Analysis of time of closure of the spheno-occipital synchondrosis using computed tomography.
ABSTRACT Current knowledge concerning closure of the spheno-occipital synchondrosis is inadequate for age estimation purposes in that of the few detailed studies conducted, these demonstrate considerable variation concerning the age at which the synchondrosis commences and completes fusion, thus creating uncertainty for forensic investigators who may use this developmental feature for age determinations. The aim of the present study was to determine the sequence and timing of closure of the spheno-occipital synchondrosis for a large sample of a modern Australian population to assess if this age marker is a useful tool for age estimation for individuals around the age of 18 years. The sample consisted of 666 individuals in the age range 15-25 years, who were admitted to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) mortuary and who had undergone routine full body multi-slice CT imaging. Results show that fusion was well underway by the age of 15 years and was complete by 17 years. Fusion begins superiorly and progresses inferiorly. Persistence of a scar at the site of fusion was demonstrated through to age 25 years. After the age of 16 years there was no significant difference in progress of fusion between males and females. The study showed that this age marker is of limited value for age estimations around the age of 18 years in this population.
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ABSTRACT: Age estimation is one of the main parameters in the evaluation of skeletal remains in forensic anthropology casework. The present investigation is an attempt to study the fusion of manubrium and xiphoid process with mesosternum in 118 sterna (67 males and 51 females) of known age obtained during autopsy in South Indian population. The male samples were aged between 25 and 74 years and the females between 20 and 80 years. The fusion is studied to derive standards for the estimation of age from sternum. The results indicate that, with advancing age, the proportion of sternum with fusion of manubrio-mesosternal and mesosterno-xiphisternal junctions increases in males and females. A larger proportion of sterna showed fusion of mesosterno-xiphisternal junction than manubrio-mesosternal junction in different age groups. Fusion of manubrio-mesosternal and mesosterno-xiphisternal junctions was proportionately commoner in males than females. None of the sterna aged below 30 years showed fusion of mesosterno-xiphisternal junction. Nonfusion of mesosterno-xiphisternal junction was reported till the age of 48 years in males and 46 years in females. Manubrio-mesosternal junction was observed to be very variable with regard to fusion status as the joint remained unfused even in the elderly ages. Based on the variability of the fusion of manubrio-mesosternal and mesosterno-xiphisternal junctions observed in the study, it can be concluded that the sternum alone is not reliable for estimation of age in South Indian population.Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 08/2012; 126(6):863-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor