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A minimum data set approach to post-mortem computed tomography reporting for anthropological biological profiling

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Alison L. Brough
  • Bruno Morgan
  • Claire Robinson
  • Sue Black
  • Craig Cunningham
  • Catherine Adams
  • Guy N. Rutty
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology
Issue number4
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)504-512
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Anthropological examination of bones is routinely undertaken in medico-legal investigations to establish an individual’s biological profile, particularly their age. This often requires the removal of soft tissue from bone (de-fleshing), which, especially when dealing with the recently deceased, is a time consuming and invasive procedure. Recent advances in multi-detector computed tomography have made it practical to rapidly acquire high-resolution morphological skeletal information from images of “fleshed” remains. The aim of this study was to develop a short standard form, created from post-mortem computed tomography images, that contains the minimum image-set required to anthropologically assess an individual. The proposed standard forms were created for 31 juvenile forensic cases with known age-at-death, spanning the full age range of the developing human. Five observers independently used this form to estimate age-at-death. All observers estimated age in all cases, and all estimations were within the accepted ranges for traditional anthropological and odontological assessment. This study supports the implementation of this approach in forensic radiological practice.