Age estimation based on Willems method versus new country-specific method in South African black children.

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Age estimation based on Willems method versus new country-specific method in South African black children.

Int J Legal Med. 2017 Sep 18;:

Authors: Willems G, Lee SS, Uys A, Bernitz H, Cadenas de Llano-Pérula M, Fieuws S, Thevissen P

Abstract
AIM: The aims of our study were to develop new maturity scores for dental age estimation in South African black children according to the Willems method, which was developed based on Belgian Caucasian (BC) reference data (Willems et al. J Forensic Sci 46(4):893-895, 2001), and to compare age prediction performance of both methods.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 986 panoramic radiographs of healthy South African black (SAB) children (493 males and 493 females) in the age range of 4.14 to 14.99 years (mean age 10.06 years) were selected for obtaining developmental staging scores (according to Demirjian et al. Hum Biol 45(2):211-227, 1973). Willems BC methodology was applied to develop new country-specific maturity scores (Willems SAB). Age prediction performance of Willems BC and Willems SAB was compared.
RESULTS: On average, Willems BC renders acceptable results with an overestimation of chronological age of 0.06 years (SD 0.88 years) in SAB children. Compared to Willems SAB, the overall mean absolute error was slightly higher with Willems BC (0.62 and 0.68 years, respectively), but this was not significant in males. Also, the root mean squared error was marginally higher in Willems BC.
CONCLUSION: The new age prediction method developed in South African black children was found to be better compared to Willems BC, although the difference seems to be small and clinically not relevant, especially in males.

PMID: 28921164 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Investigation of metabolites for estimating blood deposition time.

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Investigation of metabolites for estimating blood deposition time.

Int J Legal Med. 2017 Aug 05;:

Authors: Lech K, Liu F, Davies SK, Ackermann K, Ang JE, Middleton B, Revell VL, Raynaud FJ, Hoveijn I, Hut RA, Skene DJ, Kayser M

Abstract
Trace deposition timing reflects a novel concept in forensic molecular biology involving the use of rhythmic biomarkers for estimating the time within a 24-h day/night cycle a human biological sample was left at the crime scene, which in principle allows verifying a sample donor’s alibi. Previously, we introduced two circadian hormones for trace deposition timing and recently demonstrated that messenger RNA (mRNA) biomarkers significantly improve time prediction accuracy. Here, we investigate the suitability of metabolites measured using a targeted metabolomics approach, for trace deposition timing. Analysis of 171 plasma metabolites collected around the clock at 2-h intervals for 36 h from 12 male participants under controlled laboratory conditions identified 56 metabolites showing statistically significant oscillations, with peak times falling into three day/night time categories: morning/noon, afternoon/evening and night/early morning. Time prediction modelling identified 10 independently contributing metabolite biomarkers, which together achieved prediction accuracies expressed as AUC of 0.81, 0.86 and 0.90 for these three time categories respectively. Combining metabolites with previously established hormone and mRNA biomarkers in time prediction modelling resulted in an improved prediction accuracy reaching AUCs of 0.85, 0.89 and 0.96 respectively. The additional impact of metabolite biomarkers, however, was rather minor as the previously established model with melatonin, cortisol and three mRNA biomarkers achieved AUC values of 0.88, 0.88 and 0.95 for the same three time categories respectively. Nevertheless, the selected metabolites could become practically useful in scenarios where RNA marker information is unavailable such as due to RNA degradation. This is the first metabolomics study investigating circulating metabolites for trace deposition timing, and more work is needed to fully establish their usefulness for this forensic purpose.

PMID: 28780758 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Contribution of magnetic resonance imaging of the wrist and hand to forensic age assessment.

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Contribution of magnetic resonance imaging of the wrist and hand to forensic age assessment.

