Title: Geometrics Morphometrics in Craniofacial Skeletal Age Estimation - A Systematic Review”
Keywords:Geometric morphometrics, Age estimation, Skeletal age, Craniofacial skeletal age, Age determination by Skulls, Cranium, Calvaria, Calvarium.
Geometric morphometrics is a novel statistical shape based technique used as an additional approach to the currently used methods in forensics for the assessment of age. Various craniofacial units are used for the estimation of age using this technique. The aim of this systematic review was to assess if Geometric Morphometrics is an accurate and reliable method in craniofacial skeletal age estimation. A literature search was conducted for cross-sectional studies on geometric morphometrics in craniofacial skeletal age estimation using various search engines such as Pubmed, Google Scholar, and Scopus using specific MESH terms. AQUA (Anatomical Quality Assessment) tool was used for the quality assessment. A total of 4 articles were included for qualitative synthesis as they met the objectives of this review. The results of all the included studies suggested that geometric morphometrics can be used for craniofacial skeletal age estimation. The centroid size calculated using digitized images or CBCT scanned images is said to be the highest predictor of age.This systematic review summarises the merits and demerits of this technique and suggests that it is rapid and accurate method for age estimation even in instances of single skeletal remains of craniofacial units and can be performed on a digitized image or a CBCT scanned images. However, further studies are needed to derive reliable data and meta-analysis can be performed effectively.