Applicability of T1-weighted MRI in the assessment of forensic age based on the epiphyseal closure of the humeral head

Oguzhan Ekizoglu, Ercan Inci, Suna Ors, Ismail Eralp Kacmaz, Can Doruk Basa, Ismail Ozgur Can, Elena Kranioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work investigates the value of magnetic resonance imaging analysis of proximal epiphyseal fusion in research examining the growth and development of the humerus and its potential utility in establishing forensic age estimation. In this study, 428 proximal humeral epiphyses (patient age, 12–30 years) were evaluated with T1-weighted turbo spin echo (T1 TSE) sequences in coronal oblique orientation on shoulder MRI images. A scoring system was created following a combination of the Schmeling and Kellinghaus methods. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between age and ossification stage of the proximal humeral epiphysis (all subjects: rho = 0.664, p < 0.001; males: 0.631, p < 0.001; females: rho =0.651, p < 0.001). The intra- and inter-observer reliability assessed using Cohen’s kappa statistic was κ = 0.898 and κ = 0.828, respectively. The earliest age of epiphysis closure was 17 years for females and 18 years for males. MRI of the proximal humeral epiphysis can be considered advantageous for forensic age estimation of living individuals in a variety of situations, ranging from monitoring public health to estimating the age of illegal immigrants/asylum seekers, minors engaged in criminal activities, and illegal participants in competitive sports, without the danger of radiation exposure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalInternational journal of legal medicine
Early online date26 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2018


  • age estimation
  • proximal numeral epiphysis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging


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