Int J Legal Med. 2016 Jul;130(4):1121-8

Authors: Serin J, Rérolle C, Pucheux J, Dedouit F, Telmon N, Savall F, Saint-Martin P

Abstract
Forensic age estimation of living individuals is a controversial subject because of the imprecision of the available methods which leads to errors. Moreover, young persons are exposed to radiation, without diagnostic or therapeutic advantage. Recently, non-invasive imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been studied in this context. The aim of this work was to study if the analysis of wrist/hand MRI enabled determination of whether a subject was 18 years old. Two observers retrospectively analyzed metaphyseal-epiphyseal fusion of the distal epiphysis of the radius and the ulna and the base of the first metacarpus in wrist/hand MRI of living people between 9 and 25 years of age. A three-stage scoring system was applied to all epiphyses. Intra- and inter-observer variability was excellent. Staging of the distal radial epiphysis allowed the subjects to be correctly evaluated with regard to the 18-year-old threshold in more than 85 % of cases. Analysis of the radius alone was as good as the analysis of the three epiphyses together. Evaluation of the metaphyseal-epiphyseal fusion of the distal radius in wrist MRI gave good results in forensic age estimation. Wrist MRI could meet ethical expectations with regard to the link between the benefit and risk of practicing radiologic examination on individuals in this context.

PMID: 27025715 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Third molar maturity index (I3M) for assessing age of majority in a black African population in Botswana.

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Third molar maturity index (I3M) for assessing age of majority in a black African population in Botswana.

Int J Legal Med. 2016 Jul;130(4):1109-20

Authors: Cavrić J, Galić I, Vodanović M, Brkić H, Gregov J, Viva S, Rey L, Cameriere R

Abstract
Assessment of legal age, also known as age of majority, is a controversial issue as there are few body biomarkers or evidence during late adolescence differentiating a subject from being a minor or adult. The third molar was recognized as a suitable site for age examination in late adolescence. We analyzed the development of the left mandibular third molar by the third molar maturity index (I3M) and a specific cut-off value of I3M = 0.08, established by Cameriere et al. in 2008 and used it for discriminating between minors and adult black Africans from Gaborone, Botswana. A final sample of panoramic radiographs (OPTs) of 1294 people (582 males and 712 females) aged between 13 and 23 years was evaluated. The real age decreased as I3M gradually increased. There was no statistically significant difference in the third molar development evaluated using I3M between males and females (p > 0.05) across different I3M classes. Results of 2 × 2 contingency tables for different cut-off values indicated that I3M = 0.08 was useful in discriminating between adults and minors. Precisely, for I3M = 0.08, the values of accuracy or overall fraction of correctly classified were 0.91 in males with a 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) of 0.88 to 0.93 and 0.92 (95 % CI, 0.90 to 0.93) in females. Values of sensitivity of the test or the proportion of participants being 18 years and older were 0.88 (95 % CI, 0.87 to 0.90) in males and 0.88 (95 % CI, 0.90 to 0.93) in females, while values of specificity or proportion of individuals younger than 18 who have I3M <0.08 were 0.94 (95 % CI, 0.91 to 0.96) in males and 0.96 (95 % CI, 0.94 to 0.98) in females. Positive predictive values of the test, where the participants whose I3M <0.08 were adults, were 0.94 (95 % CI 0.91 to 0.96) in males and 0.97 (95 % CI, 0.94 to 0.98) in females, while negative predictive values of the test, where the participants whose I3M was ≥0.08 were minors, were 0.88 (95 % CI 0.85 to 0.90) in males and 0.97 (95 % CI, 0.94 to 0.98) in females. The likelihood ratios of the positive test (LR+) were 13.67 (95 % CI, 9.21 to 21.02) in males and 23.73 (95 % CI, 14.20 to 42.28) in females, while likelihood ratios of the negative test (LR-) were 0.12 (95 % CI 0.10 to 0.16) in males and 0.12 (95 % CI, 0.11 to 0.15) in females. Bayes post-test probabilities, p, were 0.94 (95 % CI 0.90 to 0.98) in males and 0.97 (95 %CI, 0.93 to 1.00) in females. These results indicate with high accuracy that I3M may be a useful alternative method in legal and forensic practice to discriminate individuals of black African origin who are around the legal adult age of 18 years in Botswana. Further studies should address the usefulness of this method and specific cut-off for different adolescent populations.

