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Sample records for postmortem forensic toxicology

  1. The Second Seven Years of the FAA’s Postmortem Forensic Toxicology Proficiency-Testing Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-01

    large number of participants, but some false positives of concern were reported, as some of them were abused drugs . Some of the false positives would...challenge survey samples (12 urine , 9 blood, and 7 tissue homogenate) with/without alcohols/volatiles, drugs , drug metabolites, and/or putrefactive...The Second Seven Years of the FAA’s Postmortem Forensic Toxicology Proficiency- Testing Program Arvind K. Chaturvedi Kristi J. Craft Patrick S

  2. Forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Drummer, Olaf H

    2010-01-01

    Forensic toxicology has developed as a forensic science in recent years and is now widely used to assist in death investigations, in civil and criminal matters involving drug use, in drugs of abuse testing in correctional settings and custodial medicine, in road and workplace safety, in matters involving environmental pollution, as well as in sports doping. Drugs most commonly targeted include amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine and the opiates, but can be any other illicit substance or almost any over-the-counter or prescribed drug, as well as poisons available to the community. The discipline requires high level skills in analytical techniques with a solid knowledge of pharmacology and pharmacokinetics. Modern techniques rely heavily on immunoassay screening analyses and mass spectrometry (MS) for confirmatory analyses using either high-performance liquid chromatography or gas chromatography as the separation technique. Tandem MS has become more and more popular compared to single-stage MS. It is essential that analytical systems are fully validated and fit for the purpose and the assay batches are monitored with quality controls. External proficiency programs monitor both the assay and the personnel performing the work. For a laboratory to perform optimally, it is vital that the circumstances and context of the case are known and the laboratory understands the limitations of the analytical systems used, including drug stability. Drugs and poisons can change concentration postmortem due to poor or unequal quality of blood and other specimens, anaerobic metabolism and redistribution. The latter provides the largest handicap in the interpretation of postmortem results.

  3. A forensic toxicological dilemma: the interpretation of post-mortem concentrations of central acting analgesics.

    PubMed

    Daldrup, Th

    2004-06-10

    Dora V., a 88-year-old pensioner suffering from a hiatus hernia, died at the home of an orthopaedist and his wife, an anaesthetist, immediately after she had received a dose of 300 mg pethidine via intravenous infusion in a timeframe of about 90 min. One day before her death a befriended notary of the couple visited Dora V. and obtained a blank signature. After her death, a will was forged using this signature, rendering the couple sole heirs of Dora V.'s estate with a value of several million euros. Post-mortem toxicology was performed in three different institutes of legal medicine. The concentrations of pethidine in peripheral venous blood were between 6.1 and 6.5mg/l and 9.5 and 17.2mg/kg in brain. Pharmacokinetic calculation confirms the given dose. There was no doubt that the cause of death was acute pethidine intoxication. The accused couple claimed that this dose of pethidine was indicated to relief pain, and as the pathologists said in their expert opinions that the hiatus hernia could explain her death, the court had to acquit the accused. This very special case demonstrates that preconceived murder of a sick person with suitable analgesics cannot be proven--at least not with the methods available to forensic toxicology and pathology. This has to be taken into consideration if euthanasia will be legalised under special circumstances.

  4. Postmortem toxicology of carbamazepine.

    PubMed

    Klys, Malgorzata; Bystrowska, Beata; Bujak-Gizycka, Beata

    2003-01-01

    The study focuses on a series of 16 fatal cases in which carbamazepine and its two major metabolites (10,11-epoxide and 10,11-dihydroxycarbamazepine) were detected in body fluids and tissues collected at autopsy. The drug may be implicated in a number of deaths; however, most of these are multiple-drug intoxications with a particular contribution of ethanol. The investigations concerning toxicological findings are a source of toxicological postmortem data and show the differences in metabolism rate as depending on the concentration level of carbamazepine and xenobiotics found in the autopsy specimen during the postmortem investigation of a body.

  5. Cannabinoids in postmortem toxicology.

    PubMed

    Lemos, Nikolas P; Ingle, Eric A

    2011-09-01

    Cannabinoids are often excluded from postmortem toxicology screens due to their ubiquitous nature, interpretative difficulties and unanswered questions regarding their postmortem redistribution. In this study, we review 30 postmortem cases where a drug screen gave a positive cannabinoids result and a confirmation identified Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 11-hydroxy-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), and/or 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) in peripheral (BL-P) or cardiac/central blood (BL-C) and/or urine (UR). Had cannabinoids not been included in these toxicologic evaluations, incomplete or erroneous inferences would have been drawn in a substantial number of cases regarding cause/manner of death. THC was detected in 28 BL-C and in all 30 BL-P. THC and THC-COOH were confirmed present in 2 and 23 UR, respectively. 11-OH-THC was detected in 4 BL-C, 6 BL-P, and 0 UR. The mean THC concentrations in BL-C and BL-P were 8.0 and 15.8 ng/mL, respectively. The mean THC-COOH concentrations in BL-C and BL-P were 55.2 and 60.6 ng/mL, respectively. The mean 11-OH-THC concentrations in BL-C and BL-P were 17.0 and 12.5 ng/mL, respectively. Postmortem interval (PMI) for each case was determined and evaluated in relation to BL-C/BL-P concentration ratios with THC-COOH exhibiting a possible trend. This study is the first of its kind and demonstrates the usefulness of cannabinoid analyses as part of death investigations. Furthermore, it provides distribution data that will improve the ability of toxicologists and pathologists to evaluate cannabinoid concentrations in human postmortem specimens.

  6. Principles and procedures in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Wyman, John F

    2012-09-01

    The principles and procedures employed in a modern forensic toxicology lab are detailed in this review. Aspects of Behavioral and Postmortem toxicology, including certification of analysts and accreditation of labs, chain of custody requirements, typical testing services provided, rationale for specimen selection, and principles of quality assurance are discussed. Interpretation of toxicology results in postmortem specimens requires the toxicologist and pathologist to be cognizant of drug-drug interactions, drug polymorphisms and pharmacogenomics, the gross signs of toxic pathology, postmortem redistribution, confirmation of systemic toxicity in suspected overdoses, the possibility of developed tolerance, and the effects of decomposition on drug concentration.

  7. Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methodology in forensic toxicology: modeling postmortem redistribution of structurally diverse drugs using multivariate statistics.

    PubMed

    Giaginis, Costas; Tsantili-Kakoulidou, Anna; Theocharis, Stamatios

    2009-09-10

    Postmortem redistribution (PMR) constitutes a multifaceted process, which renders the analytical results of drug concentrations inaccurate to be interpreted by forensic toxicologists. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methodology could serve as an effective tool to estimate the ability of drugs to redistribute across tissue barriers during postmortem period on the basis of their molecular, physicochemical and structural properties. In this aspect, multivariate data analysis (MVDA) was applied to a set of 77 structurally diverse drugs. PMR data expressed by the central:peripheral concentration ratio (C:P ratio) was taken from the literature. An adequate and robust QSAR model (R(2)=0.65, Q(2)=0.56, RMSEE=0.34) was established for 59 (77%) out of 77 drugs. Although the derived QSAR model presented limited applicability, it provided an informative illustration of the contributing molecular, physicochemical and structural properties in PMR process. Drugs with strong basic properties and enhanced molecular size, flexibility, lipophilicity and number of halogens were found to be susceptible to increased PMR. Due to the high complexity of PMR process, further QSAR studies need to focus on structurally related drugs to develop more specific models, which could serve as alternative tools to evaluate PMR for different chemical classes.

  8. Overview Of Forensic Toxicology, Yesterday, Today And In The Future.

    PubMed

    Chung, Heesun; Choe, Sanggil

    2017-06-22

    The scope of forensic toxicology has been tremendously expanded over the past 50 years. From two general sections forensic toxicology can be further classified into 8-9 sections. The most outstanding improvement in forensic toxicology is the changes brought by instrumental development. The field of forensic toxicology was revolutionized by the development of immunoassay and bench-top GC-MS in the 1980's and LC-MS-MS in 2000's. Detection of trace amounts of analytes has allowed the use of new specimens such as hair and oral fluids, along with blood and urine. Over a longer period of time, continuous efforts have been made to efficiently extract and separate drug and poison from biological fluids. International endeavors to develop high quality standards and guidelines for drugs and poisons in biological specimens and to promote them in order to increase reliability of laboratories are also part of the recent advancement of forensic toxicology. Interpretation of postmortem toxicology encompasses various factors including postmortem redistribution and stability. Considering the recent trend, the interpretation of toxicological results should account for autopsy findings, crime scene information, and related medical history. The fields of forensic toxicology will continuously develop to improve analysis of target analytes from various specimens, quality assurance program, and results interpretation. In addition, the development of analytical techniques will also contribute further advancement of forensic toxicology. The societies of forensic toxicologists, such as TIAFT, will play an important role for the advancement of forensic toxicology by collaborating and sharing ideas between toxicologists from both developed and developing countries. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  9. Postmortem bone marrow analysis in forensic science: study of 73 cases and review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Tattoli, Lucia; Tsokos, Michael; Sautter, Julia; Anagnostopoulos, Joannis; Maselli, Eloisa; Ingravallo, Giuseppe; Delia, Mario; Solarino, Biagio

    2014-01-01

    In forensic sciences, bone marrow (BM) is an alternative matrix in postmortem toxicology because of its good resistance to autolysis and contaminations. Nevertheless, few studies have been focused on postmortem BM morphological changes after pathological stimuli. We examined 73 BM samples from forensic autopsies; causes of death were both natural and traumatic. BM samples were collected from the sternum by needle aspiration and biopsy; in selected cases, immunohistochemistry was performed. Few autolytic changes were found; BM cellularity decreased with increasing age and postmortem interval. Notable cell changes were detected in 45 cases (61.64%): neoplastic (n=4), and non-neoplastic BM findings (n=41), including multiorgan failure/sepsis (n=26), myelodisplastic-like conditions (n=11), and anaphylactic reactions (n=4). The results showed that BM cellularity supported circumstantial and autopsy findings, suggesting that BM samples could be a useful tool in forensic science applications. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Modern Instrumental Methods in Forensic Toxicology*

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael L.; Vorce, Shawn P.; Holler, Justin M.; Shimomura, Eric; Magluilo, Joe; Jacobs, Aaron J.; Huestis, Marilyn A.

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews modern analytical instrumentation in forensic toxicology for identification and quantification of drugs and toxins in biological fluids and tissues. A brief description of the theory and inherent strengths and limitations of each methodology is included. The focus is on new technologies that address current analytical limitations. A goal of this review is to encourage innovations to improve our technological capabilities and to encourage use of these analytical techniques in forensic toxicology practice. PMID:17579968

  11. State of the art in bile analysis in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Bévalot, F; Cartiser, N; Bottinelli, C; Guitton, J; Fanton, L

    2016-02-01

    In forensic toxicology, alternative matrices to blood are useful in case of limited, unavailable or unusable blood sample, suspected postmortem redistribution or long drug intake-to-sampling interval. The present article provides an update on the state of knowledge for the use of bile in forensic toxicology, through a review of the Medline literature from 1970 to May 2015. Bile physiology and technical aspects of analysis (sampling, storage, sample preparation and analytical methods) are reported, to highlight specificities and consequences from an analytical and interpretative point of view. A table summarizes cause of death and quantification in bile and blood of 133 compounds from more than 200 case reports, providing a useful tool for forensic physicians and toxicologists involved in interpreting bile analysis. Qualitative and quantitative interpretation is discussed. As bile/blood concentration ratios are high for numerous molecules or metabolites, bile is a matrix of choice for screening when blood concentrations are low or non-detectable: e.g., cases of weak exposure or long intake-to-death interval. Quantitative applications have been little investigated, but small molecules with low bile/blood concentration ratios seem to be good candidates for quantitative bile-based interpretation. Further experimental data on the mechanism and properties of biliary extraction of xenobiotics of forensic interest are required to improve quantitative interpretation. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. [Continuous challenges in Japanese forensic toxicology practice: strategy to address specific goals].

    PubMed

    Kageura, Mitsuyoshi

    2002-09-01

    In this paper, the status quo of forensic toxicology in Japan and the West is surveyed and a strategy to address future goals of Japanese forensic toxicology is proposed. Forensic toxicology in the West consists of three main areas--post-mortem forensic toxicology, human-performance forensic toxicology and forensic urine drug testing. In Japan, post-mortem forensic toxicology is practiced in university forensic medicine departments while most of the human-performance forensic toxicology is carried out in police laboratories. However, at least at present, strictly controlled workplace urine drug testing is not being performed, despite the abuse of drugs even by uniformed members of the National Defence Forces and police. For several years, the author has been introducing Western forensic toxicology guidelines and recommendations, translated into Japanese with the help of Western forensic toxicologists, to Japanese forensic toxicologists. Western forensic toxicology practice is at an advanced stage, whereas Japanese practice is in a critical condition and holds many problems awaiting solution, as exemplified by the urine drug testing in police laboratories. There is never any sample left for re-examination by the defence in all cases, though the initial volume of the urine sample available for examination is 30-50 ml. Only one organisation carries out everything from sampling to reporting and, in addition, the parent drug and its metabolites are not quantified. It is clear that the police laboratories do not work within good laboratory practice guidelines, nor do they have quality manuals or standard operating procedures manuals. A basic change in Japanese forensic toxicology practice is now essential. The author strongly recommends that, first of all, Japanese toxicologists should prepare forensic toxicology guidelines based on the Western models. The guidelines would progress the following objectives for forensic toxicology laboratories: 1) to have documented good

  13. Postmortem diagnosis and toxicological validation of illicit substance use

    PubMed Central

    Lehrmann, E; Afanador, ZR; Deep-Soboslay, A; Gallegos, G; Darwin, WD; Lowe, RH; Barnes, AJ; Huestis, MA; Cadet, JL; Herman, MM; Hyde, TM; Kleinman, JE; Freed, WJ

    2008-01-01

    The present study examines the diagnostic challenges of identifying ante-mortem illicit substance use in human postmortem cases. Substance use, assessed by clinical case history reviews, structured next-of-kin interviews, by general toxicology of blood, urine, and/or brain, and by scalp hair testing, identified 33 cocaine, 29 cannabis, 10 phencyclidine and 9 opioid cases. Case history identified 42% cocaine, 76% cannabis, 10% phencyclidine, and 33% opioid cases. Next-of-kin interviews identified almost twice as many cocaine and cannabis cases as Medical Examiner (ME) case histories, and were crucial in establishing a detailed lifetime substance use history. Toxicology identified 91% cocaine, 68% cannabis, 80% phencyclidine, and 100% opioid cases, with hair testing increasing detection for all drug classes. A cocaine or cannabis use history was corroborated by general toxicology with 50% and 32% sensitivity, respectively, and with 82% and 64% sensitivity by hair testing. Hair testing corroborated a positive general toxicology for cocaine and cannabis with 91% and 100% sensitivity, respectively. Case history corroborated hair toxicology with 38% sensitivity for cocaine and 79% sensitivity for cannabis, suggesting that both case history and general toxicology underestimated cocaine use. Identifying ante-mortem substance use in human postmortem cases are key considerations in case diagnosis and for characterization of disorder-specific changes in neurobiology. The sensitivity and specificity of substance use assessments increased when ME case history was supplemented with structured next-of-kin interviews to establish a detailed lifetime substance use history, while comprehensive toxicology, and hair testing in particular, increased detection of recent illicit substance use. PMID:18201295

  14. Aspects of matrix effects in applications of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to forensic and clinical toxicology--a review.

    PubMed

    Peters, Frank T; Remane, Daniela

    2012-06-01

    In the last decade, liquid chromatography coupled to (tandem) mass spectrometry (LC-MS(-MS)) has become a versatile technique with many routine applications in clinical and forensic toxicology. However, it is well-known that ionization in LC-MS(-MS) is prone to so-called matrix effects, i.e., alteration in response due to the presence of co-eluting compounds that may increase (ion enhancement) or reduce (ion suppression) ionization of the analyte. Since the first reports on such matrix effects, numerous papers have been published on this matter and the subject has been reviewed several times. However, none of the existing reviews has specifically addressed aspects of matrix effects of particular interest and relevance to clinical and forensic toxicology, for example matrix effects in methods for multi-analyte or systematic toxicological analysis or matrix effects in (alternative) matrices almost exclusively analyzed in clinical and forensic toxicology, for example meconium, hair, oral fluid, or decomposed samples in postmortem toxicology. This review article will therefore focus on these issues, critically discussing experiments and results of matrix effects in LC-MS(-MS) applications in clinical and forensic toxicology. Moreover, it provides guidance on performance of studies on matrix effects in LC-MS(-MS) procedures in systematic toxicological analysis and postmortem toxicology.

  15. [Reflection of estimating postmortem interval in forensic entomology and the Daubert standard].

    PubMed

    Xie, Dan; Peng, Yu-Long; Guo, Ya-Dong; Cai, Ji-Feng

    2013-08-01

    Estimating postmortem interval (PMI) is always the emphasis and difficulty in forensic practice. Forensic entomology plays a significant indispensable role. Recently, the theories and technologies of forensic entomology are increasingly rich. But many problems remain in the research and practice. With proposing the Daubert standard, the reliability and accuracy of estimation PMI by forensic entomology need more demands. This review summarizes the application of the Daubert standard in several aspects of ecology, quantitative genetics, population genetics, molecular biology, and microbiology in the practice of forensic entomology. It builds a bridge for basic research and forensic practice to provide higher accuracy for estimating postmortem interval by forensic entomology.

  16. Essentials of forensic post-mortem MR imaging in adults.

    PubMed

    Ruder, T D; Thali, M J; Hatch, G M

    2014-04-01

    Post-mortem MR (PMMR) imaging is a powerful diagnostic tool with a wide scope in forensic radiology. In the past 20 years, PMMR has been used as both an adjunct and an alternative to autopsy. The role of PMMR in forensic death investigations largely depends on the rules and habits of local jurisdictions, availability of experts, financial resources, and individual case circumstances. PMMR images are affected by post-mortem changes, including position-dependent sedimentation, variable body temperature and decomposition. Investigators must be familiar with the appearance of normal findings on PMMR to distinguish them from disease or injury. Coronal whole-body images provide a comprehensive overview. Notably, short tau inversion-recovery (STIR) images enable investigators to screen for pathological fluid accumulation, to which we refer as "forensic sentinel sign". If scan time is short, subsequent PMMR imaging may be focussed on regions with a positive forensic sentinel sign. PMMR offers excellent anatomical detail and is especially useful to visualize pathologies of the brain, heart, subcutaneous fat tissue and abdominal organs. PMMR may also be used to document skeletal injury. Cardiovascular imaging is a core area of PMMR imaging and growing evidence indicates that PMMR is able to detect ischaemic injury at an earlier stage than traditional autopsy and routine histology. The aim of this review is to present an overview of normal findings on forensic PMMR, provide general advice on the application of PMMR and summarise the current literature on PMMR imaging of the head and neck, cardiovascular system, abdomen and musculoskeletal system.

  17. Essentials of forensic post-mortem MR imaging in adults

    PubMed Central

    Ruder, T D; Thali, M J; Hatch, G M

    2014-01-01

    Post-mortem MR (PMMR) imaging is a powerful diagnostic tool with a wide scope in forensic radiology. In the past 20 years, PMMR has been used as both an adjunct and an alternative to autopsy. The role of PMMR in forensic death investigations largely depends on the rules and habits of local jurisdictions, availability of experts, financial resources, and individual case circumstances. PMMR images are affected by post-mortem changes, including position-dependent sedimentation, variable body temperature and decomposition. Investigators must be familiar with the appearance of normal findings on PMMR to distinguish them from disease or injury. Coronal whole-body images provide a comprehensive overview. Notably, short tau inversion–recovery (STIR) images enable investigators to screen for pathological fluid accumulation, to which we refer as “forensic sentinel sign”. If scan time is short, subsequent PMMR imaging may be focussed on regions with a positive forensic sentinel sign. PMMR offers excellent anatomical detail and is especially useful to visualize pathologies of the brain, heart, subcutaneous fat tissue and abdominal organs. PMMR may also be used to document skeletal injury. Cardiovascular imaging is a core area of PMMR imaging and growing evidence indicates that PMMR is able to detect ischaemic injury at an earlier stage than traditional autopsy and routine histology. The aim of this review is to present an overview of normal findings on forensic PMMR, provide general advice on the application of PMMR and summarise the current literature on PMMR imaging of the head and neck, cardiovascular system, abdomen and musculoskeletal system. PMID:24191122

  18. Course constructions: A case-base of forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Nan; Wu, Yeda; Su, Terry; Zhang, Liyong; Yin, Kun; Zheng, Da; Zheng, Jingjing; Huang, Lei; Wu, Qiuping; Cheng, Jianding

    2017-08-01

    Forensic toxicology education in China is limited by insufficient teaching methods and resources, resulting in students with adequate theoretical principles but lacking practice experience. Typical cases used as teaching materials vividly represent intoxication and provide students with an opportunity to practice and hone resolving skills. In 2013, the Department of Forensic Pathology at Zhongshan School of Medicine began to construct top-quality courses in forensic toxicology, with its first step, creating a base containing typical cases of intoxication. This essay reviews the construction process of said cases-base, which is intended to set an example of forensic toxicology education. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  19. Acute arsenic poisoning: clinical, toxicological, histopathological, and forensic features.

    PubMed

    Tournel, Gilles; Houssaye, Cédric; Humbert, Luc; Dhorne, Christine; Gnemmi, Viviane; Bécart-Robert, Anne; Nisse, Patrick; Hédouin, Valéry; Gosset, Didier; Lhermitte, Michel

    2011-01-01

    This report describes a suicide case by acute arsenic intoxication via intravenous injection. A 30-year-old woman injected arsenic As (V) (sodium arseniate disodique: Disodium Hydrogena Arsenik RP) in a successful suicide attempt. Three hours following administration, the woman developed severe digestive symptoms. She was admitted to a hospital and transferred to the intensive care unit within 12 h of the massive administration of arsenic. Despite therapeutic efforts, over the next 2 h she developed multiorgan failure and died. A postmortem examination was performed. Pulmonary edema and congestion of liver were apparent. As (V) and As (III) were determined by high performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after mineralization of samples by concentrated nitric acid. Toxicological analysis revealed high concentrations of arsenic in biological fluids as well as in organs. Histopathological examination showed a typical indication of myocarditis. These findings were in agreement with acute arsenic poisoning. The symptoms developed by this young woman (intoxication by intravenous administration) were comparable to oral intoxication. The clinical signs, survival time, and administration type are discussed in light of the literature on acute and chronic arsenic poisoning. © 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  20. Prescription opioid abuse based on representative postmortem toxicology.

    PubMed

    Häkkinen, Margareeta; Vuori, Erkki; Ojanperä, Ilkka

    2014-12-01

    Opioids are important medications for pain and opioid maintenance treatment. Increasing use and abuse of prescription opioids has, however, caused worldwide concern. Our aim was to estimate the ratio between prescription opioid abuse and total use, based on representative postmortem toxicology. Our material included all the medico-legally examined deaths in Finland during 2010-2011 involving positive findings involving buprenorphine, codeine, fentanyl, methadone, oxycodone, or tramadol. We studied drug abuse by age group, with "abuse" meaning licit opioids used illicitly as narcotics. Drug-abuse history, drug injecting, or laboratory findings of illicit drugs defined an abuser case. We then compared abuser cases and other opioid-related cases between the opioids with the number of fatal poisonings, accidents, suicides, alcohol findings, concomitant opioid use, and median postmortem blood opioid concentrations. Opioid findings numbered 2499 in 2088 cases. Drug abuse involved 545 opioid-positive cases, which in Finland represented 0.5% of those deceased. The proportion of abuser cases among all opioid-related cases for buprenorphine was 85.5%, for methadone 82.4%, for tramadol 29.4%, for codeine 16.3%, for fentanyl 14.5%, and for oxycodone 6.9%. Abuse in age-groups >60 was rare. Concomitant other opioid findings were more frequent in abuser- than in other cases for codeine, oxycodone, and tramadol, whereas alcohol findings were more frequent in buprenorphine, codeine, and fentanyl abuse. Buprenorphine and methadone were most often related to drug abuse. Every other opioid studied involved some abuse, and especially tramadol. Abuse and fatal poisonings were concentrated in men aged 20-49.

  1. Tetrahydrocannabinols in clinical and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Kochanowski, Maciej; Kała, Maria

    2005-01-01

    Cannabinoids are the natural constituents of marihuana (cannabis). The main of them are delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (9THC)--psychoactive agent, cannabinol (CBN) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis is administered either by smoking or orally. 9THC potency and duration of action as well as its and two of its major metabolites concentrations in organism highly depend on the route of administration. A single active dose of 9THC is estimated on 520 mg. 9THC is rapidly metabolised. It is hydroxylated to an active metabolite, I1 -hydroxy-delta9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (11-OH-THC), then oxidised to an inactive 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH), which is conjugated with glucuronic acid and predominantly excreted in the urine. The maximum psychological effect persists for 4-6 h after administration despite of very low 9THC blood concentrations. 9THC plasma concentration declined to values of 2-3 ng/ml during 3-4 h after smoking. Such a low concentration of the active compound in human organism create a demand for use of sensitive analytical methods for detection and determination of 9THC and its metabolites. The most effective techniques for 9THC and related compounds determination in biological material are chromatographic ones (gas and liquid) with mass spectrometric detection and different ionization modes. 9THC and its two metabolites (11-OH-THC and THCCOOH) are present in blood and hair, 9THC in saliva, and THCCOOH in urine. 9THC and related compounds are determined in autopsy material, although deaths by overdose of cannabis are exceptionally rare. Fatalities happen most often after intravenous injection of hashish oil. 9THC and its metabolites determination in different biological materials gives the basis for a wide interpretation of analytical results for clinical and forensic toxicology purposes.

  2. Profiles of pregabalin and gabapentin abuse by postmortem toxicology.

    PubMed

    Häkkinen, Margareeta; Vuori, Erkki; Kalso, Eija; Gergov, Merja; Ojanperä, Ilkka

    2014-08-01

    Pregabalin (PRG) and gabapentin (GBP) are used in the treatment of neuropathic pain and epilepsy, and PRG also in generalized anxiety disorder. There is increasing evidence that PRG possesses considerable abuse potential. PRG may have a higher addiction potential than GBP due to its rapid absorption and faster onset of action. Our objective is to estimate the proportion of all PRG- and GBP-related fatalities attributable to PRG and GBP abuse. We investigated all medico-legal death cases in Finland in which PRG or GBP was found in postmortem toxicology during 2010-2011. PRG was found in 316 cases and GBP in 43 cases. Drug abuse was associated with 48.1% of the PRG and 18.6% of the GBP findings. PRG poisoning accounted for 10.1% of all PRG cases and GBP poisoning for 4.7% of all GBP cases. In the drug abuser cases, PRG poisoning represented 19.1%, and GBP poisoning 12.5%. The median blood concentration of PRG was 15 mg/L in the abuser group and 5.8 mg/L in the other cases. For GBP, these concentrations were 12 mg/L and 8.3mg/L, respectively. In the PRG abuser group, 91.4% of cases showed concomitant opioid use, while in the rest of these cases neither alcohol nor opioids were detected, but other central nervous system acting drugs were found in each abuser case. In the GBP abuser group, 87.5% of cases showed concomitant opioid use. PRG abuse with high doses is increasingly common and can be fatal when combined with opioids. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. [Forensic medicine as the cradle of toxicology in Russia].

    PubMed

    Popov, V L; Grebeniuk, A N; Pigolkin, Iu I; Tolmachev, I A; Bozhchenko, A P; Timoshevskiĭ, A A

    2013-01-01

    Modern toxicology as a science and educational subject originated from forensic medicine in the middle of the XIXth century. In the beginning, selected toxicological problems were taught in the Emperor's Medical Surgical Academy (presently S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy, Sankt-Peterburg) and at the Medical Faculty of the Moscow University (presently I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow). The greatest contribution to the development of toxicology was made by such outstanding scientists as professors S.A. Gromov, P.P. Pelekhin, P.P. Zablotsky-Desyatovsky, E.V. Pelikan, Ya.A. Chistovich, G.I. Blosfel'd, I.M. Sorokin, D.P. Kosorotov, A.V. Grigoriev, V.V. Andreev, A.A. Glebovich, A.N. Grigoriev, B.I. Predtechensky, V.M. Rozhkov, S.S. Vail, M.N. Lubotsky, etc. The works of these researchers predetermined the further development of toxicology in this country, its main purpose being provision of medical aid in case of poisoning and diseases of chemical etiology. Another line of toxicological research became industrial and environmental toxicology having the purpose of hygienic rating and prevention of poisoning. Nevertheless, all aspects of the multifaceted science of toxicology are related to forensic medicine as the cradle in which it originated, evolved, and turned into a self-consistent science.

  4. Evidential value of postmortem MRI in forensic pathology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, Wolf; Schaepman, Michael E.; Ith, Michael; Bruegger, Karin; Thali, Michael J.; Doernhofer, Tanya; Tiefenthaler, Kathrin; Scheurer, Eva; Vock, Peter; Boesch, Chris; Dirnhofer, Richard

    2001-05-01

    We currently evaluate MRI as add-on to dissection. Cases can only build on high evidential values of morphological findings as estimated using Bayesian likelihood-ratios. These values may vary among different cases depending on the quality of the morphology and the discrete hypotheses to be discerned. After scanning 20 bodies using MRI admitted to our institute for autopsy, we reconstructed selected imaging findings from a couple of illustrative cases according to a geometrical model ('Pink Box') designed as an object oriented bridging protocol to enable comparison of autopsy and MRI data. Although it appears obvious that 'three-dimensional imaging yields relevant diagnoses,' comparison of selected findings suggests, that the real evidential value of a postmortem scan depends on basic geometrical features of tissue structures examined. (1) Tissue surfaces are difficult to examine in MRI, including surface features of contact wounds in firearm injuries, lacerations of the pleura, or skin needle marks. (2) Specificity and sensitivity of solid tissue block data depend on contrast and resolution. (3) Tunnels or tubes, such as coronary arteries, linear wound tracks or the aorta offer more degrees of freedom for reconstruction, including spatial reconstruction or cross sectioning in different directions. (4) Three-dimensional rendering of complex objects results in spectacular images. Their evidential value is dependent on the way thresholding of 2D slices is validated. We present illustrative examples which suggest that a possible integration of non-invasive imaging methods into Forensic Pathology in fact need to take basic geometry into consideration when discussing evidential value.

  5. The toxicological significance of post-mortem drug concentrations in bile.

    PubMed

    Ferner, Robin E; Aronson, Jeffrey K

    2017-07-06

    Some authors have proposed that post-mortem drug concentrations in bile are useful in estimating concentrations in blood. Both The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) and the US Federal Aviation Administration recommend that samples of bile should be obtained in some circumstances. Furthermore, standard toxicological texts compare blood and bile concentrations, implying that concentrations in bile are of forensic value. To review the evidence on simultaneous measurements of blood and bile drug concentrations reported in the medical literature. We made a systematic search of EMBASE 1980-2016 using the search terms ("bile/" OR "exp drug bile level/concentration/") AND "drug blood level/concentration/", PubMed 1975-2017 for ("bile[tw]" OR "biliary[tw]") AND ("concentration[tw]" OR "concentrations[tw]" OR "level[tw]" OR "levels[tw]") AND "post-mortem[tw]" and also MEDLINE 1990-2016 for information on drugs whose biliary concentrations were mentioned in standard textbooks. The search was limited to human studies without language restrictions. We also examined recent reviews, indexes of relevant journals and citations in Web of Science and Google Scholar. We calculated the bile:blood concentration ratio. The searches together yielded 1031 titles with abstracts. We scanned titles and abstracts for relevance and retrieved 230, of which 161 were considered further. We excluded 49 papers because: the paper reported only one case (30 references); the data referred only to a metabolite (1); the work was published before 1980 (3); the information concerned only samples taken during life (10); or the paper referred to a toxin or unusual recreational drug (5). The remaining 112 papers provided data for analysis, with at least two observations for each of 58 drugs. Bile:blood concentration ratios: Median bile:blood concentration ratios varied from 0.18 (range 0.058-0.32) for dextromoramide to 520 (range 0.62-43,000) for buprenorphine. Median bile

  6. Imaging in forensic radiology: an illustrated guide for postmortem computed tomography technique and protocols.

    PubMed

    Flach, Patricia M; Gascho, Dominic; Schweitzer, Wolf; Ruder, Thomas D; Berger, Nicole; Ross, Steffen G; Thali, Michael J; Ampanozi, Garyfalia

    2014-12-01

    Forensic radiology is a new subspecialty that has arisen worldwide in the field of forensic medicine. Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) and, to a lesser extent, PMCT angiography (PMCTA), are established imaging methods that have replaced dated conventional X-ray images in morgues. However, these methods have not been standardized for postmortem imaging. Therefore, this article outlines the main approach for a recommended standard protocol for postmortem cross-sectional imaging that focuses on unenhanced PMCT and PMCTA. This review should facilitate the implementation of a high-quality protocol that enables standardized reporting in morgues, associated hospitals or private practices that perform forensic scans to provide the same quality that clinical scans provide in court.

  7. Usefulness and limitations of postmortem computed tomography in forensic analysis of gunshot injuries: Three case reports.

    PubMed

    Usui, Akihito; Kawasumi, Yusuke; Hosokai, Yoshiyuki; Kozakai, Masataka; Saito, Haruo; Funayama, Masato

    2016-01-01

    Gunshot injury has always been an important field of investigation in postmortem forensic radiology. The localization and retrieval of the bullet and of potentially important fragments are vital to these cases. Using postmortem multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) prior to forensic autopsy, we sought to illustrate the importance of this modality in the noninvasive characterization of gunshot wounds. We obtained and analyzed MDCT images in three cases of gunshot wounds (accidental close-range shotgun shooting, suicidal contact gunshot to the head and accidental long-range buckshot shooting). We discuss the value of postmortem MDCT findings in gunshot wound cases by comparing with forensic autopsy findings in Japan, a developing country with miserably low autopsy rate.

  8. Identification, Collection, and Preservation of Veterinary Forensic Evidence: On Scene and During the Postmortem Examination.

    PubMed

    Touroo, R; Fitch, A

    2016-09-01

    Although it is the obligation of the veterinary forensic pathologist to be competent in identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence from the body, it is also necessary for them to understand the relevance of conditions on the crime scene. The body is just one piece of the puzzle that needs to be considered when determining the cause of death. The information required for a complete postmortem analysis should also include details of the animal's environment and items of evidence present on the crime scene. These factors will assist the veterinary forensic pathologist in the interpretation of necropsy findings. Therefore, the veterinary forensic pathologist needs to have a basic understanding of how the crime scene is processed, as well as the role of the forensic veterinarian on scene. In addition, the veterinary forensic pathologist must remain unbiased, necessitating an understanding of evidence maintenance and authentication. © The Author(s) 2016.

  9. [Diagnostics and interpretation of results in forensic toxicology of amphetamines].

    PubMed

    Janus, Tomasz

    2006-01-01

    Amphetamine and its analogues belong to the large group of psychoactive compounds. Due to the growing problem of amphetamine poisoning, author decided to review and improve the laboratory diagnostic procedures with regard to forensic toxicology analysis. Biological material of 8 persons taken during autopsy for routine toxicological tests was used to examine characteristic of biological matrix. Following excludion the presence of xenobiotics during expertise process, material was divided and kept in sealed containers, then analysed after defined time period: 0, 30 and 90 days. Blood, urine, liver, brain and kidney were considered, 96 samples were examined in total. Biological material was analysed using gas chromatography equipped with flame ionization detector (GC-FID), liquid chromatography with diode array detector (HPLC-DAD), and magnetic resonance spectrometer (H NMR). 1. Workout analytical GC-FID method enable to verify positive initial result of amphetamine and metamphetamine analysis in urine. 2. Biological matrix is composed mainly of low molecular aliphatic organical compounds which cause significant impact in analytical and opinion problem in amphetamine analysis. Its influence determine in proportion as time of biological material self-decomposition and noted cross-reactivity concern both immunological and chromatographic methods (HPLC-DAD). 3. H NMR method may be used to confirm amphetamine presence in biological material for confirmation of positive results obtained using immunological and enzymatic methods used in forensic toxicology.

  10. Choosing the right laboratory: a review of clinical and forensic toxicology services for urine drug testing in pain management.

    PubMed

    Reisfield, Gary M; Goldberger, Bruce A; Bertholf, Roger L

    2015-01-01

    Urine drug testing (UDT) services are provided by a variety of clinical, forensic, and reference/specialty laboratories. These UDT services differ based on the principal activity of the laboratory. Clinical laboratories provide testing primarily focused on medical care (eg, emergency care, inpatients, and outpatient clinics), whereas forensic laboratories perform toxicology tests related to postmortem and criminal investigations, and drug-free workplace programs. Some laboratories now provide UDT specifically designed for monitoring patients on chronic opioid therapy. Accreditation programs for clinical laboratories have existed for nearly half a century, and a federal certification program for drug-testing laboratories was established in the 1980s. Standards of practice for forensic toxicology services other than workplace drug testing have been established in recent years. However, no accreditation program currently exists for UDT in pain management, and this review considers several aspects of laboratory accreditation and certification relevant to toxicology services, with the intention to provide guidance to clinicians in their selection of the appropriate laboratory for UDT surveillance of their patients on opioid therapy.

  11. Hair: a complementary source of bioanalytical information in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Barroso, Mário; Gallardo, Eugenia; Vieira, Duarte Nuno; López-Rivadulla, Manuel; Queiroz, João António

    2011-01-01

    Hair has been used for years in the assessment and documentation of human exposure to drugs, as it presents characteristics that make it extremely valuable for this purpose, namely the fact that sample collection is performed in a noninvasive manner, under close supervision, the possibility of collecting a specimen reflecting a similar timeline in the case of claims or suspicion of a leak in the chain of custody, and the increased window of detection for the drugs. For these reasons, testing for drugs in hair provides unique and useful information in several fields of toxicology, from which the most prominent is the possibility of studying individual drug use histories by means of segmental analysis. This paper will review the unique role of hair as a complementary sample in documenting human exposure to drugs in the fields of clinical and forensic toxicology and workplace drug testing.

  12. Investigating the Postmortem Molecular Biology of Cartilage and its Potential Forensic Applications.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Shawna N; Whitehead, Michael P; Dudhia, Jayesh; Baldwin, Timothy C; Sutton, Raul

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated the postmortem molecular changes that articular cartilage undergoes following burial. Fresh pig trotters were interred in 30-cm-deep graves at two distinct locations exhibiting dissimilar soil environments for up to 42 days. Extracts of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint cartilage from trotters disinterred weekly over 6 weeks were analyzed by Western blot against the monoclonal antibody 2-B-6 to assess aggrecan degradation. In both soil conditions, aggrecan degradation by-products of decreasing molecular size and complexity were observed up to 21 days postmortem. Degradation products were undetected after this time and coincided with MCP/MTP joint exposure to the soil environment. These results show that cartilage proteoglycans undergo an ordered molecular breakdown, the analysis of which may have forensic applications. This model may prove useful for use as a human model and for forensic investigations concerning crimes against animals and the mortality of endangered species.

  13. [Postmortem imaging studies with data processing and 3D reconstruction: a new path of development of classic forensic medicine?].

    PubMed

    Woźniak, Krzysztof; Moskała, Artur; Urbanik, Andrzej; Kopacz, Paweł; Kłys, Małgorzata

    2009-01-01

    The techniques employed in "classic" forensic autopsy have been virtually unchanged for many years. One of the fundamental purposes of forensic documentation is to register as objectively as possible the changes found by forensic pathologists. The authors present the review of techniques of postmortem imaging studies, which aim not only at increased objectivity of observations, but also at extending the scope of the registered data. The paper is illustrated by images originating from research carried out by the authors.

  14. Post-mortem forensic neuroimaging: correlation of MSCT and MRI findings with autopsy results.

    PubMed

    Yen, Kathrin; Lövblad, Karl-Olof; Scheurer, Eva; Ozdoba, Christoph; Thali, Michael J; Aghayev, Emin; Jackowski, Christian; Anon, Javier; Frickey, Nathalie; Zwygart, Karin; Weis, Joachim; Dirnhofer, Richard

    2007-11-15

    Multislice-computed tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are increasingly used for forensic purposes. Based on broad experience in clinical neuroimaging, post-mortem MSCT and MRI were performed in 57 forensic cases with the goal to evaluate the radiological methods concerning their usability for forensic head and brain examination. An experienced clinical radiologist evaluated the imaging data. The results were compared to the autopsy findings that served as the gold standard with regard to common forensic neurotrauma findings such as skull fractures, soft tissue lesions of the scalp, various forms of intracranial hemorrhage or signs of increased brain pressure. The sensitivity of the imaging methods ranged from 100% (e.g., heat-induced alterations, intracranial gas) to zero (e.g., mediobasal impression marks as a sign of increased brain pressure, plaques jaunes). The agreement between MRI and CT was 69%. The radiological methods prevalently failed in the detection of lesions smaller than 3mm of size, whereas they were generally satisfactory concerning the evaluation of intracranial hemorrhage. Due to its advanced 2D and 3D post-processing possibilities, CT in particular possessed certain advantages in comparison with autopsy with regard to forensic reconstruction. MRI showed forensically relevant findings not seen during autopsy in several cases. The partly limited sensitivity of imaging that was observed in this retrospective study was based on several factors: besides general technical limitations it became apparent that clinical radiologists require a sound basic forensic background in order to detect specific signs. Focused teaching sessions will be essential to improve the outcome in future examinations. On the other hand, the autopsy protocols should be further standardized to allow an exact comparison of imaging and autopsy data. In consideration of these facts, MRI and CT have the power to play an important role in future forensic

  15. Metabolism of psilocybin and psilocin: clinical and forensic toxicological relevance.

    PubMed

    Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge

    2017-02-01

    Psilocybin and psilocin are controlled substances in many countries. These are the two main hallucinogenic compounds of the "magic mushrooms" and both act as agonists or partial agonists at 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A subtype receptors. During the last few years, psilocybin and psilocin have gained therapeutic relevance but considerable physiological variability between individuals that can influence dose-response and toxicological profile has been reported. This review aims to discuss metabolism of psilocybin and psilocin, by presenting all major and minor psychoactive metabolites. Psilocybin is primarily a pro-drug that is dephosphorylated by alkaline phosphatase to active metabolite psilocin. This last is then further metabolized, psilocin-O-glucuronide being the main urinary metabolite with clinical and forensic relevance in diagnosis.

  16. One small scan for radiology, one giant leap for forensic medicine - Post-mortem imaging replaces forensic autopsy in a case of traumatic aortic laceration.

    PubMed

    Ruder, Thomas D; Hatch, Gary M; Thali, Michael J; Fischer, Nadja

    2011-01-01

    The questions of cause and manner of death are the most pressing ones in any forensic investigation. Traditionally, autopsy is the means to provide answers to these questions and despite the increasing use of CT and MR in the post-mortem setting, imaging has usually been an adjunct to forensic autopsy. Here we describe a case where post-mortem CT and MR were performed instead of autopsy, at the request of the responsible public prosecutor. The forensic conclusions derived from imaging, including cause and manner of death were accepted by the legal authorities, thereby setting precedence for future cases. This case represents a landmark in forensic medicine and is another step toward the full realization of minimally invasive forensic autopsy.

  17. Forensic diagnosis of ante- and postmortem burn based on aquaporin-3 gene expression in the skin.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Hidemichi; Hayashi, Takahito; Ago, Kazutoshi; Ago, Mihoko; Kanekura, Takuro; Ogata, Mamoru

    2014-05-01

    In order to diagnose death associated with fire, it is essential to show that the person was exposed to heat while still alive. We investigated both AQP1 and AQP3 expression in the skin of an experimental burn model, as well as in forensic autopsy cases, and discuss its role in the differential diagnosis of ante- and postmortem burns. In animal experiments, there was no difference in AQP1 gene expression among four groups (n=4): antemortem burn, postmortem burn, mechanical wound, and control. However, AQP3 expression in the antemortem burn was increased significantly compared with that of the other groups even at 5min after burn. Water content of the skin was decreased significantly by the burn procedure. Consistent with animal experiments, AQP3 gene expression in the skin of antemortem burn cases was increased significantly compared with postmortem burns, mechanical wounds, and controls (n=12 in each group). These observations suggest that dermal AQP3 gene expression was increased to maintain water homeostasis in response to dehydration from burn. Finally, our results suggest that AQP3 gene expression may be useful for forensic molecular diagnosis of antemortem burn.

  18. Biochemical pathways generating post-mortem volatile compounds co-detected during forensic ethanol analyses.

    PubMed

    Boumba, Vassiliki A; Ziavrou, Kallirroe S; Vougiouklakis, Theodore

    2008-01-30

    In this contribution are presented the fermentations of the main substrates present in a decaying corpse, namely carbohydrates, amino acids, glycerol and fatty acids, generating the post-mortem volatile compounds that could be detected along with ethanol during the forensic ethanol analysis. The available literature (preferably reviews) on microbial metabolic pathways (enzymes, substrates, conditions) that are implicated in the formation of these volatiles has been reviewed. The microbial formation of the following volatiles is supported by the presented biochemical data: ethanol, acetaldehyde, acetone, 2-propanol, 1-propanol, 1-butanol, isobutanol, isoamyl alcohol, d-amyl alcohol, acetate, propionate, butyrate, isobutyrate and ethyl esters (mainly ethyl acetate). The extracted information was correlated with the existing forensic literature on the post-mortem detected volatiles. The significance of the microbial produced volatiles on the selection of an appropriate internal standard for the ethanol analysis has been considered. Finally, the possible contribution of the presence of volatiles in the interpretation of ethanol analysis results in post-mortem cases is discussed.

  19. Measurement of Postmortem 1,5-anhydroglucitol in Vitreous Humor for Forensic Diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Takata, Tomoyo; Yamasaki, Yukie; Kitao, Takashi; Miyaishi, Satoru

    2016-01-01

    In forensic diagnosis, postmortem blood glucose is known to be susceptible to change after death. However, the 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) concentrations in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) reflect the mean blood glucose level for a short period of time. In this study, we compared the postmortem 1,5-AG concentrations in vitreous humor and CSF in 47 subjects to evaluate the utility of this concentration in the vitreous humor for forensic diagnosis. The postmortem 1,5-AG concentrations in vitreous humor (mean±SD: 20.2 ± 8.7 μg/mL) and CSF (16.8 ± 8.7 μg/mL) did not differ significantly and showed a strong correlation (r(2) = 0.87, p < 0.01). These results suggest that the vitreous humor 1,5-AG concentration provides useful information on the antemortem blood glucose level, in addition to the HbA1c value and the CSF 1,5-AG concentration.

  20. Use of an Automated Nested Multiplex Respiratory Pathogen PCR Panel Postmortem in the Pediatric Forensic Setting.

    PubMed

    Baker, Tiffany; Schandl, Cynthia; Presnell, Susan Erin; Madory, James; Nolte, Frederick S; Batalis, Nicholas

    2017-09-01

    Respiratory pathogens have been detected in forensic investigations using multiple techniques; however, no study has examined the use of automated, nested, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (ANM-PCR), commonly used in living patients, in the forensic setting. This retrospective study assessed the utility of ANM-PCR in detecting respiratory pathogens in the pediatric forensic setting. Respiratory samples from 35 cases were tested for up to 20 respiratory pathogens. 51.4% of these cases yielded a positive ANM-PCR result, 20% of which were considered the cause of or contributory to death. The most commonly detected pathogens were rhinovirus/enterovirus and respiratory syncytial virus, and these were the only pathogens determined to play a significant role in cause of death. The sampled sites and postmortem intervals tested did not affect the likelihood of a positive or negative test. ANM-PCR panels are effective, affordable, and rapid ancillary tools in evaluating cause of death in the forensic pediatric population. © 2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  1. Synthetic cathinone pharmacokinetics, analytical methods, and toxicological findings from human performance and postmortem cases.

    PubMed

    Ellefsen, Kayla N; Concheiro, Marta; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2016-05-01

    Synthetic cathinones are commonly abused novel psychoactive substances (NPS). We present a comprehensive systematic review addressing in vitro and in vivo synthetic cathinone pharmacokinetics, analytical methods for detection and quantification in biological matrices, and toxicological findings from human performance and postmortem toxicology cases. Few preclinical administration studies examined synthetic cathinone pharmacokinetic profiles (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion), and only one investigated metabolite pharmacokinetics. Synthetic cathinone metabolic profiling studies, primarily with human liver microsomes, elucidated metabolite structures and identified suitable biomarkers to extend detection windows beyond those provided by parent compounds. Generally, cathinone derivatives underwent ketone reduction, carbonylation of the pyrrolidine ring, and oxidative reactions, with phase II metabolites also detected. Reliable analytical methods are necessary for cathinone identification in biological matrices to document intake and link adverse events to specific compounds and concentrations. NPS analytical methods are constrained in their ability to detect new emerging synthetic cathinones due to limited commercially available reference standards and continuous development of new analogs. Immunoassay screening methods are especially affected, but also gas-chromatography and liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry confirmation methods. Non-targeted high-resolution-mass spectrometry screening methods are advantageous, as they allow for retrospective data analysis and easier addition of new synthetic cathinones to existing methods. Lack of controlled administration studies in humans complicate interpretation of synthetic cathinones in biological matrices, as dosing information is typically unknown. Furthermore, antemortem and postmortem concentrations often overlap and the presence of other psychoactive substances are typically found in combination

  2. Postmortem CT versus forensic autopsy: frequent discrepancies of tracheobronchial content findings.

    PubMed

    Zech, Wolf-Dieter; Jackowski, Christian; Schwendener, Nicole; Brencicova, Eva; Schuster, Frederick; Lombardo, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    In their daily forensic casework, the authors experienced discrepancies of tracheobronchial content findings between postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) and autopsy to an extent previously unnoticed in the literature. The goal of this study was to evaluate such discrepancies in routine forensic cases. A total of 327 cases that underwent PMCT prior to routine forensic autopsy were retrospectively evaluated for tracheal and bronchial contents according to PMCT and autopsy findings. Hounsfield unit (HU) values of tracheobronchial contents, causes of death, and presence of pulmonary edema were assessed in mismatching and matching cases. Comparing contents in PMCT and autopsy in each of the separately evaluated compartments of the respiratory tract low positive predictive values were assessed (trachea, 38.2%; main bronchi, 40%; peripheral bronchi, 69.1%) indicating high discrepancy rates. The majority of tracheobronchial contents were viscous stomach contents in matching cases and low radiodensity materials (i.e., HU < 30) in mismatching cases. The majority of causes of death were cardiac related in the matching cases and skull/brain trauma in the mismatching cases. In mismatching cases, frequency of pulmonary edema was significantly higher than in matching cases. It can be concluded that discrepancies in tracheobronchial contents observed between PMCT and routine forensic autopsy occur in a considerable number of cases. Discrepancies may be explained by the runoff of contents via nose and mouth during external examination and the flow back of tracheal and main bronchial contents into the lungs caused by upright movement of the respiratory tract at autopsy.

  3. Drugs in nails: physiology, pharmacokinetics and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Palmeri, A; Pichini, S; Pacifici, R; Zuccaro, P; Lopez, A

    2000-02-01

    In recent years, drug analysis in keratinised matrices, such as hair and nails, has received considerable attention because of several advantages over drug testing methodologies employing body fluids, such as urine or serum. For example, keratinic matrices, such as finger- and toenails, can accumulate drugs during long term exposure. Drugs are incorporated into nails by a double mechanism: (i) deposition into the root of the growing nail via the blood flow in the nail matrix; and (ii) incorporation via the nail bed during growth from the lunula to the beginning of the free margin. Together, these account for a wide retrospective window of drug detection. Nails can provide a good forensic matrix for the detection of drugs of abuse. Indeed, the international literature has reported the use of nail analysis in postmortem detection of drugs of abuse, drug testing in the workplace and drug screening to detect prenatal exposure, even though further studies are needed for correct interpretation of the data obtained. Another application of drug analysis in nails consists of the possibility of detecting the presence of an antimycotic at the site of action during antifungal therapy for patients with onychomycosis. When available, this evidence has permitted drug treatment of a shorter duration and reduced toxicity. However, so far the potential of drug monitoring in nails still lacks harmonisation and validation of analytical methodologies and a better comprehension of the possible correlation between drug concentrations in the matrix and period of exposure.

  4. [Postmortem forensic medical diagnostics of fulminant sepsis caused by Gram-negative bacterium (Capnocitophaga canimorsus) following a dog bite].

    PubMed

    Kovalev, A V; Putintsev, V A; Bogomolov, D V; Gribunov, Iu P; Bogomolov, B P; Deviatkin, A V

    2015-01-01

    This article provides the example of postmortem forensic medical diagnostics of fulminant sepsis caused by Gram-negative bacterium (Capnocitophaga canimorsus) following a dog bite. In order to identify the etiological factor of fulminant sepsis, the expert carried out the study of the autopsy materials with the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This method has only recently been introduced into postmortem diagnostics of fulminant sepsis in this country; it has no analogs abroad and can be employed for the purpose of forensic medical expertise and pathological anatomic studies.

  5. Unreliability of the use of thyroglobulin concentration in postmortem blood samples in forensic diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Akira; Matoba, Kotaro; Horioka, Kie; Murakami, Manabu; Terazawa, Koichi

    2014-05-01

    Previous studies have reported that the concentration of thyroglobulin (Tg) in heart blood is high in cases of asphyxia by neck compression such as hanging, strangulation, and throttling and in those with traumatic injuries to the head. However, we have experienced cases in which we observed high Tg concentrations without such findings. Therefore, we analyzed the influence of postmortem changes on Tg concentration. Of 253 forensic autopsies conducted at our institution, we analyzed 44 cases without the findings presumed to increase Tg concentration. We collected right heart blood (RHB) and left heart blood (LHB) separately and measured Tg concentrations in each. The Tg concentration of the RHB in 19 (43%) cases and that of the LHB in 10 (23%) cases was higher than the standard value (200ng/ml) obtained in previous studies. In some cases, we found large differences between the Tg concentrations of RHB and LHB. We suggest that Tg concentration can increase above the standard value and that a difference between the Tg concentration of RHB and LHB arises as a result of postmortem changes. Consequently, if there is a large difference between the Tg concentration of RHB and LHB, the concentration of Tg should not be used as a basis for forensic diagnosis.

  6. Postmortem CT compared to autopsy in children; concordance in a forensic setting.

    PubMed

    Sieswerda-Hoogendoorn, Tessa; Soerdjbalie-Maikoe, Vidija; de Bakker, Henri; van Rijn, Rick R

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the accuracy of postmortem CT (PMCT) in determining the cause of death in children who underwent a forensic autopsy because of a suspected nonnatural death. We selected forensic pediatric autopsies at the Netherlands Forensic Institute, whereby the subject underwent PMCT between 1-1-2008 and 31-12-2012. Cause of death was independently scored by a radiologist and a pathologist. Cause of death was classified (1) in categories being natural, unnatural, and unknown; (2) according to the ICD-10; and (3) according to institutional classification. In the study period, 189 pediatric forensic autopsies were performed. Fifteen were excluded because of putrefaction. Of the remaining 174 autopsies, 98 (56%) underwent PMCT. PMCT and autopsy identified the same category in 69/98 cases (70%, kappa 0.49). They identified the same cause of death in 66/98 cases (67%, kappa 0.5) using ICD-10; in 71/98 (72%, kappa 0.62) using a forensic classification. PMCT performed better in unnatural deaths (59-67 % agreement) than in natural deaths (0 % agreement). If no cause of death was detected with autopsy, PMCT failed to identify a cause of death in 98% (39/40). Pediatric PMCT does identify the majority of unnatural causes of death, but does not identify new diagnoses (true positives) if no cause of death is found during autopsy. Diagnostic accuracy in natural deaths is low. • The case mix is an important predictor for the concordance between PMCT and autopsy. • In case of an unnatural death, 72--81% of PMCT results matches autopsy results. • In case of a natural death, 0% of PMCT results matches autopsy results. • If no cause of death is identified with autopsy, 98% of PMCT results concurs.

  7. Risk Factors for Fatal Hyperglycaemia Confirmed by Forensic Postmortem Examination - A Nationwide Cohort in Sweden

    PubMed Central

    Walz, Lotta; Jönsson, Anna K.; Zilg, Brita; Östgren, Carl Johan; Druid, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Aims/Hypothesis The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with confirmed fatal hyperglycaemia, which could predispose potentially preventable deaths in individuals on glucose lowering drugs. Methods A retrospective register-based case-control study conducted on a nationwide cohort with individuals who died due to hyperglycaemia as determined by forensic postmortem examination, in Sweden August 2006 to December 2012. Vitreous glucose was used to diagnose hyperglycaemia postmortem. The forensic findings stored in the National Forensic Medicine Database were linked to nationwide registers. Cases that died due to confirmed hyperglycemia with dispensed glucose lowering drugs were identified and living controls with dispensed glucose lowering drugs were randomly selected in the Swedish prescribed drug register and matched on age and sex. Information on comorbidities, dispensed pharmaceuticals, clinical data and socioeconomic factors were obtained for cases and controls. Adjusted multiple logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors associated with fatal hyperglycaemia. Results During the study period 322 individuals, mostly males (79%) with the mean age of 53.9 years (SD.± 14) died due to confirmed hyperglycaemia. Risk factors for fatal hyperglycaemia included; insulin treatment (OR = 4.40; 95%CI,1.96, 9.85), poor glycaemic control (OR = 2.00 95%CI,1.23, 3.27), inadequate refill-adherence before death (OR = 3.87; 95%CI,1.99, 7.53), microvascular disease (OR = 3.26; 95% CI, 1.84, 5.79), psychiatric illness (OR = 2.30; 95% CI,1.32, 4.01), substance abuse (OR = 8.85; 95%CI,2.34, 35.0) and/or living alone (OR = 2.25; 95%CI,1.21, 4.18). Conclusions/Interpretation Our results demonstrate the importance of clinical attention to poor glycaemic control in subjects with psychosocial problems since it may indicate serious non-adherence, which consequently could lead to fatal hyperglycaemia. PMID:27768720

  8. Utility of urinary ethyl glucuronide analysis in post-mortem toxicology when investigating alcohol-related deaths.

    PubMed

    Sundström, M; Jones, A W; Ojanperä, I

    2014-08-01

    Use and abuse of alcohol are common findings when unnatural deaths are investigated as evidenced by high blood- and urine- alcohol concentrations (BAC and UAC) at autopsy. Because ethanol is metabolized in the liver until the time of death, the autopsy BAC or UAC might be negative even though the deceased had consumed alcohol in the immediate ante-mortem period. Analysis of the non-oxidative metabolite of ethanol [ethyl glucuronide (EtG)] offers a more sensitive test of recent drinking. In this paper, we determined the concentrations of ethanol and EtG in urine samples from 972 consecutive forensic autopsies. In 425 cases (44%) both EtG and ethanol were positive, which supports ante-mortem drinking. In 342 cases (35%), both EtG and ethanol was negative, which speaks against any consumption of alcohol just before death. In 181 cases, ethanol was negative in urine (<0.2 g/kg), whereas EtG was positive (>0.5 mg/L), which points towards ingestion of alcohol some time before death. In these cases, mean and median concentrations of EtG were 53.2 mg/L and 23.7 mg/L, respectively, although there was no mention of alcohol on 131 of the death certificates. Alcohol was mentioned on death certificates as an underlying or immediate cause of death or a contributing factor in 435 (45%) cases, which rose to 566 (58%) cases when positive EtG results were included. This article demonstrates the usefulness of EtG analysis in routine post-mortem toxicology when ante-mortem drinking and alcohol-related deaths are investigated. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  9. Thermal Degradation of Synthetic Cathinones: Implications for Forensic Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Kerrigan, Sarah; Savage, Megan; Cavazos, Cassandra; Bella, Paige

    2016-01-01

    The synthetic cathinones represent an important class of designer drugs. The widespread attention and publicity associated with these psychostimulants have resulted in numerous legislative actions at state and federal levels throughout the USA. These amphetamine-like compounds are characterized by a β-keto functional group. Although the synthetic cathinones share many properties of their phenethylamine counterparts, the presence of the ketone moiety is responsible for a number of unique and distinct differences in terms of their chemical characteristics and properties. Thermal degradation of methcathinone was first reported several decades ago but has received limited attention. In this study, we identified in situ thermal degradation products for 18 cathinones during gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Oxidative degradation arises from the loss of two hydrogens, yielding a characteristic 2 Da mass shift. Degradation products were characterized by prominent iminium base peaks with mass-to-charge ratios 2 Da lower than the parent drug, and in the case of the pyrrolidine-containing cathinones, prominent molecular ions arising from the 2,3-enamine. Chromatographic and mass spectroscopic data are described for 4-ethylmethcathinone, 4-methylethcathinone, buphedrone, butylone, ethcathinone, ethylone, flephedrone, 3,4-methylenedioxy-α-pyrrolidinobutiophenone, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, methcathinone, methedrone, methylone, 4-methyl-α-pyrrolidinobutiophenone, naphyrone, pentedrone, pentylone and pyrovalerone. Degradation was minimized by lowering injection temperatures, residence time in the inlet and eliminating active sites during chromatographic analysis. Chromatographic and mass spectral data for the cathinone degradation products are presented and discussed within the context of forensic toxicological analysis, selection of appropriate instrumental methods and implications for the interpretation of results.

  10. Forensic aspects of postmortem serum carbohydrate-deficient transferrin analysis as a marker of alcohol abuse.

    PubMed

    Popović, Vesna; Atanasijević, Tatjana; Nikolić, Slobodan; Bozić, Natasa; Vujcić, Zoran; Micić-Labudović, Jelena

    2013-01-01

    Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) has been suggested as one of alcohol abuse indicators having produced good results in forensic medicine for years. The aim of the study was to identify correlation between present methodology of alcohol abuse diagnosis at autopsy (macroscopic and microscopic findings) and CDT examination using the method of isoelectrofocusing (IEF) in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). We also analyzed if the time interval between the moment of death and blood sample collection influences CDT findings. The method used for CDTanalysis was IEF-PAGE. Sera of 49 males and 11 females aged 14-87 years, average age 46.85+/-18.53, were used in this study. Control group consisted of five patients who died after medical treatment that lasted longer than 15 days, and five patients who started Disulfiram therapy in controlled hospital environment. The results obtained in CDT examination in dead bodies' sera showed sensitivity 59% and specificity 71%. A high incidence of falsely positive CDT result was noticed in liver failure and cirrhosis of non-alcoholic origin. CDT analysis is also possible to be done in samples collected postmortem up to 76 hours. In forensic medicine, the method of CDT determination is reliable for the diagnosis of alcohol abuse.

  11. Targeted toxicological screening for acidic, neutral and basic substances in postmortem and antemortem whole blood using simple protein precipitation and UPLC-HR-TOF-MS.

