Ratheesh Punnath Thadathil1, Priyatha Ponnappan2
Estimation of age at death is one of the demographic characteristics that has extensively been studied by anthropologists, which has immense forensic importance. Age is a primary identification characteristic of an individual. The various methods employed in age estimation includes odontology, ossification centers, radiological examination, age related changes in bones and various regression formulas, etc.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The present study is undertaken for the estimation of age from morphological examination of thyroid cartilage for a period of one year at Department of Forensic Medicine, Kozhikode. The study samples included thyroid cartilages from the dead bodies of 200 males and 200 females subjected to post mortem examination. The age of the study sample was taken from the data provided by the police in the requisition for post mortem examination. The observations were statistically evaluated.
The estimation of age from thyroid cartilage from morphological features includes gross examination by serial sectioning for ossification centers, length and breadth of alae, angle between alae and weight of the cartilage and mathematical calculation of these values.
However, none of the method stands as a gold standard as a single index as there exists considerable variations between individuals and populations. Hence, combination of different methods are often preferred for more accurate estimation of age. Thyroid cartilage has been used since ages for estimation of age using the parameters like ossification center, calcification, etc.