PMID: 26972694 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Computed tomography evaluation of the iliac crest apophysis: age estimation in living individuals.

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Computed tomography evaluation of the iliac crest apophysis: age estimation in living individuals.

Int J Legal Med. 2016 Jul;130(4):1101-7

Authors: Ekizoglu O, Inci E, Erdil I, Hocaoglu E, Bilgili MG, Kazimoglu C, Reisoglu A, Can IO

Abstract
Determination of the ossification properties of the iliac apophysis is important not only in the clinical evaluation of patients undergoing orthopedic surgery but also in age estimation studies for forensic purposes. The literature includes both anthropological and radiological (conventional radiography, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging modalities) investigations of the different staging systems used for these purposes. In this study, we assessed the utility of computed tomography (CT) of the iliac crest apophysis in estimating forensic age. CT scans of the iliac crest apophysis of 380 patients (187 females, 193 males, and 10-29 years of age) were evaluated according to the four-stage system. Further subclassification did not give data properly due to the reference length measurement of the iliac wing with CT. Thus, in our series, stage 2 was first seen in 12 years of age and stage 3 in those 14 years of age in both sexes and on both sides of the pelvis. Stage 4 was first seen in 17 years of both sexes but only on the right side; on the left side, it appeared in females 18 years of age and in males 17 years of age. Present data was found consistent with previous pelvic radiographic findings. First seen ages for stage 2 and 3 are 12 and 14 years respectively which presented valuable information for legally important age thresholds. However, disadvantages of CT, including high-dose radiation exposure to gonads, the difficulty of evaluating the iliac crest, and the age boundary of 17 years, could make this method infeasible, as compared with hand wrist and pelvic radiographic methods. CT of the iliac crest has probably a greater utility where preexisting CT scans of the pelvic region are available, and it may be considered as a supportive method for age-estimation purposes.

PMID: 26914804 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Age estimation based on pulp cavity/chamber volume of 13 types of tooth from cone beam computed tomography images.

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Age estimation based on pulp cavity/chamber volume of 13 types of tooth from cone beam computed tomography images.

Int J Legal Med. 2016 Jul;130(4):1159-67

Authors: Ge ZP, Yang P, Li G, Zhang JZ, Ma XC

Abstract
AIM: The aims of this study are to identify which type of tooth has the strong relationship between age and pulp cavity/chamber volume among 13 types of tooth from the same dentition and to determine whether the inclusion of multiple types of tooth may improve the accuracy of age estimation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images from 115 females and 125 males aged between 16 and 63 years were analyzed. The DICOM data of all the images were imported into ITK-SNAP 2.4 for the calculation of pulp cavity/chamber volumes. Logarithmic regression analysis and multiple linear regression analysis were applied to establish the relationship between age and pulp cavity/chamber volumes.
RESULTS: Among the 13 types of tooth, maxillary second molars have the largest R (2) (0.491, 0.642, and 0.498) and the smallest SEE (8.119, 6.754, and 8.022) in male, female, and pooled gender samples, respectively. The multiple linear regression analysis for the combination of multi-types of tooth indicated that a larger R (2) (0.627, 0.701, and 0.631) and smaller SEE (7.100, 6.258, and 6.970) than the counterpart calculated from the logarithmic regression analysis of a single type of tooth in male, female, and pooled gender samples, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The pulp chamber volume of the maxillary second molars has the largest correlation coefficient with age. Using multiple types of tooth may improve the accuracy of age estimation compared with only one type of tooth used.

PMID: 27221534 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Age estimation based on pelvic ossification using regression models from conventional radiography.

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Age estimation based on pelvic ossification using regression models from conventional radiography.