    PubMed

    Telving, Rasmus; Hasselstrøm, Jørgen Bo; Andreasen, Mette Findal

    2016-09-01

    A broad targeted screening method based on broadband collision-induced dissociation (bbCID) ultra-performance liquid chromatography high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-HR-TOF-MS) was developed and evaluated for toxicological screening of whole blood samples. The acidic, neutral and basic substances covered by the method were identified in postmortem and antemortem whole blood samples from forensic autopsy cases, clinical forensic cases and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases by a reverse target database search. The screening method covered 467 substances. Validation was performed on spiked whole blood samples and authentic postmortem and antemortem whole blood samples. For most of the basic drugs, the established cut-off limits were very low, ranging from 0.25ng/g to 50ng/g. The established cut-off limits for most neutral and acidic drugs, were in the range from 50ng/g to 500ng/g. Sample preparation was performed using simple protein precipitation of 300μL of whole blood with acetonitrile and methanol. Ten microliters of the reconstituted extract were injected and separated within a 13.5min UPLC gradient reverse-phase run. Positive electrospray ionization (ESI) was used to generate the ions in the m/z range of 50-1000. Fragment ions were generated by bbCID. Identification was based on retention time, accurate mass, fragment ion(s) and isotopic pattern. A very sensitive broad toxicological screening method using positive electrospray ionization UPLC-HR-TOF-MS was achieved in one injection. This method covered basic substances, substances traditionally analyzed in negative ESI (e.g., salicylic acid), small highly polar substances such as beta- and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB and GHB, respectively) and highly non-polar substances such as amiodarone. The new method was shown to combine high sensitivity with a very broad scope that has not previously been reported in toxicological whole blood screening when using only one injection.

  12. Forensic autopsies in a naturalistic setting in Norway: autopsy rates and toxicological findings.

    PubMed

    Frost, Joachim; Slørdal, Lars; Vege, Åshild; Nordrum, Ivar S

    2012-11-30

    Autopsies can give valuable information about the cause of death, and represent an important tool for obtaining valid cause of death statistics. In particular, they may shed light on the circumstances of death in ambiguous and criminal cases. To address the need for information on current autopsy practices, forensic autopsy rates in two counties in Central Norway over the period 2007-2009 were assessed. To investigate toxicological findings that could possibly remain undisclosed without the performance of an autopsy, the impact of alcohol and drugs in forensic autopsy cases from this material was evaluated. The total forensic autopsy rate in this material was 3%. The forensic autopsy rates were low for natural deaths (1%), accidental falls (12%) and the heterogeneous category "other accidents" (21%), relatively high for accidental poisonings (84%), and less than adequate for road traffic accidents (57%). For suicides the forensic autopsy rate was 63%, and for recognized homicides 100%. The total forensic autopsy rate was higher for men than for women (5% vs. 2%), and decreased with age, being 38% in the age group <30 years, 23% in the age group 30-59 years, and 1% in the age group >59 years. Despite that Norwegian legislation and regulations regarding forensic autopsy requests are national, the forensic autopsy rates were generally lower in the county of Nord-Trøndelag than in Sør-Trøndelag, with most striking differences in suicide deaths (11% vs. 91%) and road traffic accidents (46% vs. 67%). This illustrates how autopsy rates, and possibly cause of death registries, might be susceptible to the influence of regional variations in law enforcement, with possible consequences for the quality and validity of cause of death statistics. Of the forensic autopsy cases where toxicological analysis was performed (361 of 364 cases) a total of 71% had positive toxicology results; 12% were positive for alcohol only, 44% were positive for drugs only, and 15% were positive

  13. Is postmortem biochemistry really useful? Why is it not widely used in forensic pathology?

    PubMed

    Luna, A

    2009-04-01

    Medico legal autopsy has a basic objective to reconstruct as accurately as possible the circumstances of death to solve a judicial problem, is a process of collection of evidences from the cadaver and interpretation of the data to solve a series of questions raised in the judicial process. These questions are not only the cause of death, the survival time, the data of death, the role of previous pathology in the death's process, etc. Considering that there are more difficult problems to be solved and higher requirements for quality it is necessary that new diagnostic tools are introduced into forensic pathology. In Forensic Pathology the scientific and technological evolution has been subsidiary to other disciplines: immunology, inmunopathology, molecular biology, clinical pathology, etc. The little influence that postmortem biochemical methods have had in forensic pathology is a fact not an opinion. The reasons can be very diverse and they go from a lack of trust in the scientific literature on these topics, to an ignorance of the many possibilities which are offered by biochemical complementary tests in the cadaver for the solutions of some questions. One of the problematic issues in postmortem biochemistry is the interpretation of the obtained results; in the absence of databases with sufficient numbers of cases to establish the ranges of normality, therefore it is a real difficulty to use these types of results. On the other hand there are very few works where a correspondence between the histopathologycal findings and the biochemical values has been established; this fact is decisive for understanding the difficulties of introduction of these biochemical techniques. The main problem is forgetting that a complementary test needs a set of basic data for its interpretation and it's integration into the global findings. It is not easy for the pathologist to include in their work routine tests that require not only a change of attitude but a change in the sampling

  14. [Development of forensic thanatology through the prism of analysis of postmortem protocols collected at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Jagiellonian University].

    PubMed

    Konopka, Tomasz

    2011-01-01

    When assessed based on the analysis of postmortem protocols, the successes of forensic thanatology appear to differ from those that might be assumed using as the foundation a review of publications and textbooks. The greatest achievements date back to as early as the 18th and 19th centuries, when the morphological changes observed in the majority of types of deaths resulting from disease-associated and traumatic causes were described. Within the past 130 years, however, or in other words, in the period when autopsy protocols were written that are today collected in the archives of the Krakow Department of Forensic Medicine, the causes and mechanisms of death became understood even when the said factors were associated with discrete postmortem changes only or no no such changes whatsoever were left. At the end of the 19th century and for a long time afterwards, a difficult problem was posed by sudden deaths, where the postmortem examinations demonstrated solely atherosclerosis and the cause of death was described as "heart palsy". As it turned out, a great portion of such deaths represented individuals with myocardial infarction; in spite of its evident macroscopic presentation, the diagnostic management of the disease was progressing very slowly. Myocardial infarction, known at least since 1912, was associated by forensic medicine with the phenomenon of sudden death only in the forties, and the ability to detect myocardial infarction in practice developed only in the fifties of the last century. The achievement of the present dissertation is the formulation of a theory ascribing such a long delay in macroscopic diagnostics of myocardial infarction to forensic medicine specialists being attached to and fond of employing the "in situ" autopsy technique, which was unfavorable from the viewpoint of heart examination, since the organ was not dissected free and removed from the body in the course of a postmortem examination. When autopsies started to concentrate on

  15. Forensic pathological evaluation of postmortem pulmonary CT high-density areas in serial autopsy cases of sudden cardiac death.

    PubMed

    Michiue, Tomomi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Oritani, Shigeki; Kamikodai, Yasunobu; Tsuda, Kohei; Okazaki, Shuji; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2013-10-10

    Previous studies suggested substantial postmortem interference with pulmonary CT findings. The present study evaluated postmortem CT (PM-CT) morphology of the lung, compared with histology, in autopsy cases of sudden cardiac death without recovery from cardiac arrest (SCD, n=22) with regard to the posture at the time of death and postmortem interference from a forensic pathological viewpoint. In witnessed cases (n=5), a case of SCD in a prone position had anterior consolidation with weak hypostatic opacification in the posterior about 18 h later. Among unwitnessed deaths (n=17), 8 cases of death lying prone, sitting facedown and lying laterally had possible gravity-dependent opacity about 15-38 h postmortem. Hypostatic opacification with 'niveau' formation was not evident in more than half of the cases (n=15). Histological findings for ground glass opacification and consolidation on PM-CT varied by case, involving intraalveolar edema and hemorrhages, accompanied by marked congestion; however, possible postmortem hypostatic opacification mostly represented intraalveolar edema. CT morphology of acute pulmonary congestion in SCD may often remain without serious postmortem interference in cases without clinical intervention involving massive fluid infusion, suggesting plain PM-CT findings of the lung to be useful for investigating the death process when combined with histology; however, the possible influence of the hydration status of the lungs at the time of death should be assessed by evaluation of CT and autopsy findings.

  16. Application of mass spectrometry to hair analysis for forensic toxicological investigations.

    PubMed

    Vincenti, Marco; Salomone, Alberto; Gerace, Enrico; Pirro, Valentina

    2013-01-01

    The increasing role of hair analysis in forensic toxicological investigations principally owes to recent improvements of mass spectrometric instrumentation. Research achievements during the last 6 years in this distinctive application area of analytical toxicology are reviewed. The earlier state of the art of hair analysis was comprehensively covered by a dedicated book (Kintz, 2007a. Analytical and practical aspects of drug testing in hair. Boca Raton: CRC Press and Taylor & Francis, 382 p) that represents key reference of the present overview. Whereas the traditional organization of analytical methods in forensic toxicology divided target substances into quite homogeneous groups of drugs, with similar structures and chemical properties, the current approach often takes advantage of the rapid expansion of multiclass and multiresidue analytical procedures; the latter is made possible by the fast operation and extreme sensitivity of modern mass spectrometers. This change in the strategy of toxicological analysis is reflected in the presentation of the recent literature material, which is mostly based on a fit-for-purpose logic. Thus, general screening of unknown substances is applied in diverse forensic contexts than drugs of abuse testing, and different instrumentation (triple quadrupoles, time-of-flight analyzers, linear and orbital traps) is utilized to optimally cope with the scope. Other key issues of modern toxicology, such as cost reduction and high sample throughput, are discussed with reference to procedural and instrumental alternatives.

  17. Post-mortem histopathological investigations of the bone marrow in forensic medicine: an important issue for both the forensic and clinical pathologist.

    PubMed

    Roll, P; Beham, A; Beham-Schmid, Ch

    2009-04-15

    In the forensic literature only a few scientific reports are dealing with series of histopathological bone marrow (BM) investigations, mainly concerning changes after drug abuse and alcoholic consumption. In a period of 13 years (1995-2008) we routinely investigated 225 BM specimens from anterior iliac crests taken at forensic autopsies if the cause of death was unclear or vague, septicaemia was suspected or known, in cases of presumed haemorrhagic diathesis or bleeding tendencies, spleens were found to be enlarged or intoxications were suspected or proofed. In 78 cases (34.66%) abnormal histopathologic changes were found. Forty of those revealed neoplastic, mainly haematological diseases, which were unknown during lifetime. Referring to our findings, extraction of post-mortem BM specimens for histopathological investigations should become an essential issue for both the forensic and clinical pathologist.

  18. Flexible regression models for estimating postmortem interval (PMI) in forensic medicine.

    PubMed

    Muñoz Barús, José Ignacio; Febrero-Bande, Manuel; Cadarso-Suárez, Carmen

    2008-10-30

    Correct determination of time of death is an important goal in forensic medicine. Numerous methods have been described for estimating postmortem interval (PMI), but most are imprecise, poorly reproducible and/or have not been validated with real data. In recent years, however, some progress in PMI estimation has been made, notably through the use of new biochemical methods for quantifying relevant indicator compounds in the vitreous humour. The best, but unverified, results have been obtained with [K+] and hypoxanthine [Hx], using simple linear regression (LR) models. The main aim of this paper is to offer more flexible alternatives to LR, such as generalized additive models (GAMs) and support vector machines (SVMs) in order to obtain improved PMI estimates. The present study, based on detailed analysis of [K+] and [Hx] in more than 200 vitreous humour samples from subjects with known PMI, compared classical LR methodology with GAM and SVM methodologies. Both proved better than LR for estimation of PMI. SVM showed somewhat greater precision than GAM, but GAM offers a readily interpretable graphical output, facilitating understanding of findings by legal professionals; there are thus arguments for using both types of models. R code for these methods is available from the authors, permitting accurate prediction of PMI from vitreous humour [K+], [Hx] and [U], with confidence intervals and graphical output provided. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Application of Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) in forensic chemistry and toxicology with focus on biological matrices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernhard, Werner; Keller, Thomas; Regenscheit, Priska

    1995-01-01

    The IMS (Ion Mobility Spectroscopy) instrument 'Ionscan' takes advantage of the fact that trace quantities of illicit drugs are adsorbed on dust particles on clothes, in cars and on other items of evidence. The dust particles are collected on a membrane filter by a special attachment on a vacuum cleaner. The sample is then directly inserted into the spectrometer and can be analyzed immediately. We show casework applications of a forensic chemistry and toxicology laboratory. One new application of IMS in forensic chemistry is the detection of psilocybin in dried mushrooms without any further sample preparation.

  20. Forensic toxicology in drug-facilitated sexual assault.

    PubMed

    Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Magalhães, Teresa

    2013-09-01

    The low rates of reporting, prosecution and conviction that characterize sexual assault, is likely even more evident in drug-facilitated cases. Typically, in these crimes, victims are incapacitated and left unable to resist sexual advances, unconscious, unable to fight off the abuser or to say "no" and unable to clearly remember the circumstances surrounding the events due to anterograde amnesia. The consequence is the delay in performing toxicological analysis aggravated by the reluctance of the victim to disclose the crime. Moreover since "date rape drugs" are often consumed with ethanol and exhibit similar toxicodynamic effects, the diagnosis is erroneously performed as being classical ethanol intoxication. Therefore, it is imperative to rapidly consider toxicological analysis in drug-facilitated sexual assaults. The major focus of this review is to harmonize practical approaches and guidelines to rapidly uncover drug-facilitated sexual assault, namely issues related to when to perform toxicological analysis, toxicological requests, samples to be collected, storage, preservation and transport precautions and xenobiotics or endobiotics to be analyzed.

  1. Distinction between forensic evidence and dermatological findings.

    PubMed

    Hammer, U; Boy, D; Rothaupt, D; Büttner, A

    2015-07-01

    The external examination after death requires knowledge in forensics/pathology, dermatology, as well as associated diseases and age-related alterations of the skin. This article highlights some findings with forensic evidence versus dermatological findings. The lectures in forensic medicine should be structured interdisciplinarily, especially to dermatology, internal medicine, surgery, pathology, and toxicology in order to train the overlapping skills required for external and internal postmortem examinations.

  2. American College of Medical Toxicology

    MedlinePlus

    ... Courses Conference Calendar ACMT at NACCT Seminars in Forensic Toxicology Annual Scientific Meeting Board Review Course Past ... NACCT General Info ACMT Business Meeting Seminars in Forensic Toxicology 2017 Seminar in Forensic Toxicology 2017 Forensic ...

  3. Forensic postmortem computed tomography: volumetric measurement of the heart and liver.

    PubMed

    Jakobsen, Lykke Schrøder; Lundemose, Sissel; Banner, Jytte; Lynnerup, Niels; Jacobsen, Christina

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) images in estimating organ sizes and to examine the use of the cardiothoracic ratio (CTR). We included 45 individuals (19 females), who underwent a medico-legal autopsy. Using the computer software program Mimics(®), we determined in situ heart and liver volumes derived from linear measurements (width, height and depth) on a whole body PMCT-scan, and compared the volumes with ex vivo volumes derived by CT-scan of the eviscerated heart and liver. The ex vivo volumes were also compared with the organ weights. Further, we compared the CTR with the ex vivo heart volume and a heart weight-ratio (HWR). Intra- and inter-observer analyses were performed. We found no correlation between the in situ and ex vivo volumes of the heart and liver. However, a highly significant correlation was found between the ex vivo volumes and weights of the heart and liver. No correlations between CTR and the ex vivo heart volume nor with HWR was found. Concerning cardiomegaly, we found no agreement between the CTR and HWR. The intra- and inter-observer analyses showed no significant differences. Noninvasive in situ PMCT methods for organ measuring, as performed in this study, are not useful tools in forensic pathology. The best method to estimate organ volume is a CT-scan of the eviscerated organ. PMCT-determined CTR seems to be useless for ascertaining cardiomegaly, as it neither correlated with the ex vivo heart volume nor with the HWR.

  4. The importance of post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) in confrontation with conventional forensic autopsy of victims of motorcycle accidents.

    PubMed

    Moskała, Artur; Woźniak, Krzysztof; Kluza, Piotr; Romaszko, Karol; Lopatin, Oleksij

    2016-01-01

    Since traffic accidents are an important problem in forensic medicine, there is a constant search for new solutions to help with an investigation process in such cases. In recent years there was a rapid development of post-mortem imaging techniques, especially post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT). In our work we concentrated on a potential advantage of PMCT in cases of motorcycle accident fatalities. The results of forensic autopsy were compared with combined results of the autopsy and PMCT to check in which areas use of these two techniques gives statistically important increase in number of findings. The hypothesis was confirmed in case of pneumothorax and fractures of skull, spine, clavicle, scapula, lower leg bones. As for majority of other bone fractures locations and brain injures there were single cases with pathologies visible only in PMCT, but too few to reach expected level of p-value. In case of injuries of solid organs and soft tissues statistical analysis did not confirmed any advantage of unenhanced PMCT use. On the whole it has been shown that PMCT used as an adjunct to forensic autopsy can cause an increase in information about vitally important regions in case of motorcycle accident fatalities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. [On the problem of informational support of scientific research in the field of forensic (toxicological) chemistry].

    PubMed

    Gorbacheva, N A; Orlova, A M

    2011-01-01

    The present work was designed for the analysis of informational support of scientific research in the field of forensic (toxicological) chemistry in this country during the period preceding the collapse of the Soviet Union and in present-day Russia. The established channels of transmission of relevant information are characterized. Recommendations for the further development of the work in this sphere and its improvement are proposed.

  6. Application of DNA Profiling in Resolving Aviation Forensic Toxicology Issues

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-10-01

    mislabeled. The low number of the accident cases requiring DNA profiling suggests that the sample- submitting agencies take extensive precautionary measures ...muscle,.spleen,.and.vitreous.fluid Toxicological Findings Pilot: Carboxyhemoglobin .20% Cyanide.1 .80.µg/mL.in.blood Diphenhydramine.0 .030.µg/mL.in.blood...Diphenhydramine.present.in.liver Copilot: Carboxyhemoglobin .25% Cyanide.2 .07.µg/mL.in.blood Diphenhydramine.0 .036.µg/mL.in.blood

  7. [Injecting drug abuse: survival after intensive care admission and forensic toxicology reports at death].

    PubMed

    Sigvaldason, Kristinn; Ingvarsson, Thoroddur; Thordardottir, Svava; Kristinsson, Jakob; Karason, Sigurbergur

    2014-10-01

    Injecting drug abuse is a worldwide problem with serious consequences for the individual and for society. The purpose of this study was to gather information on the most serious complications of injecting drug use from two perspectives, intensive care admissions and forensic toxicology reports. Firstly, intensive care admissions related to injecting drug abuse during a five year period were reviewed for demographics, complications and 5 year survival. Secondly, information from forensic toxicology reports regarding deaths amongst known injecting drug abusers were gathered for the same period. A total of 57 patients with a history of active injecting drug use were admitted to intensive care or approximately 1% of admissions, most often for overdose (52%) or life threatening infections (39%). Median age was 26, males were 66%. The most common substances used were prescription drugs. Hospital mortality was 16% and five year survival 65%. Average time from hospital discharge to death was 916±858 days. During the study period 38 deaths of individuals with a history of injecting drugs were identified by forensic toxicology reports or 4.1/10(5) population/year (age 15-59). Cause of death was most often overdose (53%), usually from prescription opiates but multiple drug use was common. The life expectancy of injecting drug abusers after intensive care admission is substantially decreased, with 35% death rate within five years. A widespread use of prescription drugs is of concern. Injecting drug abuse seems to be a similar health problem in magnitude in Iceland as in other Scandinavian countries.

  8. Validation of LC–TOF-MS Screening for Drugs, Metabolites, and Collateral Compounds in Forensic Toxicology Specimens

    PubMed Central

    Guale, Fessessework; Shahreza, Shahriar; Walterscheid, Jeffrey P.; Chen, Hsin-Hung; Arndt, Crystal; Kelly, Anna T.; Mozayani, Ashraf

    2013-01-01

    Liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC–TOF-MS) analysis provides an expansive technique for identifying many known and unknown analytes. This study developed a screening method that utilizes automated solid-phase extraction to purify a wide array of analytes involving stimulants, benzodiazepines, opiates, muscle relaxants, hypnotics, antihistamines, antidepressants and newer synthetic “Spice/K2” cannabinoids and cathinone “bath salt” designer drugs. The extract was applied to LC–TOF-MS analysis, implementing a 13 min chromatography gradient with mobile phases of ammonium formate and methanol using positive mode electrospray. Several common drugs and metabolites can share the same mass and chemical formula among unrelated compounds, but they are structurally different. In this method, the LC–TOF-MS was able to resolve many isobaric compounds by accurate mass correlation within 15 ppm mass units and a narrow retention time interval of less than 10 s of separation. Drug recovery yields varied among spiked compounds, but resulted in overall robust area counts to deliver an average match score of 86 when compared to the retention time and mass of authentic standards. In summary, this method represents a rapid, enhanced screen for blood and urine specimens in postmortem, driving under the influence, and drug facilitated sexual assault forensic toxicology casework. PMID:23118149

  9. Hair analysis in forensic toxicology: an updated review with a special focus on pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Kintz, Pascal

    2017-09-29

    The detection and drugs in hair analysis has progressively emerged as a consequence of the enhanced sensitivity of analytical techniques used in forensic toxicology; a greater advantage in using this matrix respect to classical ones (i.e. urine and blood) is an easier and non-invasive sample collection, even when the careful supervision of law enforcement officers is required to avoid the risk that the sample may be adulterated or replaced. Moreover, according to the length of the hair, the history of drug exposure can be retrospectively monitored from few weeks up to months or years since sample collection. Through a detailed revision of the existent literature, this manuscript provides information on the proper sample collection, preparation and analysis, as well as pitfalls in forensic hair analysis, and summarizes the wide range of application of this technology, including excessive alcohol drinking, doping, child abuse, and offences linked to drug use. Verification of history of psychotropic drugs, alcohol and doping agents use by hair analysis, hair testing for license regranting and drug facilitated crimes, testing for drugs in hair of children have been reviewed together with recent trends in hair contamination and possibility to disclose use of new psychoactive substances by hair analysis. Hair analysis in forensic toxicology has been quickly emerged and improved in recent years; a deeper knowledge of advantages and limitations of this unique matrix is necessary for a better use in forensic caseworks. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  10. How should forensic anthropologists correct national weather service temperature data for use in estimating the postmortem interval?

    PubMed

    Dabbs, Gretchen R

    2015-05-01

    This study examines the correlation between site-specific and retrospectively collected temperature data from the National Weather Service (NWS) over an extended time period. Using iButtonLink thermochrons (model DS1921G), hourly temperature readings were collected at 15 sites (1 validation; 14 experimental) from December 2010 to January 2012. Comparison between the site-specific temperature data and data retrieved from an official reporter of NWS temperature data shows statistically significant differences between the two in 71.4% (10/14) of cases. The difference ranged between 0.04 and 2.81°C. Examination of both regression and simple adjustment of the mean difference over extended periods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 9 months) suggests that on the timescale typical in forensic anthropology cases neither method of correction is consistent or reliable and that forensic anthropologists would be better suited using uncorrected NWS temperature data when the postmortem interval is extended.

  11. [Carbamazepine in modern toxicological casuistry at Department of Forensic Medicine of Medical University of Gdańsk in the years 1996-2001].

    PubMed

    Reguła, K; Szpiech, B; Galer, K; Wiergowski, M

    2002-01-01

    In this paper the authors presented 20 cases of death of individuals diagnosed at Department of Forensic Medicine of Medical University of Gdańsk in the years 1996-2001. In all cases carbamazepine was found in post-mortem material collected from the deceased during autopsy. 14 deaths resulted from intoxication after overdose of drugs for the purpose of committing suicide. In the other cases carbamazepine did not have on influence on the cause of death. The subject of the chemo-toxicological analysis were blood and urine samples and also specimens of the stomach with its contents, liver, kidney, brain and lung specimens collected during autopsy. TLC, GC-FID, GC-MS, TLC-UV were used as diagnostic tools. Determined carbamazepine concentrations fluctuated between 1.5 to 78.6 micrograms/ml in the blood.

  12. Forensic relevance of post-mortem CT imaging of the haemopericardium in determining the cause of death.

    PubMed

    Filograna, Laura; Thali, Michael J; Marchetti, Daniela

    2014-09-01

    The post-mortem diagnosis of pericardial tamponade is associated with several medical legal problems. Thus, we explored whether post-mortem computed tomography might provide useful and reliable information for the diagnosis of this relevant disease in combination with autopsy data. We retrospectively reviewed the post-mortem computed tomography and autopsy reports of 15 autopsy cases with haemopericardium detected at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Berne from July 2005 to February 2010. Two computer tomography findings were examined in combination with autopsy results. The first was the "hyperdense armoured heart," which has been previously described as post-mortem evidence of heart beating for a time after the initiation of intrapericardial bleeding. The second was the "flattening of the anterior surface" of the heart which has been previously observed in vivo as a sign of the compression effect of the haemopericardium on the heart. Our retrospective analysis showed the combined presence of both of these findings in all cases of autopsy evidence of pericardial tamponade with the exception of one case. In contrast, the concomitance of both of them was never observed in cases of autopsy death due to haemorrhage in which neither the flattening of the anterior surface of the heart was detected except for one case. In conclusion, these results should be considered a first step toward the potentially using post-mortem computed tomography in combination with autopsy data in the diagnosis of pericardial tamponade especially considering the possibility to detect sign as the flattened heart signal which cannot be assessed after opening the pericardium at autopsy.

  13. [Advances of forensic entomology in China].

    PubMed

    Lan, Ling-mei; Liao, Zhi-gang; Chen, Yao-qing; Yao, Yue; Li, Jian-bo; Li, Mao-yang; Cai, Ji-feng

    2006-12-01

    Forensic entomology is a branch of forensic medicine, which applies studies of insects and arthropods to getting evidence for court and has an analogous advantage in the estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) and other questions of forensic relevance. The paper expounds its definition and contents and reviews some progress of the studies in some aspects in China such as the constitution and succession of insect community on the different cadavers, the applications of morphological features of insects and the technology of analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in forensic entomology, and forensic entomological toxicology etc.

  14. [Hair analysis of abused and therapeutic drugs in forensic toxicology].

    PubMed

    Klausz, Gabriella; Kass, Krisztina; Sótonyi, Péter; Róna, Kálmán

    2006-11-12

    Hair analysis for abused drugs has been gaining increasing significance in forensic sciences. Hair is a special matrix for the retrospective investigation of chronic drug abuse or poisoning in criminal cases and allows to demonstrate with sensitive methods even a single administration in low amount. Segmental hair analysis can yield the information about the time course of the substance use. The background of drug incorporation mechanism is not yet understood in full details and cannot be evaluated exactly in all cases. The hair sampling, sample preparation, analytical performance are very important for final results. The outcomes of hair analysis have been reviewed by dividing into six groups: opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, cannabinoids, abused therapeutic drugs and the markers of chronic alcohol consumption.

  15. Two forensic autopsy cases of death due to upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage: a comparison of postmortem computed tomography and autopsy findings.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Hideto; Hasegawa, Iwao; Hoshino, Norio; Fukunaga, Tatsushige

    2015-05-01

    In this report, we describe two autopsy cases of death due to upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage (Case 1: gastric ulcer, Case 2: aortoduodenal fistula). Postmortem computed tomography (CT) images from both cases revealed pooling of gastric fluid, which contained high attenuation areas, although these images also mirrored the different sources of the gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Fluid collection was observed in the small intestine for both cases, although the high attenuation areas were only remarkable in Case 2. The autopsy in Case 1 revealed a peptic ulcer, with small vessels exposed on the surface of the ulcer. Melena was also observed throughout the intestine, although clotting was only observed inside the stomach. The autopsy in Case 2 revealed diffuse massive clotting from the stomach to the upper portion of the ileum, which was due to a primary aortoduodenal fistula. Given our autopsy findings, the extent of the high attenuation areas in the digestive tract during postmortem CT scanning may be correlated with the speed of the gastrointestinal hemorrhage before death. Carefully evaluating the radiodensity of the gastrointestinal contents during postmortem CT scanning may indicate the primary site of the hemorrhage before the autopsy, thereby facilitating the accurate identification of the cause of death during forensic autopsy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Resolution of aviation forensic toxicology findings with the aid of DNA profiling.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Arvind K; Craft, Kristi J; Kupfer, Doris M; Burian, Dennis; Canfield, Dennis V

    2011-03-20

    Body components of aviation accident fatalities are often scattered, disintegrated, commingled, contaminated, and/or putrefied at accident scenes. These situations may impose difficulties in victim identification/tissue matching. The prevalence of misidentification in relation to aviation accident forensic toxicology has not been well established. Therefore, the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) toxicology database was searched for the 1998-2008 period for those cases wherein DNA profiling was performed to resolve identity issue of the samples submitted to CAMI for toxicological evaluation. During this period, biological samples from the casualties of a total of 3523 accidents were submitted to CAMI. The submitted samples were primarily from pilots. Out of the 3523 accidents, at least, one fatality had occurred in 3366 (≈ 96%) accidents; thus, these accidents were considered fatal accidents. Accordingly, biological samples from 3319 pilots (3319 of the 3366 accidents) were received at CAMI for toxicological testing. Of these 3319 pilots, 3275 (≈ 99%) were fatally injured. DNA profiling was performed in 15 (≈ 0.5%) of the 3319 accidents. The profiling was conducted upon the requests of families in two accidents, accident investigators in three, and pathologists in four. In six accidents, contradictory toxicological findings led CAMI to initiate DNA profiling. The requests made by families and investigators were primarily triggered by inconsistency between the toxicological results and the history of drug use of the victims, while by pathologists because of commingling of samples. In three (20%) of the 15 accidents, at least one submitted sample was misidentified or mislabeled. The present study demonstrated that the number of aviation accident cases requiring DNA profiling was small and this DNA approach was effectively applied in resolving aviation toxicology findings associated with those accidents.

  17. [Advances on study of Lucilia species in estimating postmortem interval in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lu; Cai, Ji-feng

    2010-08-01

    Sarcosaphagous insects are very important to investigate some criminal cases. They are significant useful in estimating post-mortem interval (PMI) and corpse transfer post-mortem. Lucilia are very common sarcosaphagous insects. They like sunshine and are usually the earliest to touch the cadaver. These characteristics and others such as the stages of their larvae development can offer good evidences for criminal case investigation. This paper summarizes details of their application for estimating postmortem interval in recent years and reviews the methods to identify species and to determine the age of adult Lucilia with molecular biology and entomological morphology.

  18. Recent advances of liquid chromatography-(tandem) mass spectrometry in clinical and forensic toxicology - An update.

    PubMed

    Remane, Daniela; Wissenbach, Dirk K; Peters, Frank T

    2016-09-01

    Liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) or tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is a well-established and widely used technique in clinical and forensic toxicology as well as doping control especially for quantitative analysis. In recent years, many applications for so-called multi-target screening and/or quantification of drugs, poisons, and or their metabolites in biological matrices have been developed. Such methods have proven particularly useful for analysis of so-called new psychoactive substances that have appeared on recreational drug markets throughout the world. Moreover, the evolvement of high resolution MS techniques and the development of data-independent detection modes have opened new possibilities for applications of LC-(MS/MS) in systematic toxicological screening analysis in the so called general unknown setting. The present paper will provide an overview and discuss these recent developments focusing on the literature published after 2010.

  19. Advances in forensic toxicology for establishing causality between Great Lakes epizootics and specific persistent toxic chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbertson, M.

    1997-09-01

    Populations of fish, wildlife, and humans in the Great Lakes basin have been injured during this century by exposures to organochlorine pollutants such as PCBs and dioxin. The evidence presented by scientists working on these outbreaks of chemically induced disease has been received with skepticism among officials, who have expressed a desire for a proven cause and effect before further costly regulatory and remedial action is taken. Scientists have adapted epidemiological criteria to infer causal relationships between the injury and exposures to specific chemicals. These forensic statements are different from traditional toxicological statements about potential effects. There is a priority need to institutionalize this methodology within governments to complement established risk assessment techniques.

