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The periosteum dilemma in bioarcheology: Normal growth or pathological condition? – 3D discriminating microscopic approach

Abstract : Periosteal reactions are frequently used as a proxy for past populations' health. However, macroscopic evidence of periosteal activity observed on infant's dry bones can be difficult to interpret in terms of normal growth process or pathological changes. This could lead to over-interpretation of a poor health status during childhood in past populations. The aim of our study is to propose new distinctive micro-morphological criteria to differentiate between non-adult dry bones presenting physiological sub-periosteal bone growth and periosteal reaction due to pathological conditions. We sampled 12 perinatal human tibiae from two osteoarcheological collections and proceeded a 3D microstructural analysis of the canal network of cortical bone using micro-CT. 3D canal network organization in cortical bone allowed us to distinguish physiological from pathological periosteal reactions. Moreover, our study revealed different types of organization of the cortical bone microstructure corresponding to various stages of bone remodeling. This exploratory study shows the advantages of a non-destructive microscopic analysis using 3D imaging of the cortical canal network organization in order to distinguish between physiological and pathological bone production during early growth. This will contribute to a better understanding of past populations' epidemiology.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02162366
Contributor : Hélène Coqueugniot <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 3:46:11 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 3:05:39 AM

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Charlotte Rittemard, Antony Colombo, Pascal Desbarats, Bruno Dutailly, Olivier Dutour, et al.. The periosteum dilemma in bioarcheology: Normal growth or pathological condition? – 3D discriminating microscopic approach. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Elsevier, 2019, 24, pp.236-243. ⟨10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.12.012⟩. ⟨halshs-02162366⟩

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