Bone Area Histomorphometry

Janna M. Andronowski, Christian Crowder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Quantifying the amount of cortical bone loss is one variable used in histological methods of adult age estimation. Measurements of cortical area tend to be subjective and additional information regarding bone loss is not captured considering cancellous bone is disregarded. We describe whether measuring bone area (cancellous + cortical area) rather than cortical area may improve histological age estimation for the sixth rib. Mid-shaft rib cross-sections (n = 114) with a skewed sex distribution were analyzed. Ages range from 16 to 87 years. Variables included: total cross-sectional area, cortical area, bone area, relative bone area, relative cortical area, and endosteal area. Males have larger mean total cross-sectional area, bone area, and cortical area than females. Females display a larger mean endosteal area and greater mean relative measure values. Relative bone area significantly correlates with age. The relative bone area variable will provide researchers with a less subjective and more accurate measure than cortical area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-493
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • age-at-death estimation
  • bone area
  • cancellous bone
  • cortical bone
  • forensic science
  • histomorphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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