  20. Fault lines in forensic medical toxicology in Ireland exposed through replies of pathologists and coroners to anonymous questionnaires.

    PubMed

    Tormey, William P; Borovickova, Ingrid; Moore, Tara M

    2014-01-01

    The attitudes and experiences of pathologists and coroners to the provision of biochemical forensic toxicology in the Republic of Ireland were determined using separate questionnaires to each group anonymously. Replies were received from 36/88 (41%) of pathologists and 19/71 (27%) of coroners. 37% of coroners considered that histopathologists give an adequate opinion in forensic toxicology yet 58% of pathologists reported that they did not have adequate access to expert medical interpretative toxicological opinion. For drug-drug interactions and metabolic diseases, 69% of pathologists were unhappy with the processes and 68% of coroner replies did not know if vitreous samples were used appropriately. There is a clear requirement for retraining of coroners and for the appointment of medical toxicology expertise to improve the quality of service for coroners.

  1. Stability of analytes in biosamples - an important issue in clinical and forensic toxicology?

    PubMed

    Peters, Frank T

    2007-08-01

    Knowledge of the stability of drugs in biological samples is important for the interpretation of toxicological findings. This paper reviews data on the stability of drugs in blood, plasma, or serum. Since such data have already been reviewed for classic drugs of abuse, the focus here is on newer drugs of abuse and on therapeutic drugs. Key information about the conditions of the stability experiments will be provided and the following drugs or drug classes are covered: amphetamines, amphetamine-derived, piperazine-derived, and phenethylamine-derived designer drugs, antidepressants, neuroleptics, anti-HIV drugs, antiepileptics, cardiovascular drugs, and others. In addition, aspects of stability experiments and their evaluations are discussed. The data presented show that the majority of drugs are stable in blood, plasma, or serum samples under the conditions usually encountered in a clinical or forensic toxicology laboratory. Instability usually only occurs for drugs carrying ester moieties, sulfur atoms, or other easily oxidized or reduced structures. Nevertheless, clinical or forensic specimens should always be stored at least in the refrigerator and preferably at -20 degrees C or lower to avoid any degradation. Finally, results obtained from biosamples that have been stored at room temperature for a longer time should be interpreted with great care and partial degradation should always be considered.

  2. "Blind spots" in forensic autopsy: improved detection of retrobulbar hemorrhage and orbital lesions by postmortem computed tomography (PMCT).

    PubMed

    Flach, P M; Egli, T C; Bolliger, S A; Berger, N; Ampanozi, G; Thali, M J; Schweitzer, W

    2014-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to correlate the occurrence of retrobulbar hemorrhage (RBH) with mechanism of injury, external signs and autopsy findings to postmortem computed tomography (PMCT). Six-teen subjects presented with RBH and underwent PMCT, external inspection and conventional autopsy. External inspection was evaluated for findings of the bulbs, black eye, raccoon eyes and Battle's sign. Fractures of the viscerocranium, orbital lesions and RBH were evaluated by PMCT. Autopsy and PMCT was evaluated for orbital roof and basilar skull fracture. The leading manner of death was accident with central regulatory failure in cases of RBH (31.25%). Imaging showed a high sensitivity in detection of orbital roof and basilar skull fractures (100%), but was less specific compared to autopsy. Volume of RBH (0.1-2.4ml) correlated positively to the presence of Battle's sign (p<0.06) and the postmortem interval. Ecchymosis on external inspection correlated with RBH. There was a statistical significant correlation between bulbar lesion and RBH. Orbital roof fracture count weakly correlated with the total PMCT derived RBH volume. Maxillary hemosinus correlated to maxillary fractures, but not to RBH. RBH are a specific finding in forensically relevant head trauma. PMCT is an excellent tool in detecting and quantifying morphological trauma findings particularly in the viscerocranium, one of the most relevant "blind spots" of classic autopsy. PMCT was superior in detecting osseous lesions, scrutinizing autopsy as the gold standard. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Cases of fatal poisoning in post-mortem examinations at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Greifswald--analysis of five decades of post-mortems.

    PubMed

    Below, Elke; Lignitz, Eberhard

    2003-04-23

    Apparently, fatal poisoning as cause of death are still rarely found in unnatural deaths investigated in the institutes of forensic medicine. In the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Greifswald, 10-15% of the post-mortem autopsies displayed an intoxication during the last several decades with a possible decreasing tendency. Thirteen thousand eight hundred and nineteen autopsies were carried out in our institute-situated in a low populated rural area-during the last 50 years with the confirmed death cause intoxication in 1,589 times. In this study, especially the intoxication causes and the substance classes of the poisonous agents have been investigated. In addition, we analyzed the frequency of intoxications as well as sex and age of the deceased. Surprisingly, CO-intoxications were found most frequently with an incidence of 49% followed by alcohol intoxications with 21%. The latter was not unexpected taking into account the habits of the local population. Medical drugs and narcotics take only the third place, although the abuse of modern narcotics drugs is already visible even in the far east of Germany. The spectrum of substances which are abused, taken accidentally or deliberately is continuously changing, reflecting scientific progress in the pharmaceutical industry as well as fashion tendencies. Therapeutic use is almost always followed by abuse. Our results confirm prior experience concentrating mostly on other poisons like heavy metals or herbicides, etc. In addition, we could demonstrate the influence of political conditions on use and distribution of illegal drugs in Germany. Our study clearly demonstrates that insufficient equipment or analytical methods are no longer the reason for any problems uncovering lethal intoxications. They are rather due to insufficient investigations of the corpses (without considering the possibility of an intoxication as differential diagnosis) and to frequent mistakes of the prosecutor's office in death

  4. Utilization of lectin-histochemistry in forensic neuropathology: lectin staining provides useful information for postmortem diagnosis in forensic neuropathology.

    PubMed

    Nishi, Katsuji; Tanegashima, Akio; Yamamoto, Yoshio; Ushiyama, Ikuko; Ikemoto, Keiko; Yamasaki, Shigeru; Nishimura, Akiyoshi; Rand, Steven; Brinkmann, Bernd

    2003-09-01

    We have investigated the deposition of glycoconjugates in human brain tissue with or without brain disorders. In this review we describe the application of lectin-histochemistry techniques to forensic neuropathology. Lectin staining is able to reveal several kinds of carbohydrate-related depositions in addition to the conventional degenerative changes including senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and corpora amylacea. The senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles were clearly stained by Con A, PSA and GSI lectins, the corpora amylacea which is relevant to repeated brain hypoxia and mitochondrial damage was also easily detected by these and many other kinds of lectins. Amorphous spaces were detected around blood vessels and independently from blood vessels by lectin staining in the white matter from patients with brain disorders or severe edema. The white matter lesions were not considered relevant for forensic pathology, until a large group of cerebral white matter lesions were detected in the elderly with increasing frequency by modern neuro-imaging methods. The spherical deposits were newly detected by lectin staining in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation chiefly from patients with schizophrenia or cognitive dysfunctions.

  5. Efficacy of drug screening in forensic autopsy: retrospective investigation of routine toxicological findings.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Mariko; Michiue, Tomomi; Inamori-Kawamoto, Osamu; Hishmat, Asmaa Mohammed; Oritani, Shigeki; Takama, Masashi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2015-05-01

    Toxicological analysis is indispensable in forensic autopsy laboratories, but often depends on the limitations of individual institutions. The present study reviewed routine drug screening data of forensic autopsy cases (n=2996) during an 18.5-year period (January 1996-June 2014) at our institute to examine the efficacy of the procedures and findings in autopsy diagnosis and interpretation. Drug screening was performed using on-site immunoassay screening devices and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in all cases, followed by re-examination using GC/MS and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) at a cooperating institute in specific cases in the last 4 years. GC/MS detected drugs in 486 cases (16.2%), including amphetamines (n=160), major tranquilizers (n=72), minor tranquilizers (n=294), antidepressants (n=21), cold remedies (n=77), and other drugs (n=19). Among these cases, fatal intoxication (n=123) involved amphetamines (n=73), major tranquilizers (n=37), minor tranquilizers (n=86), antidepressants (n=3), and cold remedies (n=9); most cases involved self-administration, alleged suicide and accidental overdose, while homicide was not included. These drugs were also identified in other manners of death, including homicide (n=40/372), suicide (n=34/226), accidental falls (n=27/129), and natural death (n=72/514). In these cases, on-site immunoassay screening of drugs of abuse showed negative findings in 2440 cases (81.4% in all cases), while GC/MS detected other drugs in 218 cases (7.3% in all cases), including several antipsychotic drugs, acetaminophen and salicylic acid. Further analysis using LC/MS/MS detected low concentrations of benzodiazepines in 32 cases, and also anti-diabetic and hypertensive drugs in a case of fatal abuse. These observations indicate the efficacy of systematic routine toxicological analysis to investigate not only the cause of death but also the background of fatalities in forensic autopsy. The provision of

  6. Forensic entomology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amendt, Jens; Krettek, Roman; Zehner, Richard

    Necrophagous insects are important in the decomposition of cadavers. The close association between insects and corpses and the use of insects in medicocriminal investigations is the subject of forensic entomology. The present paper reviews the historical background of this discipline, important postmortem processes, and discusses the scientific basis underlying attempts to determine the time interval since death. Using medical techniques, such as the measurement of body temperature or analysing livor and rigor mortis, time since death can only be accurately measured for the first two or three days after death. In contrast, by calculating the age of immature insect stages feeding on a corpse and analysing the necrophagous species present, postmortem intervals from the first day to several weeks can be estimated. These entomological methods may be hampered by difficulties associated with species identification, but modern DNA techniques are contributing to the rapid and authoritative identification of necrophagous insects. Other uses of entomological data include the toxicological examination of necrophagous larvae from a corpse to identify and estimate drugs and toxicants ingested by the person when alive and the proof of possible postmortem manipulations. Forensic entomology may even help in investigations dealing with people who are alive but in need of care, by revealing information about cases of neglect.

  7. Frequency of forensic toxicological analysis in external cause deaths among nursing home residents: an analysis of trends.

    PubMed

    Aitken, Georgia; Murphy, Briony; Pilgrim, Jennifer; Bugeja, Lyndal; Ranson, David; Ibrahim, Joseph Elias

    2017-03-01

    There is a paucity of research examining the utility of forensic toxicology in the investigation of premature external cause deaths of residents in nursing homes. The aim of this study is to describe the frequency and characteristics of toxicological analysis conducted in external cause (injury-related) deaths amongst nursing home residents in Victoria, Australia. This study was a retrospective cohort study examining external cause deaths among nursing home residents during the period July 1, 2000 to December 31, 2012 in Victoria, Australia, using the National Coronial Information System (NCIS). The variables examined comprised: sex, age group, year-of-death, cause and manner of death. One-third of deaths among nursing home residents in Victoria resulted from external causes (n = 1296, 33.3%) of which just over one-quarter (361, 27.9%) underwent toxicological analysis as part of the medical death investigation. The use of toxicological analysis varied by cause of death with a relatively low proportion conducted in deaths from unintentional falls (n = 286, 24.9%) and choking (n = 36, 40.4%). The use of toxicological analysis decreased as the decedents age increased. Forensic toxicology has the potential to contribute to improving our understanding of premature deaths in nursing home residents however it remains under used and is possibly undervalued.

  8. Bacterial Deposition of Gold on Hair: Archeological, Forensic and Toxicological Implications

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Genevieve; Reith, Frank; Qualls, Clifford; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi; Spilde, Mike; Appenzeller, Otto

    2010-01-01

    Background Trace metal analyses in hair are used in archeological, forensic and toxicological investigations as proxies for metabolic processes. We show metallophilic bacteria mediating the deposition of gold (Au), used as tracer for microbial activity in hair post mortem after burial, affecting results of such analyses. Methodology/Principal Findings Human hair was incubated for up to six months in auriferous soils, in natural soil columns (Experiment 1), soils amended with mobile Au(III)-complexes (Experiment 2) and the Au-precipitating bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans (Experiment 3), in peptone-meat-extract (PME) medium in a culture of C. metallidurans amended with Au(III)-complexes (Experiment 4), and in non-auriferous soil (Experiment 5). Hair samples were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. In Experiments 1–4 the Au content increased with time (P = 0.038). The largest increase was observed in Experiment 4 vs. Experiment 1 (mean = 1188 vs. 161 µg Kg−1, Fisher's least significance 0.001). The sulfur content, a proxy for hair metabolism, remained unchanged. Notably, the ratios of Au-to-S increased with time (linear trend P = 0.02) and with added Au and bacteria (linear trend, P = 0.005), demonstrating that larger populations of Au-precipitating bacteria and increased availability of Au increased the deposition of Au on the hair. Conclusion/Significance Interactions of soil biota with hair post mortem may distort results of hair analyses, implying that metal content, microbial activities and the duration of burial must be considered in the interpretation of results of archeological, forensic and toxicological hair analyses, which have hitherto been proxies for pre-mortem metabolic processes. PMID:20174476

  9. Experimental forensic and bioanthropological aspects of soft tissue taphonomy: 1. Factors influencing postmortem tissue desiccation rate.

    PubMed

    Aturaliya, S; Lukasewycz, A

    1999-09-01

    Euthanized rats' carcasses were exposed in an environmental chamber to multiple variables including: (1) position, (2) enveloping clothing, and (3) soil interment in an effort to determine the individual variables' effect on postmortem rate of body and visceral organ water loss. Results indicated that body water loss was enhanced by a horizontal position versus vertical, probably because of wider spread of bacteria- and enzyme-laden abdominal fluid secondary to diaphragm digestion with consequent greater tissue digestion and liquefaction. Clothing also accelerated the desiccation rate. Desiccation was about equally as effective by soil interment as by air exposure, though simulating windy conditions by tripling the air flow rate resulted in much more rapid desiccation in the air-exposed specimen. These studies suggest that the single most important factor influencing postmortem body water loss rate is the environment at the skin surface that acts to enhance or impair water removal from the skin surface and thus influences the water concentration gradient between the skin and underlying deeper tissues.

  10. The assessment of lens opacity postmortem and its implication in forensics.

    PubMed

    Stemberga, Valter; Petaros, Anja; Kovacevic, Damir; Coklo, Miran; Simicevic, Neven; Bosnar, Alan

    2013-11-01

    Visual impairment, mostly due to cataracts, has been demonstrated to be an important factor associated with traffic accidents. Although vision screening is standard procedure during licensing in order to prevent motor vehicle accidents, an eye exam is not typically administered after an accident has already occurred. Postmortem assessment of lens opacity in victims of car accidents would provide helpful information for attesting to the liability of the parties in specific accidents, determining the circumstances of the accident, and developing preventive measures for both drivers and pedestrians alike. In this paper, we explore the use of different methods and their limitations for assessing lens opacity postmortem. We discuss the possible use and benefits of a simple, but as-yet untested method: retrobulbar translucency. The method would be based on the recording of shadows formed by opaque regions of the lens while the eye is illuminated from the back with a rigid source of light. The efficacy and objectivity of the method, its reproducibility, and the inter- and intra-observer error should be tested before implementing such a technique to be regularly used to determine lens opacity in cadavers.

  11. Analytical Challenge in Postmortem Toxicology Applied to a Human Body Found into a Lake after Three Years Immersion.

    PubMed

    Morini, Luca; Vignali, Claudia; Tricomi, Paolo; Groppi, Angelo

    2015-09-01

    The body of a 30-year-old woman was found in Como lake at a depth of about 120 meters in her own car after 3 years of immersion. The aim of this study was to evaluate psychoactive drugs as well as alcohol biomarkers in biological matrices. The following analyses were initially performed: GC-MS systematic toxicological analysis on biological fluids and tissues; GC-MS analysis of drugs of abuse on pubic hair; direct ethanol metabolite determination in pubic hair by LC-MS/MS. After 7 years, the samples, that had been stored at -20°C, were re-analyzed and submitted to an LC-MS/MS targeted screening method, using multiple reaction monitoring mode. These analyses detected citalopram (150-3000 ng/mL), desmethylcitalopram (50-2300 ng/mL), clotiapine (20-65 ng/mL), and ethyl glucuronide (97 pg/mg). The methods showed an acceptable reproducibility, and the concentrations of citalopram and desmethylcitalopram calculated through the two analytical techniques did not significantly differ in biological fluids. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  12. [Analytical, toxicological and forensic aspects of drug-facilitated crimes: 10 years of experience].

    PubMed

    Pépin, G

    2010-03-01

    Although being a relatively old phenomenon, drug-facilitated crime has been well described over the past 20 years as being the administration without the knowledge of the victim of a psychoactive substance in criminal purposes (rape, robbery, theft, money extortion, even murder). Drug-facilitated crime involves also mistreatment of older people or children treated by their parents in order to obtain sedation. Drug-facilitated crimes are often difficult to solve mainly due to analytical issues. Since 10 years, we developed and improved specific methods using LC-MS/MS (benzodiazepines, neuroleptics) and GC-MS/MS (GHB, cannabis) to detect the drugs involved in such crimes. After the intake of a low dosage of a particular drug, those methods allow to detect the analyte of interest up to 3-5 days in blood, 10-15 days in urine, and more than 1 year in hair. In drug-facilitated crime cases, blood and urine are frequently collected too late, more than 12 h after the drug intake and in some cases with a delay greater than 48 h after the event. Thus, the most used molecules are undetectable by the techniques classically used in a laboratory of biology. Moreover, a "good" compound that can be used to commit a drug-facilitated crime usually possesses a short elimination half-life and amnesic properties, so that the victim is less able to accurately recall the circumstances under which the offence occurred. The recent progress in analytical toxicology, particularly for laboratories working in the field of forensic toxicology, permits to elucidate many cases of drug-facilitated crimes. Heaven to the introduction of the sequential analysis of hair and the use of sophisticated analytical techniques such as tandem mass-spectrometry for the toxicologist to bring the scientific proof to the applicant authorities in the description of the criminal act and to confuse the offender. The author presents the results of 583 presumed cases of drug-facilitated crimes analyzed by his

  13. Current issues in postmortem imaging of perinatal and forensic childhood deaths.

    PubMed

    Arthurs, Owen J; Hutchinson, John C; Sebire, Neil J

    2017-03-01

    Perinatal autopsy practice is undergoing a state of change with the introduction of evidence-based cross-sectional imaging, driven primarily by parental choice. In particular, the introduction of post mortem magnetic resonance imaging (PMMR) has helped to advance less-invasive perinatal autopsy in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe. However, there are limitations to PMMR and other imaging techniques which need to be overcome, particularly with regard to imaging very small fetuses. Imaging is also now increasingly used to investigate particular deaths in childhood, such as suspected non-accidental injury (NAI) and sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI). Here we focus on current topical developments the field, with particular emphasis on the application of imaging to perinatal autopsy, and pediatric forensic deaths. Different imaging modalities and their relative advantages and disadvantages are discussed, together with other benefits of more advanced cross-sectional imaging which currently lie in the research domain. Whilst variations in local imaging service provision and need may determine different practice patterns, and access to machines and professionals with appropriate expertise and experience to correctly interpret the findings may limit current practices, we propose that gold standard perinatal and pediatric autopsy services would include complete PMMR imaging prior to autopsy, with PMCT in suspicious childhood deaths. This approach would provide maximal diagnostic yield to the pathologist, forensic investigator and most importantly, the parents.

  14. [Forensic radiology].

    PubMed

    Stein, K M; Grünberg, K

    2009-01-01

    Forensic radiology includes both clinical and postmortem forensic radiology. Clinical forensic radiology deals with imaging of healthy people from a legal point of view, such as for determining age or to prove and document injuries in victims of crime. Postmortem forensic radiology deals with the application of modern radiological methods in order to optimise post-mortem diagnosis. X-ray examination has for decades been routinely used in postmortem diagnosis. Newer developments include the application of postmortem computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging; these are the methods with the greatest information potential but also with the greatest deviations from diagnostics in living persons. Application of radiological methods for securing evidence in criminal procedures is still in its infancy. Radiologists' technical understanding and forensic doctors' knowledge of postmortem changes in a corpse must be synergised.

  15. Post-mortem toxicology: A pilot study to evaluate the use of a Bayesian network to assess the likelihood of fatality.

    PubMed

    Langford, Alan M; Bolton, Jennifer R; Carlin, Michelle G; Palmer, Ray

    2015-07-01

    The challenge of interpreting post-mortem drug concentrations is well documented and relies on appropriate sample collection, knowledge of case circumstances as well as reference to published tables of data, whilst taking into account the known issues of post-mortem drug redistribution and tolerance. Existing published data has evolved from simple data tables to those now including sample origin and single to poly drug use, but additional information tends to be specific to those reported in individual case studies. We have developed a Bayesian network framework to assign a likelihood of fatality based on the contribution of drug concentrations whilst taking into account the pathological findings. This expert system has been tested against casework within the coronial jurisdiction of Sunderland, UK. We demonstrate in this pilot study that the Bayesian network can be used to proffer a degree of confidence in how deaths may be reported in cases when drugs are implicated. It has also highlighted the potential for deaths to be reported according to the pathological states at post-mortem when drugs have a significant contribution that may have an impact on mortality statistics. The Bayesian network could be used as complementary approach to assist in the interpretation of post-mortem drug concentrations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  16. World of Forensic Laboratory Testing

    MedlinePlus

    ... services. Advertising & Sponsorship: Policy | Opportunities The World of Forensic Laboratory Testing Share this page: Was this page helpful? Overview | Forensic Pathology | Forensic Toxicology | Genetic Tests and DNA Typing | ...

  17. Forensic pathological aspects of postmortem imaging of gunshot injury to the head: documentation and biometric data.

    PubMed

    Oehmichen, M; Gehl, H-B; Meissner, C; Petersen, D; Höche, W; Gerling, I; König, H G

    2003-06-01

    To determine the value of imaging procedures such as computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head in providing additional information of forensic relevance, we examined 17 cadavers of human victims of gunshot wounds to the head. Three of the victims briefly survived the gunshot wound. The weapons involved were all guns with low muzzle energy (<550 J), i.e., handguns and low-velocity rifles. In the majority of cases ( n=15) a penetrating wound to the head was found, only two cases showed the bullet lodged in the brain. In some cases, imaging of the skull and brain was performed prior to autopsy; in others imaging took place after autopsy on the isolated, formalin-fixed brain. The imaging findings were correlated with the criminological data and the results of macroscopic and microscopic examination of the brain. The findings on the bony structures of the head provided imaging criteria for differentiation between entrance and exit of the gunshot wounds, which corresponded to the forensic pathological findings at autopsy. CT scans and MRI of the cerebral parenchyma revealed lanes of opaque bone and missile fragments along the course of the missile, which allowed recognition of the missile track in 3D reconstruction. Biometric reconstruction allowed easy determination of the angle of the missile track in all three planes. Examination of the parenchymal structures and imaging of the isolated, formalin-fixed brain enabled tracking of the missile path directly along the zone of destruction as well as demonstration of secondary changes such as air bubbles along the bullet course, hemorrhage and edema. The significance of a translucent zone surrounding the missile track in several cases remains unclear; it probably represents tissue destruction secondary to temporary cavitation. The imaging procedures described here allowed excellent documentation of in situ conditions, while the storing of data enabled biometric reconstruction for determination

  18. Forensic Entomology: Evaluating Uncertainty Associated With Postmortem Interval (PMI) Estimates With Ecological Models.

    PubMed

    Faris, A M; Wang, H-H; Tarone, A M; Grant, W E

    2016-05-31

    Estimates of insect age can be informative in death investigations and, when certain assumptions are met, can be useful for estimating the postmortem interval (PMI). Currently, the accuracy and precision of PMI estimates is unknown, as error can arise from sources of variation such as measurement error, environmental variation, or genetic variation. Ecological models are an abstract, mathematical representation of an ecological system that can make predictions about the dynamics of the real system. To quantify the variation associated with the pre-appearance interval (PAI), we developed an ecological model that simulates the colonization of vertebrate remains by Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), a primary colonizer in the southern United States. The model is based on a development data set derived from a local population and represents the uncertainty in local temperature variability to address PMI estimates at local sites. After a PMI estimate is calculated for each individual, the model calculates the maximum, minimum, and mean PMI, as well as the range and standard deviation for stadia collected. The model framework presented here is one manner by which errors in PMI estimates can be addressed in court when no empirical data are available for the parameter of interest. We show that PAI is a potential important source of error and that an ecological model is one way to evaluate its impact. Such models can be re-parameterized with any development data set, PAI function, temperature regime, assumption of interest, etc., to estimate PMI and quantify uncertainty that arises from specific prediction systems. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. [Biological characteristics of calliphoridae and its application in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Boa; Wen, Charn; Qi, Li-Li; Wang, He; Wang, Ji

    2013-12-01

    Diptera Calliphoridae is the first major kind of flies that appears on the decomposed corpses. In forensic entomology, according to the living characteristics of Calliphoridae flies, we could accurately estimate postmortem interval (PMI) in a murder or unidentified case and could provide useful clues to solve the case. This paper introduces the characteristics of the biology and morphology of Diptera Calliphoridae, and reviews the combined application of forensic entomology, molecular biology, mathematical morphology and toxicology.

  20. Forensic Image Analyses of Skin and Underlying Muscles as a Tool for Postmortem Interval Delimitation: Histopathologic Examination.

    PubMed

    El-Nahass, El-Shaymaa; Moselhy, Walaa A; Hassan, Nour El-Houda Y

    2017-06-01

    One of the biggest challenges for forensic pathologists is to diagnose the postmortem interval (PMI) delimitation; therefore, the aim of this study was to use a routine histopathologic examination and quantitative analysis to obtain an accurate diagnosis of PMI. The current study was done by using 24 adult male albino rats divided into 8 groups based on the scarification schedule (0, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, and 72 hours PMI). Skin specimens were collected and subjected to a routine histopathologic processing. Examination of hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections from the skin, its appendages and underlying muscles were carried out. Morphometric analysis of epidermal nuclear chromatin intensities and area percentages, reticular dermis integrated density, and sebaceous gland nuclei areas and chromatin condensation was done. Progressive histopathologic changes could be detected in epidermis, dermis, hypodermis, underlying muscles including nerve endings, and red blood cells in relation to hours PMI. Significant difference was found in epidermal nuclear chromatin intensities at different-hours PMI (at P < 0.001). The highest intensity was detected 40 hours PMI. Quantitative analysis of measurements of dermal collagen area percentages revealed a high significant difference between 0 hours PMI and 24 to 72 hours PMI (P < 0.001). As the PMI increases, sebaceous gland nuclei and nuclear chromatin condensation showed a dramatic decrease. Significant differences of sebaceous gland nuclei areas between 0 hours and different-hours PMI (P < 0.001) were obtained. A combination between routine histopathologic examination and quantitative and morphometric analysis of the skin could be used to evaluate the time of death in different-hours PMI.

  1. Application of pericardial fluid to the analysis of morphine (heroin) and cocaine in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Contreras, María Teresa; Hernández, Antonio F; González, Marisa; González, Susana; Ventura, Rosa; Pla, Antonio; Valverde, Juan Luis; Segura, Jordi; de la Torre, Rafael

    2006-12-20

    In this study opiates (morphine and codeine) and cocaine and its related metabolites (benzoylecgonine and cocaethylene) were analyzed in pericardial fluid by GC/MS. This is the first study reporting levels of drugs of abuse in this body fluid. The analytical method used has been previously validated and then applied to 54 drug-related deaths in the Barcelona area (Spain). Median levels were as follows: morphine 589ng/ml, range 19-8857 (n=49); codeine 26ng/ml, range 15-343 (n=35); cocaine 78ng/ml, range 10-220 (n=14), benzoylecgonine 742ng/ml, range 20-3386 (n=15), and cocaethylene 36ng/ml, range 9-100 (n=13). In addition, a comparative study of the concentration of opiates and cocaine in pericardial fluid by both semi-quantitative EMIT d.a.u. and GC/MS (used as reference) was performed. Fairly good correlations for opiates (r=0.905) and cocaine (r=0.859) were found; however, the consistently low results of EMIT in the analysis of cocaine comparing to GC/MS could be caused by matrix effect. In spite of that, it raises the possibility of using the immunoassay as a preliminary technique in forensic toxicology.

  2. Biosampling strategies for emerging drugs of abuse: towards the future of toxicological and forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Mercolini, Laura; Protti, Michele

    2016-10-25

    The term "new psychoactive substances" refers to emerging drugs of abuse whose chemical structure and psychoactive effects are similar to other already known compounds, often providing a "legal" alternative to internationally regulated drugs and mostly available via on-line retail sites. There are several categories of new psychoactive substances, such as synthetic cannabinoids, cathinone analogues, phenethylamines, tryptamines, and the need to identify and quantify an unprecedented and growing number of new compounds represents a unique challenge for toxicological and forensic analysis. The purpose of this review is to highlight biosampling, sample preparation and analysis of the most important classes of emerging drugs of abuse in biological matrices, focusing on alternatives to classical blood and urine "in tube" approach, still representing the standard routine for bioanalysis, despite inherent flaws regarding handling, stability and process feasibility. Chromatographic techniques coupled to mass spectrometry are usually exploited to identify and quantify new psychoactive substances; due to their high sensitivity and selectivity, it is possible to determine low concentrations not only in plasma and urine, but also in alternative matrices like dried blood spots, oral fluid, hair, other body fluids and tissues. Current literature on analytical methodologies applied to these samples is still limited and a more thorough validation is often required, including a comparison among the results obtained from conventional approaches and from innovative strategies, in order to determine their actual suitability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The index line as a new aid in clinical and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    von Clarmann, M; Mathes, G; Solfrank, G; Bystrich, E

    1978-04-27

    On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Research and Technology, we investigated the use of electronic data processing for clinical toxicological purposes. Initially, sufficient funds were available for a comprehensive approach to the problem and programs covering the following areas were established: 1. A casuistic data program; 2. an identification program for wild fruits; 3. a program for the identification of tablets by their shapes. Due to a subsequent lack of funds, it was necessary to develop a partial solution: this solution is what we call the Index Line. The Index Line--limited data on poisonings--should enable the user to receive information by telex from the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information, i.e., information on "who has what, where". As a first step the continuous Index Line registration of all cases of poisoning recorded at the poison control centers in Munich, Freiburg, Hamburg, and Nürnberg as well as at the State Institute for Food, Pharmaceutical and Forensic Chemistry in Berlin was founded in 1975. To participate in the program, complete instructions are necessary.

  4. How to optimise the yield of forensic and clinical post-mortem microbiology with an adequate sampling: a proposal for standardisation.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Rodríguez, A; Cohen, M C; Lucena, J; Van de Voorde, W; Angelini, A; Ziyade, N; Saegeman, V

    2015-05-01

    Post-mortem microbiology (PMM) is an important tool in forensic pathology, helping to determine the cause and manner of death, especially in difficult scenarios such as sudden unexpected death (SD). Currently, there is a lack of standardization of PMM sampling throughout Europe. We present recommendations elaborated by a panel of European experts aimed to standardize microbiological sampling in the most frequent forensic and clinical post-mortem situations. A network of forensic microbiologists, pathologists and physicians from Spain, England, Belgium, Italy and Turkey shaped a flexible protocol providing minimal requirements for PMM sampling at four practical scenarios: SD, bioterrorism, tissue and cell transplantation (TCT) and paleomicrobiology. Biosafety recommendations were also included. SD was categorized into four subgroups according to the age of the deceased and circumstances at autopsy: (1) included SD in infancy and childhood (0-16 years); (2) corresponded to SD in the young (17-35 years); (3) comprised SD at any age with clinical symptoms; and (4) included traumatic/iatrogenic SD. For each subgroup, a minimum set of samples and general recommendations for microbiological analyses were established. Sampling recommendations for main bioterrorism scenarios were provided. In the TCT setting, the Belgian sampling protocol was presented as an example. Finally, regarding paleomicrobiology, the sampling selection for different types of human remains was reviewed. This proposal for standardization in the sampling constitutes the first step towards a consensus in PMM procedures. In addition, the protocol flexibility to adapt the sampling to the clinical scenario and specific forensic findings adds a cost-benefit value.

