at testing the applicability of the Greulich and Pyle Atlas, the Demirjian and the Mincer methods on a mixed population to compare skeletal and dental methods of age estimation.

Materials and methods

X-ray films of 167 subjects aged between 4 and 31 years from more than 18 countries were recruited. One hundred and nine orthopantomographs (OPG) of children aged between 4 and 15.5 years were evaluated by Demirjian’s method; whenever the highest Demirjian score was reached (31 cases), the Mincer method was applied. The skeletal maturation of 54 subjects aged between 7 and 19 years was determined by the Greulich and Pyle method.

Results

The lowest average variance from chronological age was shown by the Greulich and Pyle method, followed by Demirjian. The Mincer method showed very high mean variances.

Conclusions

Mean variances from the different methods do not significantly differ from data reported in the literature and demonstrate that the reliability of Demirjian, and Greulich and Pyle as they stand may be applied satisfactorily to remains or individuals of unknown ethnic origin.

Keywords

Forensic radiology Age estimation Greulich and Pyle Atlas Demirjian Mincer 

La stima dell’età “in cieco”: applicazione dei metodi Greulich e Pyle, Demirjian e Mincer su una popolazione di origine etnica sconosciuta

Riassunto

Obiettivo

La stima dell’età costituisce uno degli argomenti più cruciali nel campo del riconoscimento dei cadaveri sconosciuti e dei viventi, e molto frequentemente risulta di interesse radiologico. Tre metodi sono stati scelti come più affidabili: il metodo Greulich e Pyle, il Demirjian ed il Mincer. La letteratura ha sviluppato diversi studi per verificare la loro applicabilità nei diversi contesti geografici. Tuttavia, non sempre il gruppo etnico di appartenenza può essere accertato, per esempio nei casi di cadaveri in avanzato stato di decomposizione: in tali casi la stima dell’età deve essere eseguita senza le correzioni fornite dalla letteratura per i diversi gruppi etnici. È necessario pertanto approfondire quanto sia affidabile il risultato fornito dai metodi di Greulich e Pyle, Demirjian e Mincer su una popolazione di origine etnica mista, allo scopo di mettere a confronto i metodi scheletrici e dentari di stima dell’età.

Materiali e metodi

Sono state raccolte le radiografie di 167 soggetti di età compresa fra i 4 ed i 31 anni provenienti da più di 18 paesi. Centonove ortopantomografie di bambini di età compresa fra i 4 ed i 15,5 anni sono state valutate con metodo Demirjian; nei casi in cui è stato raggiunto il massimo punteggio Demirjian, si è applicato il metodo Mincer. La maturazione scheletrica di 54 soggetti di età compresa fra i 7 ed i 19 anni è stata quindi determinata con il metodo di Greulich e Pyle.

Risultati

La minor differenza media dall’età cronologica è stata evidenziata dal metodo Greulich e Pyle, seguito dal Demirjian. Il metodo Mincer ha mostrato differenze medie molto elevate.

Conclusioni

Le differenze medie fra i diversi metodi non differiscono significativamente dai dati riportati in letteratura e dimostrano che i metodi Demirjian e Greulich e Pyle possono essere applicati con successo a resti o individui di origine etnica sconosciuta.

Parole chiave

Radiologia forense Stima dell’età Atlante di Greulich e Pyle Metodo Demirjian Metodo Mincer 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pechnikova
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • D. Gibelli
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. De Angelis
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. de Santis
    • 4
  • C. Cattaneo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina LegaleUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.DMU — Dipartimento di Morfologia Umana e Scienze BiomedicheUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Laboratory of Biological and Molecular Anthropology, Institute of Experimental Biology, Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Sesto S. Giovanni HospitalClinical Institute of Conversion TrainingSesto San Giovanni (MI)Italy

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