• Open Access

Does Mirror Imaging a Radiograph Affect Reliability of Age Assessment Using the Greulich and Pyle Atlas?


  • The preliminary findings of this research were presented as a poster at the 9th Annual Conference of the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO), September 14–16, 2010, in Cambridge, U.K.

Additional information and reprint requests:
Sue Black, Ph.D.
Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification
University of Dundee
MSI/WTB/JBC Complex Dow Street Dundee DD1 5EH
E-mail: s.m.black@dundee.ac.uk


Abstract:  Age estimation is routinely undertaken by comparing radiographs of the individual in question to published reference samples of individuals of known age. This study examines the reliability of age estimation utilizing the Greulich and Pyle atlas in relation to both left- and right-hand/wrist radiographs and explores whether reversing right-hand/wrist radiographs, so that they are in the same anatomical orientation as those images used in the atlas affects reliability. A total of 403 left-hand/wrist radiographs and 415 right-hand/wrist radiographs were age assessed using the Greulich and Pyle atlas. Analysis showed that there is no significant loss in reliability when radiographs of the right hand (women R2 = 0.887 and men R2 = 0.907) are utilized instead of the left (women R2 = 0.939 and men R2 = 0.940) or when they are assessed as mirror images to those printed in the reference atlas (reversed female left hand R2 = 0.929 and reversed male left hand R2 = 0.931).