  5. History of scientific cooperation between Department of Clinical Toxicology and the Chair of Forensic Medicine Jagielionian University Medical College in the period of last four decades as a document of clinical and forensic toxicology integration.

    PubMed

    Kłys, Małgorzata

    2005-01-01

    An integration of clinical and forensic toxicologist society enjoys its 40-year tradition. A practice in this field proves that the cooperation can be fruitful in both the scientific and preventative and organizational areas provided the concentration of the participants' efforts is focused. The article shows the examples of such collaboration, the illustration of which are the presented works. The articles constitute the original papers and casuistic works as well concerning problems of contemporary toxicology such as: epidemiology of poisoning, complex evaluation of ethanol, carbon monoxide, pesticides, drugs of abuse, pharmaceuticals and other poisonings.

  6. Pharmacokinetics of (synthetic) cannabinoids in pigs and their relevance for clinical and forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Nadine; Wojtyniak, Jan-Georg; Kettner, Mattias; Schlote, Julia; Laschke, Matthias W; Ewald, Andreas H; Lehr, Thorsten; Menger, Michael D; Maurer, Hans H; Schmidt, Peter H

    2016-06-24

    Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) are gaining increasing importance in clinical and forensic toxicology. They are consumed without any preclinical safety studies. Thus, controlled human pharmacokinetic (PK) studies are not allowed, although being relevant for interpretation of analytical results in cases of misuse or poisoning. As alternative, in a controlled animal experiment, six pigs per drug received a single intravenous dose of 200μg/kg BW each of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 4-ethylnaphthalen-1-yl-(1-pentylindol-3-yl)methanone (JWH-210), or 2-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1-(1-pentyl-indol-3-yl)methanone (RCS-4). In addition, six pigs received a combination of the three drugs with the identical dose each. The drugs were determined in serum using LC-MS/MS. A population (pop) PK analysis revealed that a three-compartment model described best the PK data of all three cannabinoids. Central volumes of distribution were estimated at 0.29L/kg, 0.20L/kg, and 0.67L/kg for THC, JWH-210, and RCS-4, respectively. Clearances were 0.042L/min/kg, 0.048L/min/kg, and 0.093L/min/kg for THC, JWH-210, and RCS-4, respectively. The popPK THC pig model was upscaled to humans using allometric techniques. Comparison with published human data revealed that the concentration-time profiles could successfully be predicted. These findings indicate that pigs in conjunction with PK modeling technique may serve as a tool for prediction of human PK of SCs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Successful adaption of a forensic toxicological screening workflow employing nontargeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to water analysis.

    PubMed

    Steger, Julia; Arnhard, Kathrin; Haslacher, Sandra; Geiger, Klemens; Singer, Klaus; Schlapp, Michael; Pitterl, Florian; Oberacher, Herbert

    2016-04-01

    Forensic toxicology and environmental water analysis share the common interest and responsibility in ensuring comprehensive and reliable confirmation of drugs and pharmaceutical compounds in samples analyzed. Dealing with similar analytes, detection and identification techniques should be exchangeable between scientific disciplines. Herein, we demonstrate the successful adaption of a forensic toxicological screening workflow employing nontargeted LC/MS/MS under data-dependent acquisition control and subsequent database search to water analysis. The main modification involved processing of an increased sample volume with SPE (500 mL vs. 1-10 mL) to reach LODs in the low ng/L range. Tandem mass spectra acquired with a qTOF instrument were submitted to database search. The targeted data mining strategy was found to be sensitive and specific; automated search produced hardly any false results. To demonstrate the applicability of the adapted workflow to complex samples, 14 wastewater effluent samples collected on seven consecutive days at the local wastewater-treatment plant were analyzed. Of the 88,970 fragment ion mass spectra produced, 8.8% of spectra were successfully assigned to one of the 1040 reference compounds included in the database, and this enabled the identification of 51 compounds representing important illegal drugs, members of various pharmaceutical compound classes, and metabolites thereof. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Forensic toxicological analyses of drugs in tissues in formalin solutions and in fixatives.

    PubMed

    Uekusa, Kyoko; Hayashida, Makiko; Ohno, Youkichi

    2015-04-01

    Forensic toxicological drug analyses of human specimens are usually performed immediately after autopsy or on frozen preserved tissues. Occasionally, cases require analysis of drugs from tissues fixed in formalin solution. To improve the estimation of the level of drug in tissues following formalin fixation, we studied drug concentrations in human tissues, liver and kidney, that were collected from a drug-positive autopsy case. Parts of tissues were preserved in formalin solution for 1, 3, 6 and 13 months. Tissues obtained before and after preservation, along with tissue-exposed fixatives, were assayed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; all of the samples were assayed for the presence of drugs and changes in the drug concentrations both before and after preservation in formalin. Concentrations of assayed drugs decreased upon fixation in formalin; levels of these drugs did not necessarily show further decreases during subsequent storage in fixative, up to 13 months. Distinct trends in drug levels were found in liver and kidney. In liver, the levels of chlorpromazine, levomepromazine, and promethazine decreased to 23-39% at 1 month after preservation; all 3 of these drugs were detected at all tested time points of preservation. Bromazepam was not detected at 13 months after preservation. Milnacipran was the most unstable after preservation in formalin solution among all of the assayed drugs. In kidney, all assayed drugs exhibited reduced stability during preservation compared to levels in liver. Methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine were not detected in any time points of tissues. The proportions of the drugs that remained within the tissues differed between liver and kidney. Also, S-oxide compounds of chlorpromazine and levomepromazine, which were not observed before preservation, were detected in fixed liver tissues and their fixatives at 3, 6 and 13 months of preservation. These results suggest that analyses in formalin-fixed tissues need to

  9. Evaluation of laser diode thermal desorption-tandem mass spectrometry (LDTD-MS-MS) in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Bynum, Nichole D; Moore, Katherine N; Grabenauer, Megan

    2014-10-01

    Many forensic laboratories experience backlogs due to increased drug-related cases. Laser diode thermal desorption (LDTD) has demonstrated its applicability in other scientific areas by providing data comparable with instrumentation, such as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, in less time. LDTD-MS-MS was used to validate 48 compounds in drug-free human urine and blood for screening or quantitative analysis. Carryover, interference, limit of detection, limit of quantitation, matrix effect, linearity, precision and accuracy and stability were evaluated. Quantitative analysis indicated that LDTD-MS-MS produced precise and accurate results with the average overall within-run precision in urine and blood represented by a %CV <14.0 and <7.0, respectively. The accuracy for all drugs in urine ranged from 88.9 to 104.5% and 91.9 to 107.1% in blood. Overall, LDTD has the potential for use in forensic toxicology but before it can be successfully implemented that there are some challenges that must be addressed. Although the advantages of the LDTD system include minimal maintenance and rapid analysis (∼10 s per sample) which makes it ideal for high-throughput forensic laboratories, a major disadvantage is its inability or difficulty analyzing isomers and isobars due to the lack of chromatography without the use of high-resolution MS; therefore, it would be best implemented as a screening technique.

  10. Postmortem virtual volumetry of the heart and lung in situ using CT data for investigating terminal cardiopulmonary pathophysiology in forensic autopsy.

    PubMed

    Sogawa, Nozomi; Michiue, Tomomi; Kawamoto, Osamu; Oritani, Shigeki; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2014-07-01

    Postmortem CT (PM-CT) is useful to investigate the viscera in situ before opening the body cavity at autopsy. The present study investigated heart and lung volumes in situ with regard to the cause of death as possible indexes of terminal cardiopulmonary dysfunction by means of PM-CT data analysis of forensic autopsy cases within 3 days postmortem (n=70). Estimated heart volume was larger in sudden cardiac death (SCD; n=10) and fatal methamphetamine abuse (n=5) than in other groups, including mechanical asphyxiation (n=12), drowning (n=11), acute alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication (n=8), fire fatality (n=12), hyperthermia (heatstroke; n=6) and fatal hypothermia (cold exposure; n=6). Estimated combined lung volume was larger in drowning, smaller in fire fatality due to carbon monoxide intoxication and SCD, and intermediate in other groups. Volume ratio of the lung to heart was higher in drowning, lower in SCD, and intermediate or varied in other groups; high and low ratios can indicate predominant/antecedent pulmonary and cardiac dysfunctions, respectively. These findings provide quantitative data that are not available at conventional autopsy or by routine two-dimensional CT morphology to assess three-dimensional gross heart and lung morphologies for interpreting terminal cardiopulmonary pathophysiology, detecting significant difference between SCD and other causes of death, especially mechanical asphyxiation and drowning.

  11. [Application of operant conditioning techniques to forensic toxicology: experimental studies on alcohol and abusable drugs].

    PubMed

    Hishida, S

    1996-10-01

    This paper describes some experiments that apply the operant conditioning techniques to forensic toxicological research. These techniques may be useful in investigating the mechanisms of action, toxic symptoms, legal competence and drug metabolism associated with substance abuse such as abuse of alcohol, psychotropic drugs, narcotics, stimulants, and organic solvents. 1) Genetic research on alcohol preference in rats. We applied operant conditioning to investigate alcohol preference in rats and constructed an apparatus for the measurement of discriminated operate responses for water or alcohol reinforcement in rat. This apparatus is a modified Skinner box with a one-lever two-liquid system. Fixed ratio-10 (FR-10) schedules of reinforcement are used to increase the work of the rat before it obtains the reinforcement. The voluntary choice of water or 10% ethanol by the rat can be assessed quantitatively by measuring the lever-pushing responses. It is an extremely useful method for measuring the real alcohol preference of rats. A rat was kept in a Skinner box overnight. The numbers of responses and reinforcement for water and ethanol and the volumes of the two liquids consumed were recorded. The ratio of ethanol reinforcement was defined as the number of ethanol reinforcement to the total number of ethanol and water reinforcement. The ratio of ethanol intake was defined as the volume of ethanol consumed to the volume of water and ethanol consumed. Ethanol consumption per g body weight was calculated from the volume of ethanol consumed by the rat. We used this apparatus to investigate alcohol preference of more than 300 Wistar Albino Rats, and divided them into a high alcohol preference (HAP) group and a low alcohol preference (LAP) group. Inbreeding between littermates was conducted in each of the HAP and LAP groups. The liver tissue of each offspring was obtained and the cytosol fraction was collected and subjected to isoelectric focusing using polyacrylamide gel

  12. Detection of exogenous GHB in blood by gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry: implications in postmortem toxicology.

    PubMed

    Saudan, Christophe; Augsburger, Marc; Kintz, Pascal; Saugy, Martial; Mangin, Patrice

    2005-01-01

    Because GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is present in both blood and urine of the general population, toxicologists must be able to discriminate between endogenous levels and a concentration resulting from exposure. In this paper, we propose a procedure for the detection of exogenous GHB in blood by gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). Following liquid-liquid and solid-phase extractions, GHB is derivatized to GHB di-TMS before analysis by GC-C-IRMS. Significant differences in the carbon isotopic ratio (delta(13)C-values > 13.5 per thousand) were found between endogenous and synthetic GHB. Indeed, for postmortem blood samples with different GHB concentrations (range: 13.8-86.3 mg/L), we have obtained GHB delta(13)C-values ranging from -20.6 to -24.7 per thousand, whereas delta(13)C-values for the GHB from police seizure were in the range -38.2 to -50.2 per thousand. In contrast to the use of cut-off concentrations for positive postmortem blood GHB concentrations, this method should provide an unambiguous indication of the drug origin.

  13. Sequenom MassARRAY approach in the arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy post-mortem setting: clinical and forensic implications.

    PubMed

    Alcalde, M; Campuzano, O; Allegue, C; Torres, M; Arbelo, E; Partemi, S; Iglesias, A; Brugada, J; Oliva, A; Carracedo, A; Brugada, R

    2015-01-01

    Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a rare cardiac disease characterized by myocardial fibrofatty replacement, which can lead to sudden death. Previous studies have described a reduction of plakoglobin (PKG) protein at the level of intercalated disks as the hallmark of ARVC. The main objective of this study was to investigate the involvement of desmosome mutations in the histological phenotype of ARVC. We performed a genetic analysis of ARVC cases, and histological characterization of ARVC heart tissue samples. We genetically analyzed 48 ARVC cases distributed into two groups: 42 human tissue heart samples with conclusive diagnoses of ARVC after post-mortem examination; and six DNA samples from peripheral blood of living patients who were clinically diagnosed. Sequenom MassARRAY analysis revealed three ARVC-associated variants in three patients in 42 tissue samples (7.14 %). Three individuals carried one single pathogenic mutation, p.R811S _PKP2, p.S824L_DSC2, and p.T526M_PKP2 in postmortem samples. In the living patients group, Sequenom MassARRAY revealed no mutation, however, later Sanger sequencing analysis identified three ARVC mutations in 2/6 patients not included in the Sequenom design. In post-mortem tissue samples we performed immunohistochemical labeling for desmosomal proteins and Connexin 43. This study revealed that PKP2 carriers present either absent or clearly reduced PKG immunolabeling, while the DSC2 carrier showed PKG immunolabeling similar to control samples. Immunolabeling for Cx43 did not show any differences compared to controls. The present Sequenom MassARRAY design is a useful tool for post-mortem genetic diagnosis of ARVC. Plakoglobin reduction occurs at intercalated disks, while other desmosome proteins and Cx43 remain unaltered.

  14. Current use of high-resolution mass spectrometry in drug screening relevant to clinical and forensic toxicology and doping control.

    PubMed

    Ojanperä, Ilkka; Kolmonen, Marjo; Pelander, Anna

    2012-05-01

    Clinical and forensic toxicology and doping control deal with hundreds or thousands of drugs that may cause poisoning or are abused, are illicit, or are prohibited in sports. Rapid and reliable screening for all these compounds of different chemical and pharmaceutical nature, preferably in a single analytical method, is a substantial effort for analytical toxicologists. Combined chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques with standardised reference libraries have been most commonly used for the purpose. In the last ten years, the focus has shifted from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, because of progress in instrument technology and partly because of the polarity and low volatility of many new relevant substances. High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), which enables accurate mass measurement at high resolving power, has recently evolved to the stage that is rapidly causing a shift from unit-resolution, quadrupole-dominated instrumentation. The main HRMS techniques today are time-of-flight mass spectrometry and Orbitrap Fourier-transform mass spectrometry. Both techniques enable a range of different drug-screening strategies that essentially rely on measuring a compound's or a fragment's mass with sufficiently high accuracy that its elemental composition can be determined directly. Accurate mass and isotopic pattern acts as a filter for confirming the identity of a compound or even identification of an unknown. High mass resolution is essential for improving confidence in accurate mass results in the analysis of complex biological samples. This review discusses recent applications of HRMS in analytical toxicology.

  15. From forensic toxicology to biological chemistry: Normal arsenic and the hazards of sensitivity during the nineteenth century.

    PubMed

    Bertomeu-Sánchez, José Ramón

    2016-06-01

    This paper reviews the cultural meanings, social uses and circulations of arsenic in different legal, medical and popular settings. The focus is on nineteenth-century France. In the first section, I review the advent of the Marsh test for arsenic, which is commonly regarded as a milestone in the history of toxicology. I claim that the high sensitivity of the Marsh test introduced puzzling problems for forensic doctors, the most disturbing one being the so-called 'normal arsenic.' I reconstruct early research on normal arsenic and the ensuing controversies in courts, academies and salons. A report from the French Academy of Science converted normal arsenic from a big discovery to an experimental mistake. In the next section, I study how these disturbing conclusions were perceived by toxicologists all over Europe and how normal arsenic disappeared from view by the middle of the nineteenth century. Finally, I review the return of normal arsenic thanks to Armand Gautier and Gabriel Bertrand, who introduced an innovative research framework and so prompted the displacement of arsenic from criminal toxicology to pharmacology and nutrition science. The last section will also show that the issue of normal arsenic was recaptured in public debates concerning criminal poisoning at the beginning of the twentieth century. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Differential nuclear and mitochondrial DNA preservation in post-mortem teeth with implications for forensic and ancient DNA studies.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Denice; Rohrlach, Adam B; Kaidonis, John; Townsend, Grant; Austin, Jeremy J

    2015-01-01

    Major advances in genetic analysis of skeletal remains have been made over the last decade, primarily due to improvements in post-DNA-extraction techniques. Despite this, a key challenge for DNA analysis of skeletal remains is the limited yield of DNA recovered from these poorly preserved samples. Enhanced DNA recovery by improved sampling and extraction techniques would allow further advancements. However, little is known about the post-mortem kinetics of DNA degradation and whether the rate of degradation varies between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA or across different skeletal tissues. This knowledge, along with information regarding ante-mortem DNA distribution within skeletal elements, would inform sampling protocols facilitating development of improved extraction processes. Here we present a combined genetic and histological examination of DNA content and rates of DNA degradation in the different tooth tissues of 150 human molars over short-medium post-mortem intervals. DNA was extracted from coronal dentine, root dentine, cementum and pulp of 114 teeth via a silica column method and the remaining 36 teeth were examined histologically. Real time quantification assays based on two nuclear DNA fragments (67 bp and 156 bp) and one mitochondrial DNA fragment (77 bp) showed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA degraded exponentially, but at different rates, depending on post-mortem interval and soil temperature. In contrast to previous studies, we identified differential survival of nuclear and mtDNA in different tooth tissues. Furthermore histological examination showed pulp and dentine were rapidly affected by loss of structural integrity, and pulp was completely destroyed in a relatively short time period. Conversely, cementum showed little structural change over the same time period. Finally, we confirm that targeted sampling of cementum from teeth buried for up to 16 months can provide a reliable source of nuclear DNA for STR-based genotyping using standard

  17. Differential Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Preservation in Post-Mortem Teeth with Implications for Forensic and Ancient DNA Studies

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Denice; Rohrlach, Adam B.; Kaidonis, John; Townsend, Grant; Austin, Jeremy J.

    2015-01-01

    Major advances in genetic analysis of skeletal remains have been made over the last decade, primarily due to improvements in post-DNA-extraction techniques. Despite this, a key challenge for DNA analysis of skeletal remains is the limited yield of DNA recovered from these poorly preserved samples. Enhanced DNA recovery by improved sampling and extraction techniques would allow further advancements. However, little is known about the post-mortem kinetics of DNA degradation and whether the rate of degradation varies between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA or across different skeletal tissues. This knowledge, along with information regarding ante-mortem DNA distribution within skeletal elements, would inform sampling protocols facilitating development of improved extraction processes. Here we present a combined genetic and histological examination of DNA content and rates of DNA degradation in the different tooth tissues of 150 human molars over short-medium post-mortem intervals. DNA was extracted from coronal dentine, root dentine, cementum and pulp of 114 teeth via a silica column method and the remaining 36 teeth were examined histologically. Real time quantification assays based on two nuclear DNA fragments (67 bp and 156 bp) and one mitochondrial DNA fragment (77 bp) showed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA degraded exponentially, but at different rates, depending on post-mortem interval and soil temperature. In contrast to previous studies, we identified differential survival of nuclear and mtDNA in different tooth tissues. Futhermore histological examination showed pulp and dentine were rapidly affected by loss of structural integrity, and pulp was completely destroyed in a relatively short time period. Conversely, cementum showed little structural change over the same time period. Finally, we confirm that targeted sampling of cementum from teeth buried for up to 16 months can provide a reliable source of nuclear DNA for STR-based genotyping using standard

  18. Advantages of analyzing postmortem brain samples in routine forensic drug screening-Case series of three non-natural deaths tested positive for lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

    PubMed

    Mardal, Marie; Johansen, Sys Stybe; Thomsen, Ragnar; Linnet, Kristian

    2017-09-01

    Three case reports are presented, including autopsy findings and toxicological screening results, which were tested positive for the potent hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). LSD and its main metabolites were quantified in brain tissue and femoral blood, and furthermore hematoma and urine when available. LSD, its main metabolite 2-oxo-3-hydroxy-LSD (oxo-HO-LSD), and iso-LSD were quantified in biological samples according to a previously published procedure involving liquid-liquid extraction and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). LSD was measured in the brain tissue of all presented cases at a concentration level from 0.34-10.8μg/kg. The concentration level in the target organ was higher than in peripheral blood. Additional psychoactive compounds were quantified in blood and brain tissue, though all below toxic concentration levels. The cause of death in case 1 was collision-induced brain injury, while it was drowning in case 2 and 3 and thus not drug intoxication. However, the toxicological findings could help explain the decedent's inability to cope with brain injury or drowning incidents. The presented findings could help establish reference concentrations in brain samples and assist in interpretation of results from forensic drug screening in brain tissue. This is to the author's knowledge the first report of LSD, iso-LSD, and oxo-HO-LSD measured in brain tissue samples. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Forensic Investigation of Methadone Concentrations in Deceased Breastfed Infants.

    PubMed

    Madadi, Parvaz; Kelly, Lauren E; Ross, Colin J; Kepron, Charis; Edwards, James N; Koren, Gideon

    2016-03-01

    There is a paucity of data to aid in assessing whether postmortem methadone findings in breastfed infants are clinically and/or toxicologically significant. Two cases are reported in which methadone was detected in deceased neonates whose mothers were enrolled in methadone maintenance programs and were breastfeeding. In addition to a complete autopsy and toxicological testing for alcohol, prescription medications, and drugs of abuse, pharmacogenetic analysis was performed for variants in genes related to methadone metabolism and response. In both cases, the postmortem methadone concentration measured in neonatal heart blood was higher than the maximum serum methadone concentration reported in living breastfed infants whose mothers were receiving methadone. However, additional analysis of antemortem blood indicated postmortem redistribution of methadone. Pharmacogenetic results were suggestive of a potential predisposition to methadone toxicity based on studies in adults; the significance of these findings in breastfed neonates requires further research. The medical cause of death was unascertained in both cases. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  20. Analysis of synthetic cathinones commonly found in bath salts in human performance and postmortem toxicology: method development, drug distribution and interpretation of results.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, Laureen J; Antonides, Heather M

    2013-04-01

    To date, the Toxicology Section of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office/Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory has identified six synthetic cathinones, commonly found in bath salt products, in 43 cases. Thirty-two cases will be reviewed here, including all of the postmortem cases, all of the human performance cases that had blood specimens submitted, and one urine-only human performance case. The following compounds have been confirmed: 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone), pyrovalerone, pentylone, alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP) and methedrone. The method also screens for mephedrone, butylone and 3-fluoromethcathinone. Case demographics show 42 white males and females ranging in age from 19 to 53 years. The remaining case was that of a 34-year-old Hispanic male. The 43 cases represent 17 driving under the influence, two domestic violence, four suicides, 12 overdoses, six accidents, one drug-facilitated assault and one homicide. Data will be presented on the distribution of some of these cathinones in various matrices. After review, blood concentration does not appear to predict outcome regarding fatalities or impairment. The highest MDPV concentration occurred in a suicide by hanging and the highest methylone concentration was in a driver. The confirmation method is a liquid-liquid extraction with detection by liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry using electrospray ionization in multiple reaction monitoring mode.

  1. Determination of clozapine, and five antidepressants in human plasma, serum and whole blood by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry: A simple tool for clinical and postmortem toxicological analysis.

    PubMed

    Boumba, Vassiliki A; Rallis, George; Petrikis, Petros; Vougiouklakis, Theodore; Mavreas, Venetsanos

    2016-12-01

    In this study, we describe a simple and rapid method for the determination of the antipsychotic drug clozapine and five commonly co-administered antidepressants - bupropion, mirtazapine, sertraline, clomipramine and citalopram - in serum, plasma and whole blood. Sample preparation includes solid phase extraction of analytes and determination of drug concentrations by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry without any derivatization steps. The method was fully validated according to international criteria and can be successfully applied for routine analyses. Correlation coefficients of calibration curves for the tested drugs in the three specimens were in the range 0.9977-0.9999. Intra-day and inter-day precisions ranged from 0.81-7.85% and 3.60-12.91% respectively for the studied analytes and matrices. Recoveries were satisfactory for different concentrations of each drug in each specimen allowing accurate determinations in the range from sub-therapeutic to toxic levels. The presented method shows acceptable sensitivity, linearity in wide concentration ranges (sub-therapeutic, therapeutic, supra-therapeutic/toxic levels), it is simple and rapid and it is applicable for qualitative and quantitative routine toxicological analyses of clinical and postmortem cases.

  2. Demographics and post-mortem toxicology findings in deaths among people arrested multiple times for use of illicit drugs and/or impaired driving.

    PubMed

    Ahlner, Johan; Holmgren, Anita; Jones, Alan Wayne

    2016-08-01

    Multiple arrests for use of illicit drugs and/or impaired driving strongly suggests the existence of a personality disorder and/or a substance abuse problem. This retrospective study (1993-2010) used a national forensic toxicology database (TOXBASE), and we identified 3943 individuals with two or more arrests for use of illicit drugs and/or impaired driving. These individuals had subsequently died from a fatal drug poisoning or some other cause of death, such as trauma. Of the 3943 repeat offenders 1807 (46%) died from a fatal drug overdose and 2136 (54%) died from other causes (p<0.001). The repeat offenders were predominantly male (90% vs 10%) and mean age of drug poisoning deaths was 5 y younger (mean 35 y) than other causes of death (mean 40 y). Significantly more repeat offenders (46%) died from drug overdose compared with all other forensic autopsies (14%) (p<0.001). Four or more drugs were identified in femoral blood in 44% of deaths from poisoning (drug overdose) compared with 18% of deaths by other causes (p<0.001). The manner of death was considered accidental in 54% of deaths among repeat offenders compared with 28% for other suspicious deaths (p<0.001). The psychoactive substances most commonly identified in autopsy blood from repeat offenders were ethanol, morphine (from heroin), diazepam, amphetamines, cannabis, and various opioids. This study shows that people arrested multiple times for use of illicit drugs and/or impaired driving are more likely to die by accidentally overdosing with drugs. Lives might be saved if repeat offenders were sentenced to treatment and rehabilitation for their drug abuse problem instead of conventional penalties for drug-related crimes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Postmortem volumetric CT data analysis of pulmonary air/gas content with regard to the cause of death for investigating terminal respiratory function in forensic autopsy.

    PubMed

    Sogawa, Nozomi; Michiue, Tomomi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Kawamoto, Osamu; Oritani, Shigeki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2014-08-01

    Postmortem CT (PMCT) is useful to investigate air/gas distribution and content in body cavities and viscera. The present study investigated the procedure to estimate total lung air/gas content and aeration ratio as possible indices of terminal respiratory function, using three-dimensional (3-D) PMCT data analysis of forensic autopsy cases without putrefactive gas formation (within 3 days postmortem, n=75), and analyzed the volumetric data with regard to the cause of death. When 3-D bilateral lung images were reconstructed using an image analyzer, combined lung volume was larger in drowning (n=12) than in alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication (n=8) and sudden cardiac death (SCD; n=10), and intermediate in other cases, including mechanical asphyxiation (n=12), fire fatalities due to burns (n=6) and carbon monoxide intoxication (n=7), fatal methamphetamine abuse (n=7), hyperthermia (heatstroke; n=6) and fatal hypothermia (cold exposure; n=7). Air/gas content of the lung as detected using HU interval between -2000 and -400 ('effective' lung aeration areas) and between -2000 and -191 (total lung aeration areas) as well as the ratios to total lung volume ('effective' and total lung aeration ratios, respectively) was higher in mechanical asphyxiation, drowning, fatal burns and hypothermia (cold exposure) than in SCD, and was intermediate in other cases. 'Effective' and total lung aeration ratios may be useful for comparisons between specific causes of death to discriminate between hypothermia (cold exposure) and drug intoxication, and between SCD and other causes of death, respectively. These findings provide interesting insights into potential efficacy of PMCT data analyses of lung volume and CT density as well as lung air/gas content and aeration ratio with regard to the cause of death, as possible indicators of terminal respiratory function, as part of virtual autopsy of the viscera in situ.

  4. Newspaper reports from the Coroners Court in Ireland are used to reveal the potential complexity and need for reform in forensic toxicology and medicine services.

    PubMed

    Tormey, William P

    2015-05-01

    Newspapers devote regular space to inquests in the public interest. Accuracy in determining the causes of death is important for public health. Expert opinion features prominently in press reports and is an important channel of public education. How expert are the experts and how complex are apparently simple cases? Toxicology cases involving cannabis and stroke, 'junk food' diet, unexplained sudden death, potential drug interactions, allergy during caesarean section, and ecstacy-type drugs are used to illustrate the complexities. A template for reform is suggested to reform the Coroners Laws in Ireland to recognise the complexity of forensic toxicology and medicine. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  5. Factors influencing the precision of estimating the postmortem interval using the triple-exponential formulae (TEF). Part II. A study of the effect of body temperature at the moment of death on the postmortem brain, liver and rectal cooling in 117 forensic cases.

    PubMed

    al-Alousi, Louay M; Anderson, Robert A; Worster, Diana M; Land, David V

    2002-02-18

    The temperatures of three body sites, namely, the brain, liver and the rectum as well as the temperature of the environment were continuously monitored, every 5-10 min, in 117 forensic cases commencing soon after death and in most cases, within 45 min postmortem. The body temperature at the moment of death was empirically determined by a computer-based extrapolation method. Thus, temperature data for the first 3h of each body site were fitted to single-exponential equations and the fitted curve was extrapolated backwards to obtain the intercept on the Y-axis (the temperature axis). The effect of body temperature at the moment of death on postmortem cooling rate is examined and factors influencing body temperature at death are discussed. Forensic fatalities associated with hyper and hypothermia are reviewed briefly.

  6. [The analysis of the articles related to toxicological (forensic) chemistry published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza (Forensic Medical Expertise)" in 2004-2013. Part 1. The structure and quality of the publications].

    PubMed

    Orlova, A M

    2015-01-01

    The elements of the scientometric survey were applied for the analysis of the character, structure, and subject-matter of the articles related to toxicological (forensic) chemistry that had been published in the journal during the period from 2004 to 2013. The data on the number of publications and their authors are presented. The emphasis is laid on the merits and demerits of the papers submitted for publications.

  7. [The overview of research on toxicological (forensic) chemistry based on the materials of the abstracts of dissertation theses. The forms and modes of information].

    PubMed

    Gorbacheva, N A; Orlova, A M

    2012-01-01

    The authors discuss the system of information about investigations on toxicological (forensic) chemistry carried out for obtaining the scientific degree as it has formed in this country. They present a review and a list of theses and their abstracts in this discipline defended during the period from 1936 to 2010. The analysis of the themes of the studies is performed with reference to the dynamics of preparation of the theses in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods.

  8. New challenges and innovation in forensic toxicology: focus on the "New Psychoactive Substances".

    PubMed

    Favretto, Donata; Pascali, Jennifer P; Tagliaro, Franco

    2013-04-26

    In the recent years, new molecules have appeared in the illicit market, claimed to contain "non-illegal" compounds, although exhibiting important psychoactive effects; this heterogeneous and rapidly evolving class of compounds are commonly known as "New Psychoactive Substances" or, less properly, "Smart Drugs" and are easily distributed through the e-commerce or in the so-called "Smart Shops". They include, among other, synthetic cannabinoids, cathinones and tryptamine analogs of psylocin. Whereas cases of intoxication and death have been reported, the phenomenon appears to be largely underestimated and is a matter of concern for Public Health. One of the major points of concern depends on the substantial ineffectiveness of the current methods of toxicological screening of biological samples to identify the new compounds entering the market. These limitations emphasize an urgent need to increase the screening capabilities of the toxicology laboratories, and to develop rapid, versatile yet specific assays able to identify new molecules. The most recent advances in mass spectrometry technology, introducing instruments capable of detecting hundreds of compounds at nanomolar concentrations, are expected to give a fundamental contribution to broaden the diagnostic spectrum of the toxicological screening to include not only all these continuously changing molecules but also their metabolites. In the present paper a critical overview of the opportunities, strengths and limitations of some of the newest analytical approaches is provided, with a particular attention to liquid phase separation techniques coupled to high accuracy, high resolution mass spectrometry. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. [Post-mortem microbiology analysis].

