Skeletal age assessment
Performing skeletal age assessment is an important part of the diagnostic and management pathway in children with a variety of growth and endocrine disorders. It is used in the evaluation of children who are on growth hormone therapy or of children who present in delayed or advanced stages of puberty.
- the most common and widely accepted method for assessing skeletal age is to perform a plain film of the left hand and wrist
- the appearances of the carpal bones, metacarpal, phalanges, radius and ulna are compared to standardised versions in one of two main atlases
- the Greulich & Pyle atlas presents a single standardised image for a range of ages of each gender
- the Tanner-Whitehouse atlas involves the scoring of each carpal bone, the radius and ulna leading to a total score, from which age can be estimated