Age Estimation Based on Computed Tomography Analysis of the Scapula

Karaman G., Can İ. Ö., Çekdemir Y. E., Ekizoğlu O., Güleryüz Uçar H.

medicina, vol.60, no.4, pp.581, 2024 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/medicina60040581
  • Journal Name: medicina
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.581
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background and Objectives: Age estimation from skeletal remains and in living individuals is an important issue for human identification, and also plays a critical role in judicial proceedings for migrants. Forensic analysis of ossification centers is the main evaluation method for age estimation, and ossification degree can be determined using computed tomography analysis. The purpose of this study is to investigate the applicability of CT (computed tomography) in the analysis of left scapula ossification centers, for forensic age estimation in Turkish society. Materials and Methods: We analyzed six ossification centers of the left scapula and these ossification centers are the coracoid, subcoracoid, coracoid apex, acromial, glenoid, and inferior angle ossification centers. A pediatric radiologist analyzed these six ossification centers of the scapula by using a staging method defined by Schmeling et al. in 2004. Two months after the first assessment, 20 randomly selected cases was reanalyzed by the first observer and by another pediatric radiologist. Correlation between the age and ossification stage was assessed using Spearman’s nonparametric correlation test. Linear regression analysis was performed using a backwards model. Cohen’s kappa coefficient was used for evaluating interobserver and intraobserver variability. Results: In this retrospective study, 397 (248 male and 149 female) cases were evaluated. Ages ranged between 7.1 and 30.9. The mean age was 19.83 ± 6.49. We determined a positive significant correlation between the age and the ossification stages of ossification centers analyzed in both sexes. In each ossification center, except inferior angle, all of the stage 1 and 2 cases in both sexes were under 18 years old. Intraobserver and interobserver evaluations showed that reproducibility and consistency of the method was relatively good. Conclusions: The present study indicated that CT analysis of scapula ossification centers might be helpful in forensic age assessment of living individuals and dry bones.