    PubMed

    Fernández-Rodríguez, Amparo; Alberola, Juan; Cohen, Marta Cecilia

    2013-12-01

    Post-mortem microbiology is useful in both clinical and forensic autopsies, and allows a suspected infection to be confirmed. Indeed, it is routinely applied to donor studies in the clinical setting, as well as in sudden and unexpected death in the forensic field. Implementation of specific sampling techniques in autopsy can minimize the possibility of contamination, making interpretation of the results easier. Specific interpretation criteria for post-mortem cultures, the use of molecular diagnosis, and its fusion with molecular biology and histopathology have led to post-mortem microbiology playing a major role in autopsy. Multidisciplinary work involving microbiologists, pathologists, and forensic physicians will help to improve the achievements of post-mortem microbiology, prevent infectious diseases, and contribute to a healthier population.

  10. Forensic chemistry.

    PubMed

    Bell, Suzanne

    2009-01-01

    Forensic chemistry is unique among chemical sciences in that its research, practice, and presentation must meet the needs of both the scientific and the legal communities. As such, forensic chemistry research is applied and derivative by nature and design, and it emphasizes metrology (the science of measurement) and validation. Forensic chemistry has moved away from its analytical roots and is incorporating a broader spectrum of chemical sciences. Existing forensic practices are being revisited as the purview of forensic chemistry extends outward from drug analysis and toxicology into such diverse areas as combustion chemistry, materials science, and pattern evidence.

  11. [Homicide with postmortem opening of the thoracic and abdominal cavity--morphological, criminological and forensic-psychiatric aspects].

    PubMed

    Bohnert, Michael; Müller, Frank-Stefan; Perdekamp, Markus Grosse; Thoma, Reiner

    2004-01-01

    During a walk a man found the partially unclothed body of a 16-year-old girl in a field near a village in South Baden. The body showed numerous injuries caused by sharp force. Several stab wounds were discernible on the neck, the chest, the genital region, the back and the right thigh. Postmortem, the anterior wall of the trunk had been severed with one long cut reaching from the mons pubis to the jugular fossa. The injuries and the scene suggested homicide with a sexual motive. Already on the next day a male suspect was ascertained. Blood traces of the victim could be demonstrated on his car. The man confessed the homicide, but did not describe the course of events in detail. He denied a sexual motive for the homicide. The psychiatric examination did not furnish any clues to internal, neurological or psychiatric disorders. The perpetrator did not claim intoxication for the time of the offence, which might have been relevant for the question of criminal responsibility. Psychodiagnostically, it was found that he had a narcissistic personality structure with a pronounced lack of self-esteem, deficits in affect processing and control as well as anxiety and aggression problems. The man was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

  12. Virtual forensic entomology: improving estimates of minimum post-mortem interval with 3D micro-computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Richards, Cameron S; Simonsen, Thomas J; Abel, Richard L; Hall, Martin J R; Schwyn, Daniel A; Wicklein, Martina

    2012-07-10

    We demonstrate how micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) can be a powerful tool for describing internal and external morphological changes in Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) during metamorphosis. Pupae were sampled during the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter of development after the onset of pupariation at 23 °C, and placed directly into 80% ethanol for preservation. In order to find the optimal contrast, four batches of pupae were treated differently: batch one was stained in 0.5M aqueous iodine for 1 day; two for 7 days; three was tagged with a radiopaque dye; four was left unstained (control). Pupae stained for 7d in iodine resulted in the best contrast micro-CT scans. The scans were of sufficiently high spatial resolution (17.2 μm) to visualise the internal morphology of developing pharate adults at all four ages. A combination of external and internal morphological characters was shown to have the potential to estimate the age of blowfly pupae with a higher degree of accuracy and precision than using external morphological characters alone. Age specific developmental characters are described. The technique could be used as a measure to estimate a minimum post-mortem interval in cases of suspicious death where pupae are the oldest stages of insect evidence collected.

  13. Postmortem diagnostics of assumed food anaphylaxis in an unexpected death.

    PubMed

    Unkrig, S; Hagemeier, L; Madea, B

    2010-05-20

    Diagnosis of lethal anaphylaxis is known to be difficult to establish in forensic autopsy. Cases of anaphylactic shock have to be dealt with in forensic medicine comparatively frequently as death due to anaphylaxis is likely to occur rapidly and without warning in seemingly healthy subjects. Autopsy findings might hint at allergic reaction, but classic manifestations can also be completely absent. A case of suspected food anaphylaxis in a middle-aged woman is presented. The deceased had been known to suffer from multiple allergies. Death came about after an evening meal with friends. Dyspnoea was reported to have been followed by collapse, unconsciousness and death within minutes. The course of further analysis undertaken (toxicology, biochemistry, immunohistochemistry) is examplarily described. By means of the results presented we discuss problems and possibilities of postmortem diagnostics of food induced anaphylaxis.

  14. Quantitative evaluation of volatile hydrocarbons in post-mortem blood in forensic autopsy cases of fire-related deaths.

    PubMed

    Yonemitsu, Kosei; Sasao, Ako; Oshima, Toru; Mimasaka, Sohtaro; Ohtsu, Yuki; Nishitani, Yoko

    2012-04-10

    Volatile hydrocarbons in post-mortem blood from victims of fires were analyzed quantitatively by headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometry. The benzene and styrene concentrations in the blood were positively correlated with the carboxyhemoglobin (CO-Hb) concentration, which is evidence that the deceased inhaled the hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide simultaneously. By contrast, the concentrations of toluene and CO-Hb in the blood were not significantly correlated. This lack of correlation could be explained by two different sources of toluene, with low blood concentrations of toluene arising when the deceased inhaled smoke and high blood concentrations of toluene arising when the deceased inhaled petroleum vapor or other unknown vapors. The quantity of soot deposited in the respiratory tract was classified into four grades (-, 1+, 2+, 3+). The mean CO-Hb concentration in the 1+ soot group was significantly lower than those in the 2+ (p<0.05) and 3+ (p<0.01) soot groups. The blood CO-Hb concentrations in the 1+ soot group were all below 30%. Those indicated that the deceased aspirated smoke that contained both soot and carbon monoxide. The wide variation in CO-Hb concentrations for each soot classification could be caused by the different types of smoke produced by different materials. For example, petroleum combustion with a limited supply of oxygen, like in a compartment fire, may produce a large volume of dense black smoke that contains a large quantity of soot. Soot deposits in the airways and the blood CO-Hb concentration are basic and essential autopsy findings that are used to investigate fire-related deaths. The quantitative GC-MS analysis of blood volatile hydrocarbons can provide additional useful information on the cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding the death. In combination, these three findings are useful for the reconstruction of cases.

  15. Estimating the uncertainty associated with Widmark's equation as commonly applied in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Gullberg, Rod G

    2007-10-02

    No computation is performed more frequently by forensic toxicologists than that involving Widmark's equation. The equation is employed to estimate either the number of drinks consumed or the corresponding blood or breath alcohol concentration. Despite the wide use of Widmark's equation, rarely is an uncertainty estimate also provided. Estimates from Widmark's equation involve at least seven uncertain random variables. Uncertainty estimates are presented that rely on methods of general error propagation compared to a method developed by Widmark. Assuming reasonable variable and uncertainty estimates, the error propagation method yielded for N=10.4 drinks, a combined uncertainty (standard deviation) of 1.3 drinks (CV=12.3%). Similarly, estimating the blood alcohol concentration yielded for 0.120 g/100 ml, an uncertainty of 0.0255 g/100 ml (CV=21.2%). Widmark's uncertainty method yielded 1.6 drinks (CV=15.4%). The derivation of Widmark's uncertainty estimate is also presented, showing that he considered only rho and beta to be uncertain. Widmark estimates for the number of drinks should include a 2CV estimate of approximately 25% while the blood alcohol concentration estimate should include a 2CV estimate of approximately 42%. Including valid estimates of uncertainty should enhance the legal admissibility and confidence for Widmark estimations.

  16. Determining the Toxicological Significance of Pregabalin in Fatalities.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Simon P; Burke, Timothy; Smith, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Pregabalin has become more widely prescribed and abused in recent years but is still not always included in laboratory analysis. An LC-MS-MS method has been developed and applied to measure pregabalin in 93 postmortem cases, including drug-related deaths, alternative causes of death, and fatalities where pregabalin was likely to have contributed to death. Other drugs or alcohol was detected, and the most common drug types (in decreasing frequency) were antidepressants, opioids, benzodiazepines, opiates, alcohol, antipsychotics, cocaine, cardiac drugs, amphetamines, cannabis, anticonvulsants, and antihistamines. New psychoactive substances (methoxphenidine and synthetic cannabinoids) were only found in two cases. The results provide further data to assist in evaluating the significance of postmortem pregabalin concentrations and a toxicologically significant concentration of 25 mg/L is proposed. Pregabalin, especially with concomitant use of other CNS depressant drugs, presents a significant toxicological risk and existing laboratory protocols should be reviewed for their suitability to detect pregabalin. © 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  17. Opium alcaloids in toxicological medico-legal practice of Department of Forensic Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College

    PubMed

    Kłys, Małgorzata; Rojek, Sebastian; Maciów-Głab, Martyna; Kula, Karol

    2013-01-01

    Most likely, opium was the first narcotic substance discovered at the dawn of mankind. Contemporary drug abuse predominantly poses a social and clinical problem and encompasses among other aspects emergency procedures in cases of intoxication and treatment of addictions. On the other hand, this is also a problem of the judicial system, which implements the rule of apt punishment in criminal cases (rapes, robberies, drivers, production and trade in narcotic substances) and of the necessity of monitoring drug-associates deaths. In all drug-associated cases, investigative capabilities have increased with the introduction of extremely sensitive and specific analytical methods (GC-MS, LC/MS, HPLC/DAD) allowing for detection and identification of multi-component mixtures of xenobiotics found at low concentration levels in complex biological matrices. The history of the Krakow Department of Forensic Medicine dates back to the year 1877, since archival materials have been kept since that time. Isolated deaths resulting from morphine poisoning, mostly involving individuals employed in the health care sector, constituted the subject of medico-legal expert opinions starting at the beginning of the 20th century, but only the eighties did bring the need for multidirectional toxicological examinations of opiates and their metabolites in diversified biological and non-biological materials. The present report, in addition to the historical background of opiate addiction, discusses selected problems derived from published by Department reports on opiates, including cases of fatal intoxication, hair analysis of drug addicts in its various aspects, interactions in cases of poisoning and others.

  18. Postmortem levetiracetam (Keppra®) data from North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Bishop-Freeman, Sandra C; Kornegay, Nina C; Winecker, Ruth E

    2012-07-01

    Levetiracetam (Keppra®) is one of the newer anticonvulsant drugs used to treat seizures. Since 2003, the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Toxicology Laboratory has collected quantitative levetiracetam data in samples for 56 postmortem cases. The data presented herein will provide the forensic community with concentrations to assist in the interpretation of levetiracetam in postmortem blood. Decedents were divided into two groups according to manner of death as determined by the medical examiner for the purposes of studying levetiracetam concentrations. There were equal numbers of natural (N = 28) and non-natural deaths (N = 28). These data were subsequently divided into subgroups for further study to explore the therapeutic range of levetiracetam and how it relates to postmortem data. The cases not certified as natural were investigated to study levetiracetam concentrations in cases where it was determined to contribute to the cause of death (attributed) and those where it was not (unattributed). Until now, the literature has only reported levetiracetam overdoses in which the individuals have recovered with respiratory support. Discussed are two suicidal drug deaths from 2010 that are noted to have elevated levels of levetiracetam, 190 and 35 mg/L. Also included in the complete data set are postmortem concentrations for five patients under the age of 10 with levetiracetam ranging from 1.4 to 50 mg/L. This paper will also address the adverse effects of the drug and explore its potential risk for suicide.

  19. [Plants' materials and synthetic agonists of cannabinoid receptors use as a substitute of Marihuana, appearing in a current forensic toxicology practice of evidence materials].

    PubMed

    Geppert, Bogna; Tezyk, Artur; Florek, Ewa; Zaba, Czesław

    2010-01-01

    Cannabis sativa species Indica (Marihuana) is nowadays one of the most common plant drug, with psychoactive activity, presently appearing on the illegal market in Poland. It is reported that frequency of securing evidential materials so called substitute of Marihuana, is growing rapidly during the last few years. The substitutes of Marihuana occurring on the market are of natural or synthetic origins, for example different species of raw plants' materials having action similar to Cannabis or raw plants' materials with no psychoactive properities but with an addition of components so called synthetic cannabinoids. The review presents recent developments in drug market and current problems of forensic toxicology on the example of Marihuana.

  20. Toxicological investigation of drug-related cases in Greece: interpretation of analytical findings.

    PubMed

    Stefanidou, Maria; Maravelias, Constantine; Dona, Artemis; Athanaselis, Sotiris; Spiliopoulou, Hara

    2007-01-01

    The process of toxicological analysis of postmortem specimens can reveal some special difficulty compared to the clinically derived specimens. Many drugs are not stable and the chemical changes that occur in the specimens, due to the hydrolysis processing, the time passed, the drug metabolism, and matrix effect, even when the postmortem interval is short, may affect the interpretation of the toxicological results. This interpretation may be critical, not only to the thorough investigation of different kind of forensic cases, but also to clinical or other cases as it provides very significant challenges to the scientists. This article reviews (a) particular toxicological issues associated with some toxic substances responsible for common lethal or nonlethal poisonings, such as opiates, cannabis, and cocaine and the vast number of factors that affect drug concentration; and (b) focuses on toxicological issues associated with the analytical findings of certain postmortem specimens. The toxic substances cited in the present paper are the most commonly found in forensic cases in Greece. The investigation of these drug-related deaths has revealed that heroin, alone or in combination with other psychoactive substances, such as cannabis and cocaine, is the main drug involved in these deaths.

  1. Oviposition preferences of two forensically important blow fly species, Chrysomya megacephala and C. rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae), and implications for postmortem interval estimation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shih-Tsai; Shiao, Shiuh-Feng

    2012-03-01

    Necrophagous blow fly species (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are the most important agents for estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) in forensic entomology. Nevertheless, the oviposition preferences of blow flies may cause a bias of PMI estimations because of a delay or acceleration of egg laying. Chrysomya megacephala (F.) and C. rufifacies (Macquart) are two predominant necrophagous blow fly species in Taiwan. Their larvae undergo rather intense competition, and the latter one can prey on the former under natural conditions. To understand the oviposition preferences of these two species, a dual-choice device was used to test the choice of oviposition sites by females. Results showed when pork liver with and without larvae of C. rufifacies was provided, C. megacephala preferred to lay eggs on the liver without larvae. However, C. megacephala showed no preference when pork liver with and without conspecific larvae or larvae of Hemipyrellia ligurriens (Wiedemann) was provided. These results indicate that females of C. megacephala try to avoid laying eggs around larvae of facultatively predaceous species of C. rufifacies. However, C. rufifacies showed significant oviposition preference for pork liver with larvae of C. megacephala or conspecific ones when compared with pork liver with no larvae. These results probably imply that conspecific larvae or larvae of C. megacephala may potentially be alternative food resources for C. rufifacies, so that its females prefer to lay eggs in their presence. When considering the size of the oviposition media, pork livers of a relatively small size were obviously unfavorable to both species. This may be because females need to find sufficient resources to meet the food demands of their larvae. In another experiment, neither blow fly species showed an oviposition preference for pork livers of different stages of decay. In addition, the oviposition preferences of both species to those media with larvae were greatly disturbed in a dark

  2. FORENSIC SCIENCE:

    PubMed Central

    Brkić, Hrvoje

    2014-01-01

    Data from available literature point to an early beginning of Forensic Dentistry in Croatia relating to a post-mortem examination of a female patient after a dental procedure in the 1930s. Later on, there were several mass casualties due to collisions and airplane crashes and a railway accident at the Zagreb Main Railway Station wherein the identity of the victims was established based on dental features. Foreign experts in forensics helped identify those victims, particularly forensic dentists because this specialty was almost unknown in our region at the time. During the twenty-year period of the development of Forensic Dentistry at the University of Zagreb, the School of Dental Medicine, the city of Zagreb and Croatia have become internationally recognised on the forensic map of the world. PMID:27688352

  3. Best-practices approach to determination of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at specific time points: Combination of ante-mortem alcohol pharmacokinetic modeling and post-mortem alcohol generation and transport considerations.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Dallas M; Maskrey, Joshua R; Fung, Ernest S; Woods, Tyler A; Stabryla, Lisa M; Scott, Paul K; Finley, Brent L

    2016-07-01

    Alcohol concentrations in biological matrices offer information regarding an individual's intoxication level at a given time. In forensic cases, the alcohol concentration in the blood (BAC) at the time of death is sometimes used interchangeably with the BAC measured post-mortem, without consideration for alcohol concentration changes in the body after death. However, post-mortem factors must be taken into account for accurate forensic determination of BAC prior to death to avoid incorrect conclusions. The main objective of this work was to describe best practices for relating ante-mortem and post-mortem alcohol concentrations, using a combination of modeling, empirical data and other qualitative considerations. The Widmark modeling approach is a best practices method for superimposing multiple alcohol doses ingested at various times with alcohol elimination rate adjustments based on individual body factors. We combined the selected ante-mortem model with a suggestion for an approach used to roughly estimate changes in BAC post-mortem, and then analyzed the available data on post-mortem alcohol production in human bodies and potential markers for alcohol production through decomposition and putrefaction. Hypothetical cases provide best practice approaches as an example for determining alcohol concentration in biological matrices ante-mortem, as well as potential issues encountered with quantitative post-mortem approaches. This study provides information for standardizing BAC determination in forensic toxicology, while minimizing real world case uncertainties.

  4. Novel Selectivity-Based Forensic Toxicological Validation of a Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry Method for the Quantitative Determination of Eight Amphetamines in Whole Blood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teunissen, Sebastiaan F.; Fedick, Patrick W.; Berendsen, Bjorn J. A.; Nielen, Michel W. F.; Eberlin, Marcos N.; Graham Cooks, R.; van Asten, Arian C.

    2017-09-01

    Paper spray tandem mass spectrometry is used to identify and quantify eight individual amphetamines in whole blood in 1.3 min. The method has been optimized and fully validated according to forensic toxicology guidelines, for the quantification of amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA), para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), para-methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA), and 4-fluoroamphetamine (4-FA). Additionally, a new concept of intrinsic and application-based selectivity is discussed, featuring increased confidence in the power to discriminate the amphetamines from other chemically similar compounds when applying an ambient mass spectrometric method without chromatographic separation. Accuracy was within ±15% and average precision was better than 15%, and better than 20% at the LLOQ. Detection limits between 15 and 50 ng/mL were obtained using only 12 μL of whole blood. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  5. Novel Selectivity-Based Forensic Toxicological Validation of a Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry Method for the Quantitative Determination of Eight Amphetamines in Whole Blood.

    PubMed

    Teunissen, Sebastiaan F; Fedick, Patrick W; Berendsen, Bjorn J A; Nielen, Michel W F; Eberlin, Marcos N; Graham Cooks, R; van Asten, Arian C

    2017-09-06

    Paper spray tandem mass spectrometry is used to identify and quantify eight individual amphetamines in whole blood in 1.3 min. The method has been optimized and fully validated according to forensic toxicology guidelines, for the quantification of amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA), para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), para-methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA), and 4-fluoroamphetamine (4-FA). Additionally, a new concept of intrinsic and application-based selectivity is discussed, featuring increased confidence in the power to discriminate the amphetamines from other chemically similar compounds when applying an ambient mass spectrometric method without chromatographic separation. Accuracy was within ±15% and average precision was better than 15%, and better than 20% at the LLOQ. Detection limits between 15 and 50 ng/mL were obtained using only 12 μL of whole blood. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

  6. Green toxicology.

    PubMed

    Maertens, Alexandra; Anastas, Nicholas; Spencer, Pamela J; Stephens, Martin; Goldberg, Alan; Hartung, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Historically, early identification and characterization of adverse effects of industrial chemicals was difficult because conventional toxicological test methods did not meet R&D needs for rapid, relatively inexpensive methods amenable to small amounts of test material. The pharmaceutical industry now front-loads toxicity testing, using in silico, in vitro, and less demanding animal tests at earlier stages of product development to identify and anticipate undesirable toxicological effects and optimize product development. The Green Chemistry movement embraces similar ideas for development of less toxic products, safer processes, and less waste and exposure. Further, the concept of benign design suggests ways to consider possible toxicities before the actual synthesis and to apply some structure/activity rules (SAR) and in silico methods. This requires not only scientific development but also a change in corporate culture in which synthetic chemists work with toxicologists. An emerging discipline called Green Toxicology (Anastas, 2012) provides a framework for integrating the principles of toxicology into the enterprise of designing safer chemicals, thereby minimizing potential toxicity as early in production as possible. Green Toxicology`s novel utility lies in driving innovation by moving safety considerations to the earliest stage in a chemical`s lifecycle, i.e., to molecular design. In principle, this field is no different than other subdisciplines of toxicology that endeavor to focus on a specific area - for example, clinical, environmental or forensic toxicology. We use the same principles and tools to evaluate an existing substance or to design a new one. The unique emphasis is in using 21st century toxicology tools as a preventative strategy to "design out" undesired human health and environmental effects, thereby increasing the likelihood of launching a successful, sustainable product. Starting with the formation of a steering group and a series of workshops

  7. [State under the influence of drugs or psychotropic agents--a comparison of toxicological and medical examinations in materials of the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Silesian University of Medicine, Katowice].

    PubMed

    Korczyńska, Małgorzata; Kulikowska, Joanna; Celiński, Rafał; Nowicka, Joanna; Rojek, Sebastian; Uttecht-Pudełko, Anna

    2011-01-01

    In the paper, the authors present the results of toxicological examinations of blood samples taken from drivers during road check procedures or from perpetrators of traffic road accidents, which--taking into consideration the kind of the determined agents and their concentrations--were compared with the results of medical examinations from blood sampling protocols studied in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Silesian University of Medicine. All the blood samples were first analyzed using an immunoenzymatic assay (ELISA). Then, the LC-MS method was used. The positive results of screening for the presence of cannabinols were verified by GC-MS. Out of 329 blood samples, 145 were positive. The presence of cannabinols, amphetamine or MDMA was the most predominant finding. Diazepam was determined in 4 cases and opiates in 1 case. Only in 31% cases did positive results of toxicological examinations correspond to deviations found during the medical examinations constituting the basis for the final diagnosis of state "under the influence". In practice, appraisal of drug influence during medical examination seems to be limited and dependent on variable reactions of the examined individuals to a psychoactive agent, time lapse between the traffic road event and the examination or concomitant symptoms associated with ethylene alcohol activity. The final diagnosis of state "under the influence of drugs" or "under the influence of psychotropic agents" given by the physician does not result from the effect of these substances observed during the medical examination, but is very often formulated based on the medical history or police findings. The analysis of the above mentioned cases where Delta9THC or/and amphetamine was detected showed no correlation between the concentration of the psychoactive agent determined in blood and symptoms triggered by its action as described by the physician.

  8. Development and validation of a direct headspace GC-FID method for the determination of sevoflurane, desflurane and other volatile compounds of forensic interest in biological fluids: application on clinical and post-mortem samples.

    PubMed

    Kovatsi, Leda; Giannakis, Dimitrios; Arzoglou, Vasileios; Samanidou, Victoria

    2011-05-01

    A simple and reliable headspace GC-flame ionization detection (HS-GC-FID) method has been developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of seven volatile compounds of forensic interest: sevoflurane, desflurane, ethanol, methanol, 1-propanol, acetone and acetaldehyde. All seven compounds including acetonitrile (internal standard) eluted within 10 min and were well resolved with no endogenous interference. Good linearity was observed in the range of 1-12 mg/dL for both anesthetics and 2.5-40 mg/dL for the other five analytes. The method showed good precision, sensitivity and repeatability. Most of the analytes remained stable during the storage of samples at 4°C. Desflurane and acetone degraded (>10%), when the samples remained on the autosampler for more than 2 and 3 h, respectively. The method was finally applied on clinical and post-mortem blood and urine samples. The clinical samples were collected both from patients who underwent surgery, as well as from the occupationally exposed medical and nursing staff of the university hospital, working in the operating rooms. The hospital staff samples were found negative for all compounds, while the patients' samples were found positive for the anesthetic administered to the patient. The post-mortem blood samples were found positive for ethanol and acetaldehyde.

  9. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid endogenous production and post-mortem behaviour - the importance of different biological matrices, cut-off reference values, sample collection and storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Castro, André L; Dias, Mário; Reis, Flávio; Teixeira, Helena M

    2014-10-01

    Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) is an endogenous compound with a story of clinical use, since the 1960's. However, due to its secondary effects, it has become a controlled substance, entering the illicit market for recreational and "dance club scene" use, muscle enhancement purposes and drug-facilitated sexual assaults. Its endogenous context can bring some difficulties when interpreting, in a forensic context, the analytical values achieved in biological samples. This manuscript reviewed several crucial aspects related to GHB forensic toxicology evaluation, such as its post-mortem behaviour in biological samples; endogenous production values, whether in in vivo and in post-mortem samples; sampling and storage conditions (including stability tests); and cut-off reference values evaluation for different biological samples, such as whole blood, plasma, serum, urine, saliva, bile, vitreous humour and hair. This revision highlights the need of specific sampling care, storage conditions, and cut-off reference values interpretation in different biological samples, essential for proper practical application in forensic toxicology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  10. ESPR postmortem imaging task force: where we begin.

    PubMed

    Arthurs, Owen J; van Rijn, Rick R; Whitby, Elspeth H; Johnson, Karl; Miller, Elka; Stenzel, Martin; Watt, Andrew; Taranath, Ajay; Perry, David H

    2016-08-01

    A new task force on postmortem imaging was established at the annual meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Radiology (ESPR) in Graz, Austria, in 2015. The postmortem task force is separate from the child abuse task force as it covers all aspects of fetal, neonatal and non-forensic postmortem imaging. The main focus of the task force is the guidance and standardization of non-radiographic postmortem imaging, particularly postmortem CT and postmortem MRI. This manuscript outlines the starting point of the task force, with a mission statement, outline of current experience, and short- and long-term goals.

  11. Psychotropic Medications in Swedish Homicide Victims and Offenders: A Forensic-Toxicological Case-Control Study of Adherence and Recreational Use.

    PubMed

    Hedlund, Jonatan; Forsman, Jonas; Sturup, Joakim; Masterman, Thomas

    2017-07-01

    We aimed to assess the extent to which adherence to, and recreational use of, psychotropic medications influence the risk of homicide offending and victimization. We conducted a population-based case-control study by way of linking a nationwide registry of dispensed prescriptions with a forensic-toxicological database. Homicide victims (n = 200) and offenders (n = 105) were identified for the years 2007-2009 and vehicle-accident controls (n = 1,643) for the years 2006-2013. The occurrence of congruence and incongruence between dispensed prescriptions and toxicology was used as a measure of adherence and recreational use. For antidepressants, incongruence-but not congruence-between dispensed prescriptions and toxicology was associated with a significantly increased risk of homicide offending (odds ratio adjusted for age and sex [aOR] = 6.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.3-11.6) but not homicide victimization (aOR = 0.8; 95% CI, 0.3-2.0). For antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, a significantly increased risk of homicide offending was associated with incongruence between prescriptions and toxicology (aOR = 7.0; 95% CI, 2.8-17.7), whereas risk estimates for congruence were not significantly elevated for either homicide offending or victimization. For GABAergic hypnotics, congruence and incongruence were significantly associated with increased risks of both homicide offending (aOR = 5.4; 95% CI, 2.6-11.0 and aOR = 4.9; 95% CI, 2.6-9.3, respectively) and homicide victimization (aOR = 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1-4.2 and aOR = 3.2; 95% CI, 1.7-6.1, respectively). Sensitivity analyses with a subset of controls yielded similar estimates. Nonadherence to medications used to treat affective and psychotic disorders appears to elevate the risk of homicide offending. Both medicinal and recreational use of GABAergic hypnotics appears to elevate the risk of homicide offending and victimization. In summary, vigilance regarding adherence to medications prescribed for mood disorders and

  12. Postmortem imaging: MDCT features of postmortem change and decomposition.

    PubMed

    Levy, Angela D; Harcke, Howard Theodore; Mallak, Craig T

    2010-03-01

    Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) has emerged as an effective imaging technique to augment forensic autopsy. Postmortem change and decomposition are always present at autopsy and on postmortem MDCT because they begin to occur immediately upon death. Consequently, postmortem change and decomposition on postmortem MDCT should be recognized and not mistaken for a pathologic process or injury. Livor mortis increases the attenuation of vasculature and dependent tissues on MDCT. It may also produce a hematocrit effect with fluid levels in the large caliber blood vessels and cardiac chambers from dependent layering erythrocytes. Rigor mortis and algor mortis have no specific MDCT features. In contrast, decomposition through autolysis, putrefaction, and insect and animal predation produce dramatic alterations in the appearance of the body on MDCT. Autolysis alters the attenuation of organs. The most dramatic autolytic changes on MDCT are seen in the brain where cerebral sulci and ventricles are effaced and gray-white matter differentiation is lost almost immediately after death. Putrefaction produces a pattern of gas that begins with intravascular gas and proceeds to gaseous distension of all anatomic spaces, organs, and soft tissues. Knowledge of the spectrum of postmortem change and decomposition is an important component of postmortem MDCT interpretation.

  13. Salvia divinorum: toxicological aspects and analysis in human biological specimens.

    PubMed

    Margalho, Cláudia; Corte-Real, Francisco; López-Rivadulla, Manuel; Gallardo, Eugenia

    2016-07-01

    The identification and quantitation of the main psychoactive component of Salvia divinorum (salvinorin A) in biological specimens are crucial in forensic and clinical toxicology. Despite all the efforts made, its uncontrolled abuse has increased quickly, exposing its users' health to serious risks both in the short and long term. The use of alternative biological matrices in toxicological analyzes can be advantageous as complementary postmortem samples, or in situations when neither blood nor urine can be collected; they may be useful tools in those determinations, providing important information about prior exposure. The aim of this article is to present a brief summary of legal aspects of Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A, including the methods used for the determination of the latter in biological matrices.

  14. Postmortem memantine concentration in a non-intoxication case, and the possibility of postmortem redistribution: A case report.

