ABSTRACT This study reports the results of a de novo classification and characterization of macroscopically perceivable bone alterations relating to the pathologic significance of rib alterations as noted in defleshed bones. We distinguish between nonspecific two-dimensional color alterations and three-dimensional surface modification which appears to have diagnostic significance. Color alterations were patchy in nature with brown being most prominent, followed by creamy, white and orange, but appear taphonomic in nature. Categorization of three dimensional alterations, e.g., periosteal reaction, bumps and holes, identifies which is specific for diagnosis of tuberculosis. Rib periosteal reaction is significantly more common among individuals with tuberculosis than those with non-tubercular pulmonary disease (Chi square = 33.75, p < 0.0001), cancer (Chi square = 5.82, p < 0.02), cardiac disease (Chi square = 7.404, p < 0.008), and others (Chi square = 63.19, p < 0.0001). This study explains past errors in recognition of the significance of rib alterations.
Cite this paper
Anson, C. , Rothschild, B. & Naples, V. (2012). Soft Tissue Contributions to Pseudopathology of Ribs. Advances in Anthropology, 2, 57-63. doi: 10.4236/aa.2012.22007.
 Anonymous (1959). The holy scriptures. According to Masoretic text. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America.
 Byers, S. N. (1998). The skeletal biology of the lower Mississippi River valley. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 26, 116.
 Crocker, B. (1972). Betty Crocker’s cookbook. New York: Golden Press.
 Davies, P. D., Humphries, M. J., Byfield, S. P., Nunn, A. J., Darbyshire, J. H., Cirtron, K. M., & Fox, W. (1984). Bone and joint tuberculosis. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 66B, 326 330.
 Glass, R. B., Norton, K. I., Mitre, S. A., & Kang, E. (2002). Pediatric ribs: A spectrum of abnormalities. RadioGraphics, 22, 87-104.
 Katzenberg, M. A. (1992). Changing diet and health in pre- and proto- historic Ontario. University of Pennsylvania MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archeology, 9, 23-31.
 Kelly, M. A., & El-Najjar, M. (1980). Natural variation and differential diagnosis of skeletal lesions. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 52, 153-167. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330520202
 Kelley, M. A., & Micozzi, M. S. (1984). Rib lesions and chronic pulmonary tuberculosis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 65, 381-386. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330650407
 Kunos, C. A., Simpson, S. W., Russell, K. F., & Hershkovitz, I. (1999). First rib metamorphosis: Its possible utility for human age-at-death estimation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 110, 303- 323.
 LaFond, E. M. (1958). An analysis of adult skeletal tuberculosis. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 40, 346-364.
 Molto, J. E. (1990). Differential diagnosis of rib lesions: A case study from Middle Woodland Sourthern Ontario circa 20 A.D. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 83, 439-447.
 Nathanson, L., & Cohen, W. (1941). A statistical and roentgen analysis of two hundred cases of bone and joint tuberculosis. Radiology, 36, 550-567.
 Pfeiffer, S. (1991). Rib lesions and new world tuberculosis. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 1, 191-198.
 Pineda, C., Coindreau, J., Vazquez, J., Nava, A. & Martinez-Lavin, M. (1999). The significance of rib notching in Takayasu arteritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 42, S211.
 Powell, M. L., & Eisenberg, L. E. (1998). Syphilis in Mound Builders’ bones: Treponematosis in the prehistoric southwest. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 26, 180.
 Qiu, S., Fyhrie, D. P., Palnitkar, S., & Rao, D. S. (2003). Histomorphiometric assessment of Haversian canal and osteocyte lacunae in different-sized osteons in human rib. Anatomical Record, 272A, 520- 525. doi:10.1002/ar.a.10058
 Resnick, D. (2002). Diagnosis of bone and joint disorders. Philadelphia: Saunders.
 Roberts, C., Lucy, D. & Manchester, K. (1994). Inflammatory lesions of ribs: An analysis of the terry collection. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 95, 169-182. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330950205
 Rose, J. C. (1985). Gone to a better land. Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Service, 25, 1-216.
 Rosencrantz, E. A., Priscitelli, A., & Bost, F. C. (1941). An analytical study of bone and joint lesions in relation to chronic pulmonary tuberculosis. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 23, 630-638.
 Rothschild, B. M., & Martin, L. D. (1993). Paleopathology: Disease in the fossil record. London: CRC Press.
 Rothschild, B. M., & Martin, L. D. (2006). Skeletal impact of disease. Albuquerque: New Mexico Museum of Natural History Press.
 Naples, V. L., & Rothschild, B. M. (2011). Do ribs actually have a bare area? A new analysis. Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 62, 368-373. doi:10.1016/j.jchb.2011.08.001
 Rothschild, B. M., & Rothschild, C. (1998). Recognition of hypertrophic osteoarthropathy in skeletal remains. Journal of Rheumatology, 25, 2221-2227.
 Rothschild, B. M., & Rothschild, C. (2003). Thermodynamic resolution of periosteal reaction and taphonomic change. Reumatismo, 55, 195- 201.
 Rothschild, B. M., & Woods, R. J. (1993). Implications of isolated osseous erosions related to population skeletal health. Historical Biology, 7, 21-28. doi:10.1080/10292389309380441
 Santos, A. L., & Roberts, C. A. (2001). A picture of tuberculosis in young Portuguese people in the Early 20th century: A multidisciplinary study of the skeletal and historical evidence. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 115, 38-50. doi:10.1002/ajpa.1054
 Schmidt, H., & Freyschmidt, J. (1993). Kohler/Zimmer borderlands of normal and early pathological findings in skeletal radiology (4th ed.). New York: Thieme.
 Sen, D. K. (1961). Skeletal tuberculosis associated with pulmonary tuberculosis. Journal of the Indian Medical Association, 36, 146-149.
 Takahashi, H., & Frost, H. M. (1966). Age and sex related changes in the amount of cortex of normal human ribs. Acta Orthopaedica Scan- dinavica, 37, 122-130. doi:10.3109/17453676608993272