Document Detail

Subadult health and disease in prehistoric Tonga, Polynesia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11102883     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This article focuses on the differential diagnosis of pathologic lesions recorded on the limbs and crania of 17 subadults from two pre-European burial mounds in Tonga, western Polynesia. All affected subadults were between the ages of 6 months and 3 years at death. The lesions described consist primarily of subperiosteal new bone deposition on the limbs and endocranial surface. However, the presence of cribra orbitalia in a number of individuals indicates concurrent iron-deficiency anaemia. A differential diagnosis of haematogenous osteomyelitis, congenital syphilis, yaws, scurvy, hypervitaminosis A, trauma, Caffey's disease, and iron-deficiency anaemia is discussed. It was concluded that the most likely cause for the lesions observed is a synergistic relation between infection (weanling diarrhoea, yaws) and metabolic disease (scurvy and possibly hypervitaminosis A). Trauma is not ruled out as contributing to the development of some pathologic lesions. It is concluded that, in the Pacific Islands at least, multiple causes for skeletal pathology in subadults should be considered rather than a single aetiology.
H R Buckley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of physical anthropology     Volume:  113     ISSN:  0002-9483     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.     Publication Date:  2000 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-15     Completed Date:  2001-02-15     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400654     Medline TA:  Am J Phys Anthropol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  481-505     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Age Determination by Teeth
Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / history
Bone Diseases / history*
Child, Preschool
Diagnosis, Differential
History, Ancient
Hyperostosis, Cortical, Congenital / history
Hypervitaminosis A / history
Osteomyelitis / history
Scurvy / history
Syphilis, Congenital / history
Wounds and Injuries / history
Yaws / history

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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