    PubMed

    Nagasawa, Sayaka; Yajima, Daisuke; Torimitsu, Suguru; Chiba, Fumiko; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2015-12-01

    In this case study, we measured the concentration of memantine in the heart blood, peripheral blood, urine, liver, thigh muscle, and subcutaneous fat of a 64-year-old woman who was prescribed memantine for early-onset Alzheimer's disease. She died in hospital after an altercation with her husband. Cause of death was clearly not drug intoxication or overdose, so we investigated the postmortem redistribution (PMR) of memantine in the various tissues and blood ratios of the postmortem samples. Memantine concentrations detected were 1.31 μg/mL in the peripheral blood, 3.95 μg/mL in central blood, 2.09 μg/mL in the urine, 25.54 μg/g in the liver, 1.16 μg/g in the thigh muscle and 2.13 μg/g in the subcutaneous fat. In all samples, the concentrations were higher than the accepted therapeutic range (which is approximately 0.09-0.15 μg/mL). The central blood to peripheral blood (C/P) memantine ratio was 3.01 while the liver to peripheral blood (L/P) ratio was 19.5. It is documented that a C/P ratio exceeding 2 and L/P ratio exceeding 20 highlight a propensity for significant PMR. Although this is a single case study, our data suggest that memantine exhibits PMR. Additionally, a lowered pH was found in peripheral blood (pH 6.2) and central blood (pH 6.1). This postmortem reduction in blood pH may also promote the PMR of memantine. Because there is very little available postmortem toxicological data on memantine, our case study will serve as a foundation to assist in future forensic investigations.

  15. Post-mortem MRI as an alternative to non-forensic autopsy in foetuses and children: from research into clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Addison, S; Arthurs, O J

    2014-01-01

    Although post-mortem MRI (PMMR) was proposed as an alternative to conventional autopsy more than a decade ago, the lack of systematic validation has limited its clinical uptake. Minimally invasive autopsy (MIA) using PMMR together with ancillary investigations has now been shown to be as accurate as conventional autopsy in foetuses, newborns and infants and is particularly useful for cerebral, cardiac and genitourinary imaging. Unlike conventional autopsy, PMMR provides a permanent three-dimensional auditable record, with accurate estimation of internal organ volumes. MIA is becoming highly acceptable to parents and professionals, and there is widespread political support and public interest in its clinical implementation in the UK. In the short to medium term, it is desirable that a supraregional network of specialist centres should be established to provide this service within the current National Health Service framework. PMID:24288400

  16. Long-term stability of GHB in post-mortem samples and samples from living persons, stored at -20°C, using fluoride preservatives.

    PubMed

    Fjeld, Bente; Burns, Margrete L; Karinen, Ritva; Larssen, Bente; Smith-Kielland, Anne; Vindenes, Vigdis

    2012-10-10

    Reanalyses are frequently requested in forensic toxicology, and knowledge of the stability of drugs in biological samples is of major importance for the interpretation of the toxicological findings. Currently, the literature on stability of gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) in blood samples from living subjects and in post-mortem blood is limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term stability of GHB in both blood samples from persons suspected of drug use and post-mortem blood samples. A total of 59 reanalyses were performed in whole blood samples, 27 samples from living subjects and 32 samples taken at autopsies. The samples were stored in the freezer between 0.4 and 7.2 years at -20°C in vials containing preservatives. Analyses were performed by GC-FID, and cut-off level was 10.3 mg/L. The concentrations in 22 of the samples were below cut-off. The mean change in concentration between initial analysis and reanalysis was -0.8% for the positive samples from living persons and -7.1% for the positive post-mortem samples. Changes ranged from -32.4% to 21.0% for samples from living and from -30.4% to 34.4% for post-mortem samples. All negative samples were still negative at the time of reanalysis. Reanalysis of these forensic whole blood samples stored several years at -20°C with fluoride preservation did not exhibit changes in GHB concentrations of practical significance for the interpretation of toxicological findings. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Artefact in forensic medicine: scrotal mummification.

    PubMed

    Patel, F

    2003-12-01

    Misinterpretation of postmortem artefacts in forensic medical practice may result in a misdiagnosis of criminal activity. Forensic physicians at the scene can liaise with forensic pathologists and visit the mortuary in the company of the crime scene investigators or scenes-of-crime officers to ensure all relevant facts are identified. In this case a postmortem change created by partial dessication of the scrotal skin was misinterpreted as a suspicious injury.

  18. [The analysis of the articles concerning toxicological (forensic) chemistry published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza (Forensic Medical Expertise)" during the period from 2004 to 2013. Part 2. The analysis and assessment of the publications, peculiarities of the development of investigations].

    PubMed

    Orlova, A M

    2016-01-01

    The author presents the results of the analysis of the publications concerning toxicological (forensic) chemistry issues published in the journal "Sudebno-meditsinskaya ekspertiza" during the period from 2004 to 2013 with their assessment making use of scientometrical methods. Special emphasis is laid on the publications devoted to the development and improvement of the approaches to the investigation into narcotic and psychotropic drugs as well as other toxic substances. Specific features of such investigations are described.

  19. Forensic use of a subtropical blowfly: the first case indicating minimum postmortem interval (mPMI) in southern Brazil and first record of Sarconesia chlorogaster from a human corpse.

    PubMed

    Vairo, Karine P; Corrêa, Rodrigo C; Lecheta, Melise C; Caneparo, Maria F; Mise, Kleber M; Preti, Daniel; de Carvalho, Claudio J B; Almeida, Lucia M; Moura, Mauricio O

    2015-01-01

    Southern Brazil is unique due to its subtropical climate. Here, we report on the first forensic entomology case and the first record of Sarconesia chlorogaster (Wiedemann) in a human corpse in this region. Flies' samples were collected from a body indoors at 20°C. Four species were found, but only Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann) and S. chlorogaster were used to estimate the minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). The mPMI was calculated using accumulated degree hour (ADH) and developmental time. The S. chlorogaster puparium collected was light in color, so we used an experiment to establish a more accurate estimate for time since initiation of pupation where we found full tanning after 3 h. Development of C. albiceps at 20°C to the end of the third instar is 7.4 days. The mPMI based on S. chlorogaster (developmental time until the third instar with no more than 3 h of pupae development) was 7.6 days.

  20. GHB pharmacology and toxicology: acute intoxication, concentrations in blood and urine in forensic cases and treatment of the withdrawal syndrome.

    PubMed

    Busardò, Francesco P; Jones, Alan W

    2015-01-01

    The illicit recreational drug of abuse, γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a potent central nervous system depressant and is often encountered during forensic investigations of living and deceased persons. The sodium salt of GHB is registered as a therapeutic agent (Xyrem®), approved in some countries for the treatment of narcolepsy-associated cataplexy and (Alcover®) is an adjuvant medication for detoxification and withdrawal in alcoholics. Trace amounts of GHB are produced endogenously (0.5-1.0 mg/L) in various tissues, including the brain, where it functions as both a precursor and a metabolite of the major inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Available information indicates that GHB serves as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the GABAergic system, especially via binding to the GABA-B receptor subtype. Although GHB is listed as a controlled substance in many countries abuse still continues, owing to the availability of precursor drugs, γ-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (BD), which are not regulated. After ingestion both GBL and BD are rapidly converted into GHB (t½ ~1 min). The Cmax occurs after 20-40 min and GHB is then eliminated from plasma with a half-life of 30-50 min. Only about 1-5% of the dose of GHB is recoverable in urine and the window of detection is relatively short (3-10 h). This calls for expeditious sampling when evidence of drug use and/or abuse is required in forensic casework. The recreational dose of GHB is not easy to estimate and a concentration in plasma of ~100 mg/L produces euphoria and disinhibition, whereas 500 mg/L might cause death from cardiorespiratory depression. Effective antidotes to reverse the sedative and intoxicating effects of GHB do not exist. The poisoned patients require supportive care, vital signs should be monitored and the airways kept clear in case of emesis. After prolonged regular use of GHB tolerance and dependence develop and abrupt cessation of drug use leads to unpleasant

  1. GHB Pharmacology and Toxicology: Acute Intoxication, Concentrations in Blood and Urine in Forensic Cases and Treatment of the Withdrawal Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Busardò, Francesco P.; Jones, Alan W.

    2015-01-01

    The illicit recreational drug of abuse, γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a potent central nervous system depressant and is often encountered during forensic investigations of living and deceased persons. The sodium salt of GHB is registered as a therapeutic agent (Xyrem®), approved in some countries for the treatment of narcolepsy-associated cataplexy and (Alcover®) is an adjuvant medication for detoxification and withdrawal in alcoholics. Trace amounts of GHB are produced endogenously (0.5-1.0 mg/L) in various tissues, including the brain, where it functions as both a precursor and a metabolite of the major inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Available information indicates that GHB serves as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the GABAergic system, especially via binding to the GABA-B receptor subtype. Although GHB is listed as a controlled substance in many countries abuse still continues, owing to the availability of precursor drugs, γ-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (BD), which are not regulated. After ingestion both GBL and BD are rapidly converted into GHB (t½ ~1 min). The Cmax occurs after 20-40 min and GHB is then eliminated from plasma with a half-life of 30-50 min. Only about 1-5% of the dose of GHB is recoverable in urine and the window of detection is relatively short (3-10 h). This calls for expeditious sampling when evidence of drug use and/or abuse is required in forensic casework. The recreational dose of GHB is not easy to estimate and a concentration in plasma of ~100 mg/L produces euphoria and disinhibition, whereas 500 mg/L might cause death from cardiorespiratory depression. Effective antidotes to reverse the sedative and intoxicating effects of GHB do not exist. The poisoned patients require supportive care, vital signs should be monitored and the airways kept clear in case of emesis. After prolonged regular use of GHB tolerance and dependence develop and abrupt cessation of drug use leads to unpleasant

  2. Blood creatinine level in postmortem cases.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Atsushi; Funaki, Hironao; Kobayashi, Masaki; Tanaka, Yuka; Akasaka, Yoshihisa; Kubo, Toshikazu; Ikegaya, Hiroshi

    2015-05-01

    Blood chemical analysis for the diagnosis of diseases in forensic cases should be conducted in the same way as for clinical cases. However, it is sometimes difficult to obtain serum samples in forensic cases because of postmortem changes such as hemolysis and putrefaction. This study aimed to evaluate renal function in postmortem cases by blood creatinine analysis. The blood creatinine level was measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using whole blood samples taken from 77 postmortem cases, and the relationships between blood creatinine level, postmortem interval, and cause of death were examined. The median blood creatinine level was found to be 1.15 mg/dL, with no significant differences between blood samples taken from different parts of the body. The blood creatinine level was stable for 3 days after death and gradually increased after that period, in line with a previous study using enzymatic analysis that found the serum creatinine level was stable in the early postmortem period. The blood creatinine level was high in the cases of blunt injury, intoxication, and in deaths caused by fire. This was considered to reflect acute renal dysfunction. However, the postmortem blood creatinine level remained higher than the clinical normal value despite omitting cases with renal dysfunction from the analysis. Therefore, we next investigated the change in postmortem creatinine levels in mice and found that the blood creatinine level increased with the emergence of rigor mortis. Our findings indicate that HPLC is useful in the postmortem evaluation of renal function even in the cases where serum cannot be obtained. However, the presence of rigor mortis should be considered in the evaluation of blood creatinine values. Copyright © 2014 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Toxicology: then and now.

    PubMed

    Langman, Loralie J; Kapur, Bhushan M

    2006-05-01

    Toxicology is "the science of poisons"; more specifically the chemical and physical properties of poisons, their physiological or behavioral effects on living organisms, qualitative, and quantitative methods for their analysis and the development of procedures for the treatment of poisoning. Although the history of poisons dates to the earliest times, the study and the science of toxicology can be traced to Paracelsus (1493-1541) and Orfila (1757-1853). Modern toxicology is characterized by sophisticated scientific investigation and evaluation of toxic exposures. The 20th century is marked by an advanced level of understanding of toxicology. DNA and various biochemicals that maintain cellular functions were discovered. Our level of knowledge of toxic effects on organs and cells is now being revealed at the molecular level. This paper will review the historical progress of clinical and forensic toxicology by exploring analytical techniques in drug analysis, differing biological matrices, clinical toxicology, therapeutic drug management, workplace drug testing, and pharmacodynamic monitoring and pharmacogenetics.

  4. Atypical Forensic Dental Identifications.

    PubMed

    Cardoza, Anthony R; Wood, James D

    2015-06-01

    Forensic dental identification specialists are typically the last conventional option for postmortem identification. Forensic dental identification is most often accomplished by comparing radiographs of the decedent's teeth with the dental radiographs obtained from the dentist of the suspected victim. Unfortunately, antemortem dental radiographs are not always available. When presented with this challenge, the authors of this article have been successful in completing identifications using means other than dental radiographic comparison.

  5. Determination of venlafaxine in post-mortem whole blood by HS-SPME and GC-NPD.

    PubMed

    Mastrogianni, O; Theodoridis, G; Spagou, K; Violante, D; Henriques, T; Pouliopoulos, A; Psaroulis, K; Tsoukali, H; Raikos, N

    2012-02-10

    Venlafaxine is a phenethylamine derivative widely prescribed for the treatment of depression which inhibits both serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake (SNRI). In treatment with antidepressants of patient with depression and other psychiatric disorders there is also increased risk of suicidal thought and behaviour. Several lethal intoxications involving venlafaxine usually among psychotic patients have been reported in the literature. Sample preparation is of the greatest significance for a successful toxicological analysis. The development of simple, effective and rapid extraction procedures of drugs from post-mortem biological samples is a challenge. Headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) offers significant advantages such as simplicity, low cost, compatibility with analytical systems, automation and solvent-free extraction. The aim of our work was the optimization of a HS-SPME procedure for the determination of venlafaxine in post-mortem biological samples by gas chromatography (GC) with nitrogen-phosphorous detection (NPD). Venlafaxine was extracted on 100 μm Polydimethylsiloxone Coating-Red (PDMS) SPME fiber and determined by GC-NPD. Salt addition, extraction temperature, preheating and extraction time were optimized to enhance the recovery of the extraction from aqueous solution spiked with venlafaxine. Finally the developed procedure was applied to post-mortem biological samples of a fatally poisoned woman by venlafaxine. The drug was quantified in post-mortem blood gastric and oesophagus contents of the deceased woman. A simple and rapid procedure using HS-SPME was developed for sample preparation of venlafaxine in post-mortem biological samples prior to GC-NPD determination. Validation data was satisfactory, thus enabling application in the toxicological analysis of forensic samples. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Forensics in dermatology: part I.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Kalpana; Lowenstein, Eve J

    2011-05-01

    Examination of the skin and adnexae is a critical part of the forensic examination. Little information on forensic sciences has been published in the dermatologic literature. Correct forensic terminology and documentation of dermatologic findings is of critical importance in forensic investigations. The skin may reveal clues to the identity of an individual and the time and method of death or injury. Normal postmortem changes in the skin are described along with pseudopathology and damage from postmortem animal activity. The forensic classification of types of injuries is introduced in this first of a two-part paper on forensics in dermatology. Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Oral-toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Gowda, B. K. Charan; Sundharam, B. Sivapatha; Mahadesh, Jyothi; Mukund

    2014-01-01

    Forensic toxicology deals with the investigation of toxic substances, poisonous products or with the environmental chemicals. This field of science helps to identify poison substance and hazardous chemicals. Forensic toxicology deals with the way that substances are absorbed, distributed or eliminated in the body – the metabolism of substances. This paper reviews the manifestations that each poisonous substance presents concentrating toward the commonly used poisonous substance especially in India. It also explains the Indian Penal Code, which is main criminal code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law regarding poison. PMID:24696586

  8. (210)Po poisoning as possible cause of death: forensic investigations and toxicological analysis of the remains of Yasser Arafat.

    PubMed

    Froidevaux, Pascal; Bochud, François; Baechler, Sébastien; Castella, Vincent; Augsburger, Marc; Bailat, Claude; Michaud, Katarzyna; Straub, Marietta; Pecchia, Marco; Jenk, Theo M; Uldin, Tanya; Mangin, Patrice

    2016-02-01

    The late president of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, died in November 2004 in Percy Hospital, one month after having experienced a sudden onset of symptoms that included severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain and which were followed by multiple organ failure. In spite of numerous investigations performed in France, the pathophysiological mechanisms at the origin of the symptoms could not be identified. In 2011, we found abnormal levels of polonium-210 ((210)Po) in some of Arafat's belongings that were worn during his final hospital stay and which were stained with biological fluids. This finding led to the exhumation of Arafat's remains in 2012. Significantly higher (up to 20 times) activities of (210)Po and lead-210 ((210)Pb) were found in the ribs, iliac crest and sternum specimens compared to reference samples from the literature (p-value <1%). In all specimens from the tomb, (210)Po activity was supported by a similar activity of (210)Pb. Biokinetic calculations demonstrated that a (210)Pb impurity, as identified in a commercial source of 3MBq of (210)Po, may be responsible for the activities measured in Arafat's belongings and remains 8 years after his death. The absence of myelosuppression and hair loss in Mr Arafat's case compared to Mr Litvinenko's, the only known case of malicious poisoning with (210)Po, could be explained by differences in the time delivery-scheme of intake. In conclusion, statistical Bayesian analysis combining all the evidence gathered in our forensic expert report moderately supports the proposition that Mr Arafat was poisoned by (210)Po. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Identification and quantification of 35 psychotropic drugs and metabolites in hair by LC-MS/MS: application in forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Maublanc, Julie; Dulaurent, Sylvain; Morichon, Julien; Lachâtre, Gérard; Gaulier, Jean-michel

    2015-03-01

    Despite a non-invasive sampling, hair samples are generally collected in limited amounts for an obvious esthetic reason. In order to reduce the required quantity of samples, a multianalytes method allowing simultaneous identification and quantification of 35 psychoactive drugs was developed. After incubation of 50 mg of hair in a phosphate buffer pH 5 for one night at room temperature, the substances of interest were extracted by a simple liquid-liquid extraction step, with a dichloromethane/ether mixture (70:30, v/v). After evaporation under a gentle stream of nitrogen and reconstitution in formate buffer (2 mM, pH 3)/acetonitrile (90:10, v/v), twenty microliter were injected into the LC-MS/MS system for a chromatographic run of 29 min using an Atlantis T3 column (150 × 2.1 mm, 3 μm) (Waters Corp, Milford, USA) and a gradient mixture of 2 mM, pH 3.0 ammonium formate, and 2 mM, pH 3.0 ammonium formate/acetonitrile. The data acquisition was performed in scheduled MRM mode. Intra- and inter-day precisions, estimated using the coefficient of variation and relative bias, were lower than 20 % for all concentration levels, except for two compounds. The limits of detection and quantification ranged from 0.5 to 10 pg/mg. After complete validation, this method has been successfully used in several forensic cases, three of which are reported.

  10. Postmortem tissue samples: an alternative to urine and blood for drug analysis in racehorses.

    PubMed

    Uboh, C E; Rudy, J A; Railing, F A; Enright, J M; Shoemaker, J M; Kahler, M C; Shellenberger, J M; Kemecsei, Z; Das, D N

    1995-09-01

    Although urine is the sample of choice for drug tests in racehorses, it is rarely obtained following the sudden death of a racehorse on the track while racing. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the significance of postmortem tissue samples as an alternative to urine and blood samples in equine drug analysis following the sudden death of a racehorse on the track while participating in a competitive race. Postmortem tissue samples were frozen (-80 degrees C) until analyzed. A 30-40-g portion of each organ was homogenized in a 0.1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7.4), deproteinized, hydrolyzed with beta-glucuronidase, extracted, and screened by thin-layer chromatography and immunoassay. Samples that initially tested positive for drug(s) were then extracted using high-flow, solid-phase extraction cartridges. The eluates were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The presence of butorphanol in horses HB355 and CD387, pentobarbital in horse HO940, and ergotamine in horses HO940 and CD387 was detected and confirmed. Thus, in the absence of urine and blood samples following sudden death, postmortem tissue samples are equally useful for forensic toxicological investigations of racehorses.

  11. Postmortem in vitro ethanol production-It could be more common than we think!

    PubMed

    Quintas, Maria José; Costa, Pedro; Melo, Paula; Castro, André; Franco, João Miguel; Teixeira, Helena M

    2017-01-05

    The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the most frequent determination in a Forensic Toxicology Laboratory. Despite its apparent simplicity, the results interpretation can be complex and always have relevant social and legal implications, particularly in postmortem analysis. In the present report we describe the case of a 55-year-old male with an apparent natural death by myocardial infarction, whose initial BAC was 0.18g/L but, in repeated determinations prompted by discrepancies observed in the first two, it rapidly increased to 0.85g/L three days later, leading to the suspicion of in vitro ethanol production. A microbiological examination of the sample revealed the presence of the bacteria Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis, and yeast Candida parapsilosis, known for their involvement in ethanol production. Although this is a case report and it is not meant to be generalizable, we discuss an existing large body of scientific literature showing the difficulties, limitations and some relevant medico-legal questions regarding BAC determinations in postmortem samples and their interpretation, particularly in the context of plausible in vitro ethanol production. The key conclusion is that evaluating a postmortem BAC is a complex and multifactorial process that always deserves a thorough analysis and a careful interpretation.

  12. Comprehensive investigation of postmortem glucose levels in blood and body fluids with regard to the cause of death in forensic autopsy cases.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian-Hua; Michiue, Tomomi; Inamori-Kawamoto, Osamu; Ikeda, Sayuko; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2015-11-01

    The serum glucose level is regulated within a narrow range by multiple factors under physiological conditions, but is greatly modified in the death process and after death. The present study comprehensively investigated glucose levels in blood and body fluids, including pericardial fluid (PCF), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and vitreous humor, reviewing forensic autopsy cases (n=672). Right heart blood glucose level was often higher than at other sites, and the CSF glucose level was the lowest, showing greater dissociation in acute/subacute death cases. The glucose level was higher in the diabetic (high HbA1c) than in the non-diabetic (low HbA1c) group at each site (p<0.01-0.0001). Fatal diabetic ketoacidosis cases had evidently high glucose levels at each site; whereas in the non-diabetic group, blood glucose level was higher in fatal alcohol abuse, saltwater drowning, electrocution, cerebrovascular disease and sudden cardiac death due to ischemic heart disease. Fatal methamphetamine (MA) abuse, sepsis, malnutrition (starvation) and hypoglycemia due to antidiabetics showed markedly lower blood glucose levels. Ketones in bilateral cardiac blood and PCF were increased in diabetic ketoacidosis and fatal alcohol abuse as well as in most cases of hyperthermia (heatstroke), hypothermia (cold exposure) and malnutrition. These findings suggest that combined analysis of glucose, HbA1c and ketones in blood and body fluids is useful to investigate not only fatal diabetic metabolic disorders but also death processes due to other causes, including alcohol and MA abuse, as well as thermal disorders, sepsis and malnutrition.

  13. Expansion of Microbial Forensics

    PubMed Central

    Schmedes, Sarah E.; Sajantila, Antti

    2016-01-01

    Microbial forensics has been defined as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of evidence related to bioterrorism, biocrimes, hoaxes, or the accidental release of a biological agent or toxin for attribution purposes. Over the past 15 years, technology, particularly massively parallel sequencing, and bioinformatics advances now allow the characterization of microorganisms for a variety of human forensic applications, such as human identification, body fluid characterization, postmortem interval estimation, and biocrimes involving tracking of infectious agents. Thus, microbial forensics should be more broadly described as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of microbial evidence in criminal and civil cases for investigative purposes. PMID:26912746

  14. Regulatory issues in accreditation of toxicology laboratories.

    PubMed

    Bissell, Michael G

    2012-09-01

    Clinical toxicology laboratories and forensic toxicology laboratories operate in a highly regulated environment. This article outlines major US legal/regulatory issues and requirements relevant to accreditation of toxicology laboratories (state and local regulations are not covered in any depth). The most fundamental regulatory distinction involves the purposes for which the laboratory operates: clinical versus nonclinical. The applicable regulations and the requirements and options for operations depend most basically on this consideration, with clinical toxicology laboratories being directly subject to federal law including mandated options for accreditation and forensic toxicology laboratories being subject to degrees of voluntary or state government–required accreditation.

  15. Forensic radiology in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Manigandan, T; Sumathy, C; Elumalai, M; Sathasivasubramanian, S; Kannan, A

    2015-04-01

    Radiography can play an important part in forensic odontology, mainly to establish identification. This may take the precise form of comparison between antemortem and postmortem radiographs. Radiographs may also be taken to determine the age of a minor victim and even help in the assessment of the sex and ethnic group. Comparable radiographs are an essential factor to confirm identification in a mass disaster.

  16. Challenges of toxicology for the millennium.

    PubMed

    Wong, S H

    2000-02-01

    In meeting the challenges of toxicology, clinical and forensic toxicologists should expand their services and engage in research and development to meet changing needs. Expanding roles could potentially derive from the threat of terrorism, genotyping for interpretation of potential toxic drug interactions, and criminalistic testings. At the threshold of the next millennium, terrorism via weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has migrated from the war zones to civilian settings. These WMD may be in the form of nuclear, biological, and chemical devices (NBC). Recently, the possible use of chemical/biological weapons in the Middle East conflicts, the use of sarin in a Tokyo subway station, and the unregulated availability of nuclear fuel in some countries all have heightened the potential for international and domestic NBC. In preparation for NBC, both government and civilians in major American cities have been trained for safe handling of patients and casualties. Forensic and clinical toxicologists should be knowledgeable about the clinical pharmacology, safe samples processing, and possible screening and/or analysis of samples exposed to or containing: vesicants; cyanide; and nerve, riot control, and pulmonary agents. These samples may be transported for further analysis and confirmed by designated central laboratories. In criminal/correctional settings, toxicologists should engage in quality assurance and consultation with attorneys, judges, and correctional professionals. With the emergence of pharmacogenetics, genotyping may enhance rational drug therapy for enhanced patient care, and may explain adverse or fatal drug reactions in postmortem analysis.

  17. The use of hair as a toxicological tool in DFC casework.

    PubMed

    Scott, Karen S

    2009-12-01

    When drugging related offences are cited, most people think of sexual assault. However, the law covers any crime committed whilst the complainant is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, i.e., the use of a drug to modify a person's behaviour for criminal gain. The case types encountered include robbery, blackmail and of course sexual offences. Hair analysis for drugs is now well established in Forensic Toxicology. Its use as an analytical tool in workplace testing, post-mortem toxicology and criminal cases is expanding both in the U.K. and worldwide, and it is now widely accepted as an alternative or complimentary matrix for these cases. This paper will provide a brief overview of hair testing in cases of Drug Facilitated Crime stressing the importance of timely sample collection. Its usefulness in cases of this type will be highlighted through case examples.

  18. Aviation combustion toxicology: an overview.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Arvind K

    2010-01-01

    Aviation combustion toxicology is a subspecialty of the field of aerospace toxicology, which is composed of aerospace and toxicology. The term aerospace, that is, the environment extending above and beyond the surface of the Earth, is also used to represent the combined fields of aeronautics and astronautics. Aviation is another term interchangeably used with aerospace and aeronautics and is explained as the science and art of operating powered aircraft. Toxicology deals with the adverse effects of substances on living organisms. Although toxicology borrows knowledge from biology, chemistry, immunology, pathology, physiology, and public health, the most closely related field to toxicology is pharmacology. Economic toxicology, environmental toxicology, and forensic toxicology, including combustion toxicology, are the three main branches of toxicology. In this overview, a literature search for the period of 1960-2007 was performed and information related to aviation combustion toxicology collected. The overview included introduction; combustion, fire, and smoke; smoke gas toxicity; aircraft material testing; fire gases and their interactive effects; result interpretation; carboxyhemoglobin and blood cyanide ion levels; pyrolytic products of aircraft engine oils, fluids, and lubricants; and references. This review is anticipated to be an informative resource for aviation combustion toxicology and fire-related casualties.

  19. The Case for Forensic Toxicology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; DeBeus, Elizabeth; Jones, Carleton

    2006-01-01

    Understanding natural and human-induced hazards is an important part of the standards-based science curriculum. Experience, however, indicates that the topic is a difficult one for many students. We have developed an exciting investigative laboratory exercise that uses simulated food-based case studies to promote critical thinking and improve…

  20. The Case for Forensic Toxicology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; DeBeus, Elizabeth; Jones, Carleton

    2006-01-01

    Understanding natural and human-induced hazards is an important part of the standards-based science curriculum. Experience, however, indicates that the topic is a difficult one for many students. We have developed an exciting investigative laboratory exercise that uses simulated food-based case studies to promote critical thinking and improve…

  1. Whole body postmortem magnetic resonance angiography.

    PubMed

    Ruder, Thomas D; Hatch, Gary M; Ebert, Lars C; Flach, Patricia M; Ross, Steffen; Ampanozi, Garyfalia; Thali, Michael J

    2012-05-01

      Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging have become important elements of forensic radiology. Whereas the feasibility and potential of CT angiography have long been explored, postmortem MR angiography (PMMRA) has so far been neglected. We tested the feasibility of PMMRA on four adult human cadavers. Technical quality of PMMRA was assessed relative to postmortem CT angiography (PMCTA), separately for each body region. Intra-aortic contrast volumes were calculated on PMCTA and PMMRA with segmentation software. The results showed that technical quality of PMMRA images was equal to PMCTA in 4/4 cases for the head, the heart, and the chest, and in 3/4 cases for the abdomen, and the pelvis. There was a mean decrease in intra-aortic contrast volume from PMCTA to PMMRA of 46%. PMMRA is technically feasible and allows combining the soft tissue detail provided by MR and the information afforded by angiography. © 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  2. [Cases of fatal para methoxy amphetamine (PMA) poisoning in the material of the Forensic Medicine Department, Medical University Of Białystok, Poland].

    PubMed

    Ptaszyńska-Sarosiek, Iwona; Wardaszka, Zofia; Sackiewicz, Adam; Okłota, Magdalena; Niemcunowicz-Janica, Anna

    2009-01-01

    The issue of sudden deaths due to acute para methoxy amphetamine (PMA) poisoning is presented in the report. The analysis included three cases autopsied at the Forensic Medicine Department in Białystok at the beginning of 2009. The toxicological analysis of samples of blood and urine did not confirm the presence of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, but it revealed the presence of para methoxy amphetamine (PMA). During post-mortem examinations, the cause of the death was not established in either case. Based on the above investigations it may be said that the common cause of death was acute para methoxy amphetamine (PMA) poisoning.

  3. Performance of immunoassays in screening for opiates, cannabinoids and amphetamines in post-mortem blood.

    PubMed

    Hino, Yukiko; Ojanperä, Ilkka; Rasanen, Ilpo; Vuori, Erkki

    2003-01-28

    Several immunoassay methods for screening of abused drugs in whole blood were evaluated in post-mortem forensic toxicology. Blood samples known to be positive or negative for opiates, cannabinoids or amphetamines by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were analysed by EMIT II Plus and EMIT d.a.u., Syva RapidTest and Triage 8 after acetone precipitation. In these experiments, the EMIT immunoassay method was modified by using the Dade Behring VIVA analyser to detect substances more sensitively. Low concentrations of abused drugs were detected in blood samples. The sensitivities of the modified EMIT method for opiates, cannabinoids and amphetamines were 100, 86 and 98%, respectively, whereas the values were below 86% with the other methods. The specificities of all immunoassay methods for opiates and cannabinoids were 83% or above but 51-85% for amphetamines. Sample rejection occurred in a few cases with the EMIT amphetamine assays. The modified EMIT immunoassay system presented here seems to be useful for screening of drugs of abuse in post-mortem blood samples, especially when urine is not available.

  4. Forensic radiology in dentistry

    PubMed Central

    Manigandan, T.; Sumathy, C.; Elumalai, M.; Sathasivasubramanian, S.; Kannan, A.

