New method of age estimation from maxillary sutures closure in a Thai population

A. Sinthubua, N. Theera-Umpon, S. Auephanwiriyakul, S. Ruengdit, S. Das, P. Mahakkanukrauh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Age estimation is one of the major components of forensic identification. Cranial suture closure has long been used as indicator for age estimation. Maxillary sutures have been less studied for estimation of age at death because they vary in their timing of closure with age. The purpose of this study was to estimate age by examining 190 Thai skulls with age ranging between 15-93 years from Forensic Osteology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, and Chiang Mai University. Four parts of maxillary suture (incisive, anterior, transverse, and posterior sutures) were investigated the suture obliteration of each suture by computerizing from photograph. The suture were measured by pixel counting.The prediction model which based on the support vector machine (SVM) for regression or support vector regression (SVR) was utilized for data analysis. The results showed high correlation (R2 = 0.9086) between the predicted age and actual age. Plot between actual age group and predicted age in seven groups also revealed high correlation (R2 = 0.9434). These can be implied that we are able to use this SVR model to predict age at death using maxillary suture information.The interesting issue is to further apply this model in more cases to ensure the generalization of the finding. This study is the first attempt to estimate age at death using a new method based on novel analysis which considers a characteristic of relationship between maxillary suture closures with age that are not in linear form. The present study may contribute as a basis knowledge and method for further study of age estimation in archaeological and forensic anthropological contexts, especially when only skull or base of skull are found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e33-e37
JournalClinica Terapeutica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Age estimation
  • Maxillary suture
  • Thai population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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