Int J Legal Med. 2016 Jul;130(4):1143-8

Authors: Zhang K, Dong XA, Fan F, Deng ZH

Abstract
To establish regression models for age estimation from the combination of the ossification of iliac crest and ischial tuberosity. One thousand three hundred and seventy-nine conventional pelvic radiographs at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University between January 2010 and June 2012 were evaluated retrospectively. The receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to measure the value of estimation of 18 years of age with the classification scheme for the iliac crest and ischial tuberosity. Regression analysis was performed, and formulas for calculating approximate chronological age according to the combination developmental status of the ossification for the iliac crest and ischial tuberosity were developed. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were above 0.9 (p < 0.001), indicating a good prediction of the grading systems, and the cubic regression model was found to have the highest R-square value (R (2) = 0.744 for female and R (2) = 0.753 for male). The present classification scheme for apophyseal iliac crest ossification and the ischial tuberosity may be used for age estimation. And the present established cubic regression model according to the combination developmental status of the ossification for the iliac crest and ischial tuberosity can be used for age estimation.

PMID: 27169673 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

DNA methylation in ELOVL2 and C1orf132 correctly predicted chronological age of individuals from three disease groups.

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DNA methylation in ELOVL2 and C1orf132 correctly predicted chronological age of individuals from three disease groups.

Int J Legal Med. 2017 Jul 19;:

Authors: Spólnicka M, Pośpiech E, Pepłońska B, Zbieć-Piekarska R, Makowska Ż, Pięta A, Karłowska-Pik J, Ziemkiewicz B, Wężyk M, Gasperowicz P, Bednarczuk T, Barcikowska M, Żekanowski C, Płoski R, Branicki W

Abstract
Improving accuracy of the available predictive DNA methods is important for their wider use in routine forensic work. Information on age in the process of identification of an unknown individual may provide important hints that can speed up the process of investigation. DNA methylation markers have been demonstrated to provide accurate age estimation in forensics, but there is growing evidence that DNA methylation can be modified by various factors including diseases. We analyzed DNA methylation profile in five markers from five different genes (ELOVL2, C1orf132, KLF14, FHL2, and TRIM59) used for forensic age prediction in three groups of individuals with diagnosed medical conditions. The obtained results showed that the selected age-related CpG sites have unchanged age prediction capacity in the group of late onset Alzheimer’s disease patients. Aberrant hypermethylation and decreased prediction accuracy were found for TRIM59 and KLF14 markers in the group of early onset Alzheimer’s disease suggesting accelerated aging of patients. In the Graves’ disease patients, altered DNA methylation profile and modified age prediction accuracy were noted for TRIM59 and FHL2 with aberrant hypermethylation observed for the former and aberrant hypomethylation for the latter. Our work emphasizes high utility of the ELOVL2 and C1orf132 markers for prediction of chronological age in forensics by showing unchanged prediction accuracy in individuals affected by three diseases. The study also demonstrates that artificial neural networks could be a convenient alternative for the forensic predictive DNA analyses.

PMID: 28725932 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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

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

Int J Legal Med. 2017 Jul 17;:

Authors: Zhang K, Fan F, Tu M, Cui JH, Li JS, Peng Z, Deng ZH

Abstract
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.

PMID: 28717963 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Stability of upper face sexual dimorphism in central European populations (Czech Republic) during the modern age.

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Stability of upper face sexual dimorphism in central European populations (Czech Republic) during the modern age.

Int J Legal Med. 2017 Jun 21;:

Authors: Bejdová Š, Dupej J, Krajíček V, Velemínská J, Velemínský P

Abstract
One of the most fundamental issues in forensic anthropology is the determination of sex and population affinity based on various skeletal elements. Therefore, we compared the sexual dimorphism of the upper facial skeleton from a recent Czech population (twenty-first century) with that of a population from Early Modern Age Bohemia (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries). Methods of geometric morphometrics were applied. According to the results, sexual dimorphism in terms of size, shape, and form was statistically significant in both populations. The best results of sex estimation originated from analyses of form. Thus, both size and shape differences should be taken into account for determination of the sex. The accuracy of prediction achieved 91.1% for individuals in the recent population and 87.5% for individuals from the early modern population. Only minor differences were found between sexual dimorphism in the studied populations. We conclude that sexual dimorphism of the upper facial skeleton is stable during the relatively short time period.

PMID: 28634680 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]