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A Study on the Asymmetry of the Human Left and Right Pubic Symphyseal Surfaces Using High-Definition Data Capture and Computational Shape Methods

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This study used 3D laser scans of paired pubic symphyses for 88 documented White males.
The pubic symphysis is among the most commonly used bilateral age indicators. Because of potential differences between right and left sides, it is necessary to investigate within individual asymmetry, which can inflate age estimation error. Results from the current study were used to quantify the within individual asymmetry, evaluating whether one side produces a better age estimate. Relationships between the asymmetry and advanced age, weight, and stature were examined. This analysis indicates that the computational, shape based techniques are robust to asymmetry (>80 percent) of paired differences are within 10 years and >90 percent are within 15 years). For notably more asymmetric cases, differences in estimates were not associated with life history factors. Based on this study, either side can be used for age at death estimation by the computational methods. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019