Anat Biol Anthropol.  2020 Sep;33(3):107-115. 10.11637/aba.2020.33.3.107.

Assessment of Histomorphological Features of Tibia and Fibula for Age Estimation in Koreans

  • 1The Catholic Institute for Applied Anatomy · Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea
  • 2Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Keimyung University


Abstract : Estimation of age at death is one of the first and most important step with sex determination and stature estimation for individual identification in physical and forensic anthropologies. Recently, histomorphological methods have attempted to estimate age at death through the osteon. In particular, it is known that the long bones are less affected by external factors and are frequently found in a complete form, and the accuracy of age estimation is also high. The purpose of this study is to help estimate age of skeletal remains, which is found by developing equations to estimate age at death using the tibia and fibula extracted from the Korean cadavers. The right tibias and fibulas of 31 Korean cadavers were extracted in anatomy dissection at medical school, and then produced and photographed bone tissue slices. Number of intact osteon (Pi) and number of fragmentary osteon (Pf), osteon population density (OPD), average osteon area (OA), relative cortical area (RCA), cortical width (CW) of each sample was measured and statistically analyzed. Seven of all measurements of the tibia and fibula had statistically significant difference between sexes (p<0.05). Pi of the tibia in male and Pf, OPD, RCA of the fibula in female were statistically correlated with age. In simple regression analysis, RCA of the fibula in female had highest regression coefficient (0.62) and its standard error estimate (SEE) was 8 years. Equation at multiple regression analysis which was the tibia and fibula in male had 0.44 (R-squared value) and 11years (SEE). In female, regression coefficient was 0.91, SEE was 6 years. In this study, the results in female were higher than in male and in others. This study was the first attempt to estimate age at death and was proved the possibility of estimating age using the tibia and fibula in Korean. As a result of this study, it was found that equations suitable for sex and population-specific were needed to estimate the accurate age, using the tibia and fibula of skeletal remains in Koreans could help estimate age at death with high accuracy.


Age estimation; Identification; Histomorphometry; Tibia; Fibula
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