Anthropologists are frequently required to confirm or exclude the human origin of skeletal remains; DNA and protein radioimmunoassays are useful in confirming the human origin of bone fragments but are not always successful. Histology may be the solution, but the young subadult structure could create misinterpretation. Histological tests were conducted on femur and skull of 31 human subjects. Each sample was observed focusing on presence or absence of fibrous bone, lamellar bone, radial lamellar bone, plexiform bone, reticular pattern, osteon banding, Haversian bone, primary osteons, secondary osteon and osteon fragments. Samples were divided into five age classes; 1 (<1 year), 2 (1–5 years), 3 (6–10 years), 4 (11–15 years) and 5 (16–20 years). Regarding femurs, class 1 presented the following: 87.5 % fibrous bone, 37.5 % plexiform bone, 12.5 % reticular pattern and 12.5 % lamellar bone radially oriented. Class 2 showed 37.5 % of fibrous bone, 12.5 % of reticular pattern and 37.5 % of osteon banding. In the higher age classes, the classical human structures, lamellar bone and osteons were frequently visible, except for one case of reticular pattern, generally considered a distinctive non-human structure. The situation appeared different for the skull, where there was a lack of similar information, both in human and non-human. An analysis of the percentage of lamellar bone and osteons was conducted on femur and skull fragments. A trend of increase of primary osteon number and a decrease of the lamellar bone area has been detected in the femur. The present study has therefore shed some light on further pitfalls in species determination of subadult bone.

Histological determination of the human origin from dry bone : a cautionary note for subadults / G. Caccia, F. Magli, V.M. Tagi, D.G.A. Porta, M. Cummaudo, N. Márquez-Grant, C. Cattaneo. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0937-9827. - 130:1(2016), pp. 299-307. [10.1007/s00414-015-1271-6]

Histological determination of the human origin from dry bone : a cautionary note for subadults

G. Caccia;V.M. Tagi;D.G.A. Porta;M. Cummaudo;C. Cattaneo
2016

Abstract

Anthropologists are frequently required to confirm or exclude the human origin of skeletal remains; DNA and protein radioimmunoassays are useful in confirming the human origin of bone fragments but are not always successful. Histology may be the solution, but the young subadult structure could create misinterpretation. Histological tests were conducted on femur and skull of 31 human subjects. Each sample was observed focusing on presence or absence of fibrous bone, lamellar bone, radial lamellar bone, plexiform bone, reticular pattern, osteon banding, Haversian bone, primary osteons, secondary osteon and osteon fragments. Samples were divided into five age classes; 1 (<1 year), 2 (1–5 years), 3 (6–10 years), 4 (11–15 years) and 5 (16–20 years). Regarding femurs, class 1 presented the following: 87.5 % fibrous bone, 37.5 % plexiform bone, 12.5 % reticular pattern and 12.5 % lamellar bone radially oriented. Class 2 showed 37.5 % of fibrous bone, 12.5 % of reticular pattern and 37.5 % of osteon banding. In the higher age classes, the classical human structures, lamellar bone and osteons were frequently visible, except for one case of reticular pattern, generally considered a distinctive non-human structure. The situation appeared different for the skull, where there was a lack of similar information, both in human and non-human. An analysis of the percentage of lamellar bone and osteons was conducted on femur and skull fragments. A trend of increase of primary osteon number and a decrease of the lamellar bone area has been detected in the femur. The present study has therefore shed some light on further pitfalls in species determination of subadult bone.
Histology; Osteon; Anthropology; Species determination
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
13-nov-2015
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/426349
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