The accuracy of the anatomical method for stature estimation in Black South African females.
Forensic Sci Int. 2017 Jun 12;:
Authors: Brits D, Manger PR, Bidmos MA
The anatomical method is considered the most accurate stature estimation method, but investigation has shown that it continuously underestimates stature. This underestimation is believed to be related to the use of universal soft tissue correction factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of the soft tissue correction factors in a living population of Black South African females and to subsequently calculate a new soft tissue correction factor, specific for stature estimation in this population group. Thirty Black South African adult females voluntarily participated in this study and underwent a full body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. Living stature was measured with a stadiometer and total skeletal height (TSH) was calculated from the MRI measurements. Stature was estimated from the TSH of each participant using Fully’s (1956) , Raxter et al.’s (2006)  and Bidmos and Manger’s (2012)  methods. Results indicated strong, statistically significant positive correlations between living and estimated statures, however, paired t-tests revealed that living stature was significantly underestimated using Fully’s and Raxter et al.’s methods, while the method by Bidmos and Manger significantly overestimated stature. A lack of statistically significant correlations between soft tissue correction factors and the total skeletal height was found. Likewise, an absence of statistically significant correlations between age and the estimation error, with and without age adjustments were also observed. A new soft tissue correction factor, specific for stature estimation in Black South African females was calculated. The newly proposed regression equation presented improved stature estimation accuracies for this population group.
PMID: 28698061 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]