Age estimation by assessing the vertebral osteophytes with the aid of 3D CT imaging

Kacar E., Unlu E., Beker-Acay M., Balcik C., Gultekin M. A., Kocak U., ...More

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol.49, no.4, pp.449-458, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00450618.2016.1167241
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.449-458
  • Keywords: vertebral osteophyte, multidetector computed tomography, three-dimensional imaging, age determination by skeleton, sex determination by skeleton, POPULATION
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


The primary objective of this study was to assess the effect of age and sex on the severity and localization of osteophyte formation from three-dimensional (3D) volume rendered (VR) multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) images of thoracolumbar vertebrae. 3D VR MDCT images of thoracolumbar vertebrae of 564 adult living individuals (285 female and 279 male) with ages ranging from 20 to 84years were studied. The study population was divided into seven groups according to age, and the severity of osteophytosis scored using a scale from 0 to 4 for each vertebra. Osteophyte scores were significantly correlated with age between 40 and 70years of age in both males and females. Of the four vertebral regions (upper, middle, and lower thoracic, lumbar) the severity was highest in the middle thoracic region between 20 and 70years of age and in the lower thoracic region between 70 and 90years. Lower thoracic vertebrae presented a significant sex difference. The localisation and severity of osteophytosis varies with age and shows sexual dimorphism. Our findings will be useful for forensic work in age and sex determination.