Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Relationship of chronological age and sexual maturity with skeletal maturity by magnetic resonance imaging of the distal radial epiphysis in adolescent football players

Jaime Gallo, Jesús Bolívar, Óscar Sandoval, Jorge Osorio, Gabriel Dib



Although the grade of fusion of the left distal radial epiphysis (LDRE) observed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been linked to chronological age (CA), its relationship to Tanner stage of the genitals in the Latin American population is unknown.


To evaluate the relationship of CA and sexual maturity with skeletal maturity (SM) determined by MRI of the LDRE in adolescent football players from Medellin, Colombia.


Cross-sectional study that included 60 male football players with certified legal age between 12 and 18 years. Medical evaluation and MRI of the LDRE using a 1.5 T scanner was performed according to a described protocol. The image reading was performed by 3 blinded evaluators. SM was classified as: A: immature; B: developing; C: mature, and interand intra-observer variability was assessed.


Among the football players included in the study, the average body mass index and body fat were 19.6 ± 2.0 kg/m2 and 11.1 ± 1.2%, respectively. A correlation of CA and the Tanner stage of genital maturity with SM (Kendall’s Tau b 0.686 and 0.693, respectively; P < .001) was found. All players classified as stage C were 17 or older and Tanner stage V. The inter-observer and intraobserver agreement showed a kappa index of 0.36 (P < .001) and 0.60 (P < .001), respectively.


A relationship was found between CA and sexual maturity and SM by MRI of the LDRE in adolescent football players. Classification by stage of SM in 3 categories could be more practical and have implications for competition.

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