Application of the Iscan Method to Two- and Three-Dimensional Imaging of the Sternal End of the Right Fourth Rib
Age determination is a major field of interest in physical and forensic anthropology. Among the different methods based on macroscopic skeletal study, the Iscan method, which analyzes the sternal end of the right fourth rib, is one of the most reliable. We applied the Iscan method to two- and three-dimensional multislice computed tomography (MSCT) reconstructions of the sternal end of the right fourth rib on 39 ribs. The intra-observer variability on MSCT reconstructions was good (gamma coefficient equal to 0.86; value of the Krippendorff’s alpha reliability equal to 0.79); inter-observer variability on MSCT reconstructions was also good (gamma coefficient ranging from 0.82 to 0.88; value of the Krippendorff’s alpha reliability ranging from 0.78 to 0.86). We demonstrated excellent agreement between the results of analysis of bone samples and those of the two- and three-dimensional images, in particular regarding bone projections, morphology of the pit and of its rim. The accuracy of age estimation did not significantly differ between the Iscan method applied to dry bones and the same method applied to MSCT images. Determination of the Krippendorff’s alpha reliability coefficient for the inter-error method confirmed the agreement between phase estimations obtained with the two methods (ranging from 0.55 to 0.71). The real civil age was comprised in 21 cases out of 36 for assessment performed on dry bones and in 23 cases out of 36 on MSCT reconstructions, which represented 58.3% and 63.9%, respectively. Use of MSCT reconstructions in forensic anthropology offers many advantages: no bone preparation, no damage to bone material, and the possibility of application to living individuals.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Service de Médecine Légale, Hôpital de Rangueil, Avenue du Professeur Jean Poulhès, 31403 Toulouse Cedex 4, France. 2: Service de Radiologie Générale, Hôpital de Rangueil, Avenue du Professeur Jean Poulhès, 31403 Toulouse Cedex 4, France.
Publication date: March 1, 2008