Using PMCT of individuals of known age to test the Suchey–Brooks method of aging in Victoria, Australia

Felicity Hall, Shari L. Forbes, Samantha K. Rowbotham, Soren Blau

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The estimation of an individual’s age at death plays a critical role in the investigation of unidentified human remains. The Suchey–Brooks method, which involves the analysis of degenerative morphological changes in the pubic symphysis, is currently widely used to estimate age in adults. This study tested the applicability of the Suchey–Brooks method on a contemporary adult Australian (Victorian) subpopulation by observing three-dimensional volume-rendered postmortem computed tomographic (PMCT) reconstructions of the pubic symphysis of 204 individuals aged 15–100 years. Results showed the method was reliable for females (85% correct allocations) but not for males
(67% correct allocations). It is therefore recommended that extreme caution be used when applying the Suchey–Brooks method for estimating age at death of an individual in this subpopulation from PMCT images. The results suggest further investigation into alternate age estimation methods is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1782-1787
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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