Volume 46, Issue 2 (March 2001)

    Postmortem Assessment of Fetal Diaphyseal Femoral Length: Validation of a Radiographic Methodology

    (Received 20 March 2000; accepted 12 May 2000)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Depending on the general condition of fetal remains, forensic specialists might face difficulties concerning age estimation. Reference tables and regression equations are helpful devices in this task, although they are generally applied for complete fetuses or fetal remains including soft tissues. However, the problem of age estimation stays for osseous remains, both for entire bones and ossified parts, since most of the reference tables come from ultrasonographic measurements, which are not easily reproducible on fetal osseous remains. Furthermore, the ultrasonographic measurements contain slight errors in comparison to the real anatomical ones. This study describes a radiographic protocol and a measurement technique that facilitate and improve bone measurements, and therefore, facilitate age estimation, too. A qualitative criterion, namely a clear-cut bony endplate, was defined and tested. Its reliability (repeatability and reproducibility) turned out to be good, showing nonsignificative differences to the threshold of 0.05, with average errors of 0.26 and 0.44 mm respectively. Moreover, concerning the test of eventual size differences between the right and left femurs showed a P value < 0.0001. The test of the qualitative criterion was based on the comparison of the radiographic in situ femur measurements and the radiographic measurements of the same bones after dissection. The results were satisfactory, since an average error of 0.58 mm was obtained, which did not give any significant differences to the threshold of 0.05. It was concluded that this methodology provides an easy and precise new measurement tool for forensic practice, and can allow us to establish some nonultrasonographic tables, which fit our population.


    Author Information:

    Bourliere-Najean, B
    Service de Radiologie Pédiatrique, CHU Timone, Marseille Cedex 05,

    Fredouille, C
    Service d'Anatomie Pathologique et Neuropathologique, CHU Timone, Marseille Cedex 05,

    Leonetti, G

    Piercecchi-Marti, MD
    Université de la Méditerranée, Faculté de Médecine, Service de Médecine Légale, Marseille Cedex 05,

    Panuel, M
    Service de Radiologie Pédiatrique, CHU Timone, Marseille Cedex 05,

    Dutour, O
    Université de la Méditerranée, Faculté de Médecine, Unité d'Anthropologie, Marseille Cedex 05,

    Adalian, P
    Université de la Méditerranée, Faculté de Médecine, Unité d'Anthropologie, Marseille Cedex 05,


    Stock #: JFS14951J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS14951J

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    Author
    Title Postmortem Assessment of Fetal Diaphyseal Femoral Length: Validation of a Radiographic Methodology
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30