    2015-01-01

    Radiography can play an important part in forensic odontology, mainly to establish identification. This may take the precise form of comparison between antemortem and postmortem radiographs. Radiographs may also be taken to determine the age of a minor victim and even help in the assessment of the sex and ethnic group. Comparable radiographs are an essential factor to confirm identification in a mass disaster. PMID:26015728

  5. Postmortem burning of the corpses following homicide.

    PubMed

    Tümer, Ali Rıza; Akçan, Ramazan; Karacaoğlu, Emre; Balseven-Odabaşı, Aysun; Keten, Alper; Kanburoğlu, Ciğdem; Unal, Melih; Dinç, Ahmet Hakan

    2012-05-01

    Although there have been a great number of studies focussing on antemortem burns or fire-related deaths, the present study is the first dealing exclusively with postmortem burnings aiming to cover up a homicidal action. This study aims to draw attention to postmortem burning following homicide by determining the general characteristics of a series of burned corpses. Thirteen cases of homicide involving postmortem burning were included in the scope of the study. The cases were examined with regard to age, gender, place of death or discovery, autopsy findings, accompanying injuries and manner of death. Eleven of the cases were male and two were female. Victims' ages ranged between 24 and 62 years with a mean age of 43.5 years. All of the victims were discovered in unfamiliar places. Autopsy findings indicated postmortem burning of corpses to cover homicide. Discovering a burned body in an unfamiliar, outdoor or abandoned place, scene or autopsy findings attributable to a violent death, presence of accelerant use and absence of vitality signs are factors indicative of postmortem burning following homicide. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  6. Postmortem measurement of caffeine in bone marrow: influence of sample location and correlation with blood concentration.

    PubMed

    Cartiser, N; Bévalot, F; Chatenay, C; Le Meur, C; Gaillard, Y; Malicier, D; Guitton, J; Fanton, L

    2011-07-15

    Bone marrow (BM) analysis is of forensic interest in postmortem toxicological investigation in case of limited, unavailable or unusable blood samples. However, it remains difficult to determine whether a drug BM concentration is therapeutic or represents overdose, due to the lack of studies on this alternative matrix. Given the variations in BM composition in the body, sample location was suggested to be a relevant factor in assessing BM concentration. The aim of the present study was to compare postmortem caffeine concentrations in various BM sample locations and secondly to consider the correlation between BM and blood concentrations. Six BM samples (right and left side: proximal and medial femur and 5th rib) and a blood sample were collected from 21 forensic autopsies. Gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry was performed. Blood caffeine concentrations ranged from 60 to 7591ng/mL. Femoral and rib BM concentrations ranged from 51 to 6171ng/g and 66 to 7280ng/g, respectively. Blood concentrations were always higher than BM concentrations. As a good correlation was demonstrated between blood and rib BM and between blood and the average of the four femoral BM concentrations, blood caffeine concentrations could be correctly extrapolated from BM concentrations. BM caffeine concentration was found to depend on sample location. Rib BM caffeine concentrations appeared to be systematically greater than averaged femur values and concentrations were much more variable between the 4 femur BM samples than between the 2 ribs. From a practical point of view, for caffeine analysis, rib BM appeared more relevant than femoral BM, which requires multisampling to overcome the concentration variability problem.

  7. A series of forensic toxicology and drug seizure cases involving illicit fentanyl alone and in combination with heroin, cocaine or heroin and cocaine.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, Laureen J; Ehlers, Brooke J

    2014-10-01

    The Montgomery County Coroner's Office Toxicology Section and the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab (MVRCL) Drug Chemistry Section have been receiving case work in drug seizures, death cases and human performance cases involving products marketed as heroin or as illicit fentanyl. Upon analysis by the Drug Chemistry Section, these products were found to contain various drug(s) including illicit fentanyl only, illicit fentanyl and heroin, illicit fentanyl and cocaine and illicit fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. Both the Chemistry and Toxicology Sections began seeing these combinations starting in late October 2013. The percentage of the combinations encountered by the MVRCL as well as the physical appearance of the product, and the results of presumptive screening tests will be discussed. The demographics of the users and the results of toxicology and autopsy findings on the decedents will also be discussed. According to regional drug task force undercover agents, there is evidence that some of the products are being sold as illicit fentanyl and not just as a heroin product. Also, there is no evidence to support that the fentanyl source is being diverted from pharmaceutical grade fentanyl. The chemistry section currently has over 109 confirmed cases, and the toxicology section currently has 81 confirmed drug deaths, 8 driving under the influence of drugs and 1 suicidal hanging. Both sections are continuing to see these cases at the present time.

  8. Determination of pesticides in postmortem blood and bone marrow of pesticide treated rabbits.

    PubMed

    Akcan, Ramazan; Hilal, Ahmet; Daglioglu, Nebile; Cekin, Necmi; Gulmen, Mete K

    2009-08-10

    Forensic toxicological analyses have traditionally focused on the use of blood, body fluids, and certain organs in examinations of deaths due to intoxication. However, in some situations, putrefaction and contamination make proper sampling from tissues impossible, such as in exhumation cases. In these cases, bone marrow might be useful as an alternative specimen since it is a potential depot for drugs. This study aims to determine pesticides in postmortem and putrefied bone marrow of pesticide treated rabbits, so as to reveal the diagnostic value of toxicological analysis of bone marrow in exhumation cases. Out of thirteen rabbits, a 110 mg/kg dose of endosulfan was orally given to six through a gavage tool, and a 2500 mg/kg dose of diazinon was given to six using the same method. One rabbit was not treated with anything and served as a control sample. Venous blood, liver, lung, kidney, brain, and bone marrow samples were collected just after spontaneous death or cervical dislocation. After this, the rabbits were buried in soil. All of them were exhumed 1 month later, and putrefied viscera and bone marrow were sampled. Blood and tissue samples underwent solvent extraction and solid phase extraction, and then the samples were analyzed by GC-MS. Mean residue levels of diazinon in early postmortem samples were 85 mg/kg, 71 mg/kg, 23 mg/kg, 21 mg/kg, 19 mg/kg, and 0.4 mg/l in the liver, bone marrow, kidney, lung, brain, and blood, respectively. Mean residue levels of diazinon in the putrefied body were 3327 mg/kg in putrefied viscera and 1783 mg/kg in the bone marrow. Mean residue levels of endosulfan isomers and metabolites in early postmortem samples (blood, liver, lung, kidney, brain, and bone marrow) were 0.46 mg/kg (endosulfan sulfate), 0.32 mg/kg (alpha and beta isomers of endosulfan), and 0.14 mg/kg (endosulfan ether) while the same levels were 0.26 mg/kg (endosulfan sulfate), 0.24 mg/kg (alpha and beta isomers of endosulfan), and 0.1 mg/kg (endosulfan ether) in

  9. The use of insects in forensic investigations: An overview on the scope of forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Isaac; Mathew, Deepu G; Sathyan, Pradeesh; Vargheese, Geetha

    2011-07-01

    Forensic entomology is the study of insects/arthropods in criminal investigation. Right from the early stages insects are attracted to the decomposing body and may lay eggs in it. By studying the insect population and the developing larval stages, forensic scientists can estimate the postmortem index, any change in position of the corpse as well as the cause of death. Forensic odontologists are called upon more frequently to collaborate in criminal investigations and hence should be aware of the possibilities that forensic entomology have to offer and use it as an adjunct to the conventional means of forensic investigation.

  10. Expansion of Microbial Forensics.

    PubMed

    Schmedes, Sarah E; Sajantila, Antti; Budowle, Bruce

    2016-08-01

    Microbial forensics has been defined as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of evidence related to bioterrorism, biocrimes, hoaxes, or the accidental release of a biological agent or toxin for attribution purposes. Over the past 15 years, technology, particularly massively parallel sequencing, and bioinformatics advances now allow the characterization of microorganisms for a variety of human forensic applications, such as human identification, body fluid characterization, postmortem interval estimation, and biocrimes involving tracking of infectious agents. Thus, microbial forensics should be more broadly described as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of microbial evidence in criminal and civil cases for investigative purposes. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  11. A toxicology-based review of fentanyl-related deaths in New Mexico (1986-2007).

    PubMed

    Krinsky, Clarissa S; Lathrop, Sarah L; Crossey, Michael; Baker, Ginger; Zumwalt, Ross

    2011-12-01

    Since its approval in the United States, fentanyl has become increasingly popular for the medical management of pain and as a substance of abuse. Fentanyl is unique among the opioids in its widespread use with a transdermal delivery system, which contributes to its unique pharmacokinetics and abuse potential. We examined the demographics of deaths with fentanyl identified on toxicologic analysis and reviewed specific challenges in the laboratory detection of postmortem fentanyl levels. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator database was searched for all cases from January 1986 through December 2007 with fentanyl reported as present or quantified. Those deaths with a cause of death identified as drug overdose were then analyzed separately. From 1986 to 2007, 154 cases were identified with fentanyl present in postmortem samples, with 96 of the cases identified as fentanyl-related drug overdoses. The number of fentanyl-related deaths has increased over the past 20 years, corresponding to both statewide increases in the medical use of fentanyl and the abuse of prescription opioids. The demographics of these fentanyl-related overdoses showed that subjects were more likely to be female, white non-Hispanic, and older than those in previously described overdose deaths. Several cases were identified with central and peripheral blood samples and antemortem and postmortem samples available for fentanyl quantification. Given the uncharacteristic demographics of fentanyl-related deaths and the complexity of the laboratory analysis of fentanyl, forensic scientists must use caution in both the detection and interpretation of fentanyl concentrations.

  12. Illicit Fentanyl-Related Fatalities in Florida: Toxicological Findings.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dayong; Chronister, Chris W; Broussard, Wilson A; Utley-Bobak, Suzanne R; Schultz, Daniel L; Vega, Russell S; Goldberger, Bruce A

    2016-10-01

    Fentanyl induces pharmacological effects and abuse liability comparable to other prescription opioids and heroin. A surge in fentanyl-related fatalities has been periodically reported throughout the USA. The University of Florida Forensic Toxicology Laboratory observed a significant increase in fentanyl-related deaths starting in mid-2014. The present report evaluated toxicological findings, demographics of the decedents and circumstances of death in the postmortem cases that were submitted to the laboratory for toxicological analysis from July 2014 to January 2015 and that were tested for fentanyl in biological specimens. The cases originated from 6 of the 24 Florida Medical Examiner Districts, with the majority from District 12 (Desoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties). The specimens were analyzed for fentanyl by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; the limit of detection (LOD) was 0.62 ng/mL and the limit of quantification (LOQ) was 2.5 ng/mL. During the 7-month period, the laboratory tested 143 postmortem cases for fentanyl and 50% had quantifiable fentanyl in postmortem blood. Fentanyl concentrations ranged from 2.5 to 68 ng/mL (n = 66; median: 9.8 ng/mL); six cases were positive for fentanyl >LOD but

  13. A validated positive chemical ionization GC/MS method for the identification and quantification of amphetamine, opiates, cocaine, and metabolites in human postmortem brain.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Ross H; Barnes, Allan J; Lehrmann, Elin; Freed, William J; Kleinman, Joel E; Hyde, Thomas M; Herman, Mary M; Huestis, Marilyn A

    2006-02-01

    A sensitive and specific method for the simultaneous detection and quantification of amphetamine, opiates, and cocaine and metabolites in human postmortem brain was developed and validated. Analytes of interest included amphetamine, morphine, codeine, 6-acetylmorphine, cocaine, benzoylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester, ecgonine ethyl ester, cocaethylene, and anhydroecgonine methyl ester. The method employed ultrasonic homogenization of brain tissue in pH 4.0 sodium acetate buffer and solid phase extraction. Extracts were derivatized with N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide and N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide. Separation and quantification were accomplished on a bench-top positive chemical ionization capillary gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer with selected ion monitoring. Eight deuterated analogs were used as internal standards. Limits of quantification were 50 ng/g of brain. Calibration curves were linear to 1000 ng/g for anhydroecgonine methyl ester and 6-acetylmorphine, and to 2000 ng/g for all other analytes. Accuracy across the linear range of the assay ranged from 90.2 to 112.2%, and precision, as percent relative standard deviation, was less than 16.6%. Quantification of drug concentrations in brain is a useful research tool in neurobiology and in forensic and postmortem toxicology, identifying the type, relative magnitude, and recency of abused drug exposure. This method will be employed to quantify drug concentrations in human postmortem brain in support of basic and clinical research on the physiologic, biochemical, and behavioral effects of drugs in humans.

  14. Postmortem CT angiography: capabilities and limitations in traumatic and natural causes of death.

    PubMed

    Ross, Steffen G; Bolliger, Stephan A; Ampanozi, Garyfalia; Oesterhelweg, Lars; Thali, Michael J; Flach, Patricia M

    2014-01-01

    Whole-body postmortem computed tomographic (CT) angiography is a promising new development in forensic radiology that has the potential to improve vascular and soft-tissue imaging beyond levels currently achievable with unenhanced postmortem CT. Postmortem access to the vascular system and injection of contrast medium are different from those steps in clinical (antemortem) radiology. Because there is no circulation in a corpse that could transport or dilute a contrast medium, the injection must be performed by using a roller pump to fill the vasculature (arterial and venous) with a mixture of a water-soluble iodized contrast medium and polyethylene glycol. In contrast to a classic autopsy, postmortem CT angiography is a minimally invasive procedure. It allows the diagnosis of vascular lesions without the disruption or destruction of anatomic structures, which could result in a loss of evidence in a criminal investigation. Furthermore, postmortem CT angiography facilitates the display of vascular pathologic conditions in areas that are not typically covered with autopsy alone, such as the craniocervical junction and the small pelvis. Therefore, postmortem CT angiography adds substantial value to the classic forensic autopsy; cross-sectional data can be reevaluated objectively at any time and are fully reproducible as counterexpertise, which is as useful in the fields of forensic medicine and pathology as in clinical research. Familiarity with the capabilities of postmortem CT angiography may help radiologists working with forensic cases improve their diagnostic performance. RSNA, 2014

  15. [Advances of the study of sarcosaphagous insects in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Wang, Bang-Qin; Cai, Ji-Feng; Ge, Yang; Li, Fa-Zhao; Man, Yi; Chang, Yun-Feng

    2008-06-01

    The study of sarcosaphagous insects is a subspecialty in forensic medicine based on the knowledge of entomology. It could help to determine the time of death, especially the postmortem interval in decomposed cases. This paper explores its history, species and erosion process of sarcosaphagous insects. It reviews the species identifying methods with molecular biology and entomological morphology. Details of its application in estimating postmortem interval in recent years and study of sarcosaphagous insects in the field of forensic medicine are summarized.

  16. Forensic Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brettell, T. A.; Saferstein, R.

    1989-01-01

    Presents a review of articles appealing to forensic practitioners. Topics include: drugs and poisons, forensic biochemistry, and trace evidence. Lists noteworthy books published on forensic science topics since 1986. (MVL)

  17. Forensic Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brettell, T. A.; Saferstein, R.

    1989-01-01

    Presents a review of articles appealing to forensic practitioners. Topics include: drugs and poisons, forensic biochemistry, and trace evidence. Lists noteworthy books published on forensic science topics since 1986. (MVL)

  18. [Research Progress on Forensic Entomotoxicology].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhi-jiang; Zhai, Xian-dun; Guan, Ling; Mo, Yao-nan

    2015-06-01

    Forensic entomotoxicology is a branch of forensic medicine, which applies entomology, toxicology and other related studies to solve the poisoning cases. It has an obvious advantage in the investigation on poisoning death. Based on the expounding definition and research of entomotoxicology, this paper reviews research progress and application value in some aspects of forensic medicine, such as the effects of drugs/toxins on the growth and development of sarcosaphagous insects and the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the drugs/toxins in the poisoned body tissue.

  19. Estimation of postmortem interval using an electric impedance spectroscopy technique: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Mao, Shiwei; Dong, Xiuzhen; Fu, Feng; Seese, Ronald R; Wang, Zhenyuan

    2011-09-01

    The objective of this study was to develop a rapid method for the estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) using electric impedance spectroscopy. Postmortem rat spleens were studied at 10°C, 20°C, and 30°C; The results obtained demonstrated that postmortem interval negatively correlated with the absolute value of Im Z(//) (capacitive reactance component) in electrical impedance. This suggests that electric impedance spectroscopy may be a sensitive tool to determine the postmortem interval. Copyright © 2010 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. [Forensic medicine and criminalistics].

    PubMed

    Schwerd, W

    1989-01-01

    The supplementary designation "criminalistics" in the title of certain forensic medical institutes in the first half of this century is to be regarded as a reaction to faulty developments in our specialty, which almost led to the elimination of forensic medicine as an independent scientific discipline in the 1960s. The ability to think in terms of criminalistics and the corresponding working procedures has always been a crucial precondition for the forensic physician, since forensic medicine is the application of medical knowledge for juridical purposes. Forensic medicine originated with the appraisal of cases of violent death by doctors, i.e., reconstruction of the facts in the case. To use the term "criminalistics" in the form of a supplementary designation is thus not required. An attempt is nevertheless made to define "medical criminalistics" as a small but important component of criminalistics. They are subdivided into two phases: the first part begins at the scene of the crime or the place of discovery (local evidence). Here, the trained eye of the forensic physician is indispensable to the criminal investigation department and the prosecutor. Medical criminalistic thinking and working procedures continue at the autopsy. Here, forensic autopsy differs from that practiced by the pathologist. Without knowledge of the situation at the discovery location, the forensic physician runs the risk of not recognizing facts that are important for reconstruction and thus becoming a "destroyer of clues". The second part of medical criminalistics is the actual detection of medical clues, i.e., the investigation of medical clues with special methods, including histological and toxicological investigations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. Assessment of simpler calibration models in the development and validation of a fast postmortem multi-analyte LC-QTOF quantitation method in whole blood with simultaneous screening capabilities using SWATH acquisition.

    PubMed

    Elmiger, Marco P; Poetzsch, Michael; Steuer, Andrea E; Kraemer, Thomas

    2017-08-29

    In postmortem toxicology, fast methods can provide a triage to avoid unnecessary autopsies. Usually, this requires multiple qualitative and quantitative analytical methods. The aim of the present study was to develop a postmortem LC-QTOF method for simultaneous screening and quantitation using easy sample preparation and reduced alternative calibration models. Hence, a method for 24 highly relevant substances in forensic toxicology was fully validated using the following calibration models: one-point external, one-point internal via corresponding deuterated standards, multi-point external daily calibration, and multi-point external weekly calibration. Two hundred microliters of postmortem blood were spiked with internal deuterated standard mixture and extracted by acetonitrile protein precipitation. Analysis was performed on a Sciex 6600 QTOF instrument with ESI+ mode using data-independent acquisition (DIA) namely sequential window acquisition of all theoretical mass spectra (SWATH). Validation of the different calibration models included selectivity, autosampler stability, recovery, matrix effects, accuracy, and precision for 24 substances. In addition, corresponding deuterated analogs of 52 substances were included to the internal standard mix for semi-quantitative concentration assessment. The simple protein precipitation provided recoveries higher than 55 and 75% for all analytes at low and high concentrations, respectively. Accuracy and precision criteria (bias and imprecision ± 15 and ± 20% near the limit of quantitation) were fulfilled by the different calibration models for most analytes. The validated method was successfully applied to more than 100 authentic postmortem samples and 3 proficiency tests. Furthermore, the one-point internal calibration via corresponding deuterated standard proved to be a considerably time saving technique for 76 analytes. Graphical abstract One-point and multi-point calibration and the resulting beta

  2. [Fatal poisoning due to narcotic abuse in the analytic-toxicological practice of Forensic Medicine Department Silesian Medical Academy in Katowice in years 1996-202].

    PubMed

    Soja, Artur; Celiński, Rafał; Kulikowska, Joanna; Albert, Małgorzata; Sybirska, Halina

    2003-01-01

    147 cases of fatal poisonings in people due to narcotic abuse examined in the Forensic Medicine Department Silesian School of Medicine, Katowice in the years 1996-2002 have been presented in the paper. In the group examined there were 126 males and 21 females at the age of 16-44. Opium narcotics were found in 139 out of 147 cases and amphetamine derivatives in 18. Opiates were indicated in 58 individuals and amphetamine only in 8. In 35 poisoned people opiates with barbituric acid derivatives were found. In 3 cases death resulted after taking opiates and amphetamine derivatives. 1 individual died after taking opiates and substances of the phenothiazine group. In the organic fluids of 18 people opiates and medicines being derivatives of 1,4-benzodiazepine and barbituric acid were found. Amphetamine and derivatives of 1,4-benzodiazepine were found in 6 individuals and opiates, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and amphetamine in 1 individual. Concentrations of all the substances indicated ranged widely and were as follows: < 0.10-17.40 > microgram/ml for opiates; < 0.24-30.00 > microgram/ml for amphetamine; < 0.12-1.90 > microgram/ml for 1.4-benzodiazepine derivatives and < 0.18-15.24 > microgram/ml for barbituric acid derivatives. Ethanol was found in 18 individuals and its concentration was < 0.2-2.5 >@1000.

  3. Forensic entomology and climatic change.

    PubMed

    Turchetto, Margherita; Vanin, Stefano

    2004-12-02

    Forensic entomology establishes the postmortem interval (PMI) by studying cadaveric fauna. The PMI today is still largely based on tables of insect succession on human cadavers compiled in the late 19th- or mid-20th centuries. In the last few years, however, the gradual warming of the climate has been changing faunal communities by favouring the presence of thermophilous species. To demonstrate how globalization and climate change are overcoming geographic barriers, we present some cases of southern and allochthonous species found in north-east Italy during our entomo-forensic investigations.

  4. Forensic psychotherapy.

    PubMed

    Riordan, Daniel

    2017-06-01

    This paper describes the role forensic psychotherapy has in the assessment and treatment of mentally disordered offender patients, and its role in the supervision of individual therapists, staff groups or whole organisations which contain and manage this patient population. Forensic psychotherapy has a valuable role to play in the management of mentally disordered forensic patients. As forensic services continue to develop in Australia and New Zealand and interest in this field continues to grow, then the future of forensic psychotherapy looks bright.

  5. Mass Spectrometry Applications for Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Mbughuni, Michael M; Jannetto, Paul J; Langman, Loralie J

    2016-12-01

    Toxicology is a multidisciplinary study of poisons, aimed to correlate the quantitative and qualitative relationships between poisons and their physiological and behavioural effects in living systems. Other key aspects of toxicology focus on elucidation of the mechanisms of action of poisons and development of remedies and treatment plans for associated toxic effects. In these endeavours, Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a powerful analytical technique with a wide range of application used in the Toxicological analysis of drugs, poisons, and metabolites of both. To date, MS applications have permeated all fields of toxicology which include; environmental, clinical, and forensic toxicology. While many different analytical applications are used in these fields, MS and its hyphenated applications such as; gas chromatography MS (GC-MS), liquid chromatography MS (LC-MS), inductively coupled plasma ionization MS (ICP-MS), tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS and MS(n)) have emerged as powerful tools used in toxicology laboratories. This review will focus on these hyphenated MS technologies and their applications for toxicology.

  6. Mass Spectrometry Applications for Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Mbughuni, Michael M.; Jannetto, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Toxicology is a multidisciplinary study of poisons, aimed to correlate the quantitative and qualitative relationships between poisons and their physiological and behavioural effects in living systems. Other key aspects of toxicology focus on elucidation of the mechanisms of action of poisons and development of remedies and treatment plans for associated toxic effects. In these endeavours, Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a powerful analytical technique with a wide range of application used in the Toxicological analysis of drugs, poisons, and metabolites of both. To date, MS applications have permeated all fields of toxicology which include; environmental, clinical, and forensic toxicology. While many different analytical applications are used in these fields, MS and its hyphenated applications such as; gas chromatography MS (GC-MS), liquid chromatography MS (LC-MS), inductively coupled plasma ionization MS (ICP-MS), tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS and MSn) have emerged as powerful tools used in toxicology laboratories. This review will focus on these hyphenated MS technologies and their applications for toxicology. PMID:28149262

  7. Postmortem redistribution of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC), and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH)

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Michael G.; Schwope, David M.; Stoppacher, Robert; Gillen, Shane B.; Huestis, Marilyn A.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Postmortem redistribution (PMR), a well-described phenomenon in forensic toxicology for certain drugs, can result in increased central blood concentrations relative to peripheral blood concentrations. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component in cannabis or marijuana, is the illicit substance most commonly implicated in driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases and fatally-injured drivers. No investigation of PMR of THC in human blood has been reported to date. Methods Matched heart and iliac postmortem blood specimens were collected from 19 medical examiner cases (16 Males, 3 Females) with positive cannabinoid urine immunoassay screens. THC, its equipotent metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC) and non-psychoactive metabolite 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH) were quantified by two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with cryofocusing, with 0.5 ng/mL limits of quantification (LOQ) for all analytes. Results 10 cases had quantifiable THC and 11-OH-THC; THCCOOH was present in all 19. Median (range) heart:iliac blood ratios were 1.5 for THC (range: 0.3–3.1); 1.6 for 11-OH-THC (range: 0.3–2.7); and 1.8 for THCCOOH (range: 0.5–3.0). Discussion Cannabinoids, in general, exhibited a mean and median central: peripheral (C: P) concentration ratio of less than 2 following death. A trend was observed for greater PMR with increasing postmortem interval between death and sampling. To our knowledge, these are the first data on THC PMR in humans, providing important scientific data to aid in the interpretation of postmortem cannabinoid concentrations in medico-legal investigations. PMID:21764230

  8. Screening approach by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for the blood quantification of thirty-four toxic principles of plant origin. Application to forensic toxicology.

    PubMed

    Carlier, Jérémy; Guitton, Jérôme; Romeuf, Ludovic; Bévalot, Fabien; Boyer, Baptiste; Fanton, Laurent; Gaillard, Yvan

    2015-01-15

    Plant poisonings have left their mark on history and still cause many deaths, whether intentional or accidental. The means to show toxicological evidence of such poisonings should be implemented with great care. This article presents a technique for measuring thirty-nine toxic principles of plant origin in the blood, covering a large amount of toxins from local or exotic plants: α-lobeline, α-solanine, aconitine, ajmaline, atropine, brucine, cephalomannine, colchicine, convallatoxin, cymarine, cytisine, digitoxin, digoxin, emetine, gelsemine, ibogaine, jervine, kavain, lanatoside C, lupanine, mitragynine, neriifolin, oleandrin, ouabain, paclitaxel, physostigmine, pilocarpine, podophyllotoxin, proscillaridin A, reserpine, retrorsine, ricinine, scopolamine, senecionine, sparteine, strophanthidin, strychnine, veratridine and yohimbine. Analysis was carried out using an original ultra-high performance liquid chromatography separation coupled with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Extraction was a standard solid phase extraction performed on Oasis(®) HLB cartridge. Thirty-four of the thirty-nine compounds were put through a validation procedure. The assay was linear in the calibration curve range from 0.5 or 5 μg/L to 1000 μg/L according to the compounds. The method is sensitive (LOD from 0.1 to 1.6 μg/L). The within-day precision of the assay was less than 22.5% at the LLOQ, and the between-day precision was less than 21.5% for 10 μg/L for all the compounds included. The assay accuracy was in the range of 87.4 to 119.8% for the LLOQ. The extraction recovery and matrix effect ranged from 30 to 106% and from -30 to 14%, respectively. It has proven useful and effective in several difficult forensic cases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. A new challenge in forensic toxicology exemplified by a case of murder under the influence of a synthetic cannabinoid - AM-2201.

    PubMed

    Rojek, Sebastian; Kłys, Małgorzata; Maciów-Głąb, Martyna; Kula, Karol

    2017-07-01

    Among new psychoactive substances (NPS) available on the narcotic market, a significant number consists of synthetic cannabinoids commonly known as smokable herbal "spice" and "K2", and which are legally treated as a legal alternative to marijuana. The dearth of information on the pharmacology of these intoxicants as they are introduced into the market has created the urgent need among healthcare providers for case studies on the substances belonging to this group, both in terms of the consequences of using such intoxicants, and in methods of detection. The subject of the present report is a multi-parameter analysis of a criminal case of an 18-year-old male who was charged with murder of his female relative and attempted murder of two other victims by stabbing. The defendant pleaded guilty, but he claimed that he had been acting without volition, because he was under the influence of the synthetic cannabinoid AM-2201, which had been purchased from a dealer as a 10g package labelled "Mr Green - No bad trip". Analytical methods including gas chromatography - electron ionization - quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry (GC-EI-QIT/MS) and liquid chromatography, electrospray ionization, tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS-MS) were developed to determine the presence of AM-2201 in the Mr Green - No Bad Trip, and in the blood of the perpetrator, respectively. Toxicological findings are discussed in the context of psychoactive and adverse physical effects resulting from the presence of AM-2201 in the human body; the observations were also analyzed in conjunction with data from the literature. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Toxicological investigation of forensic cases related to the designer drug 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV): Detection, quantification and studies on human metabolism by GC-MS.

    PubMed

    Grapp, Marcel; Kaufmann, Christoph; Ebbecke, Martin

    2017-04-01

    3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is a synthetic cathinone belonging to the class of α-pyrrolidinophenones that become increasingly popular as a designer psychostimulant. Here, we report a comprehensive collection of MDPV exposure with quantitative serum level confirmation in Germany. During the years 2014-2016, we could proof consumption of MDPV in 23 cases where urine and blood samples were submitted to our laboratory by the police of Lower Saxony. Most of the samples underwent systematic toxicological analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), where MDPV could be detected in urine and/or serum samples. The determined concentrations of MDPV in serum showed a high variability, ranging from traces (<10ng/mL) up to 576ng/mL with a mean concentration of 118ng/mL and median of 47ng/mL. The majority of MDPV users were men (87%) and the age ranged from 23 to 49 years (mean 35.9, median 37 years). For most of the analytically confirmed MDPV cases we could prove co-consumption of other psychotropic drugs with frequent occurrence of opiates and cannabinoids in 22% of the cases, followed by benzodiazepines and cocaine in 17%. Analysis of urine samples by GC-MS disclosed the presence of MDPV and its metabolites 2'-oxo-MDPV, demethylenyl-MDPV, demethylenyl-methyl-MDPV, demethylenyl-oxo-MDPV, demethylenyl-methyl-oxo-MDPV and demethylenyl-methyl-N,N-bisdealkyl-MDPV. The metabolite pattern substantiates previous suggestions for principle metabolic pathways of MDPV in humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Forensic medicine in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Islam, Muhammad Nurul; Islam, Mohammed Nasimul

    2003-03-01

    In this paper, we discuss the current medico-legal practice and future plan to improve the medico-legal service of Bangladesh which is rooted in the remnants of British medical jurisprudence. It includes clinical forensic medicine and forensic pathology. In Bangladesh all unnatural deaths are to be reported at the nearest police station and an appointed police officer should visit the scene of crime for investigation and to arrange postmortem if required. The forensic services of the country are delivered partly by academic staffs of Government Medical Colleges and the rest by the Civil Surgeons. Sometimes, residential medical officers in the district hospitals perform the medico-legal work. Most of them have no forensic qualifications except a long exposure in the medico-legal field. Currently academic and professional postgraduate courses are available. The chemical examiner's laboratory is situated at Dhaka with the facility of quantitative tests only. The Government of Bangladesh is trying to standardize the existing system. A Workshop on medico-legal services has been organized regularly by The Medico-legal Society of Bangladesh. A DNA profiling laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College is in the process of being set up. Such progress will be a milestone in the development of the medico-legal service in Bangladesh. However, with a few exceptions, teaching and training facilities are still lacking.

  12. Talin: A potential protein biomarker in postmortem investigations.

    PubMed

    Campell, Zahra K; Kwon, Insu; Finley, Sheree J; Lee, Youngil; Javan, Gulnaz T

    2016-11-01

    The determination of the postmortem interval is of utmost importance in medicolegal death investigations. There are a number of ways to estimate the postmortem interval; however, the current established methods are susceptible to numerous biotic and abiotic factors. Previously published studies state that protein concentrations in postmortem brain tissues can detect protein changes via immunoblotting and densitometry techniques. The objective of the current study was to determine if there is a correlation between protein expression in cadaver tissues and postmortem interval. To this end, 18 brain tissues from cadavers from criminal cases were examined to determine how many hours after death the presence of four proteins (i.e., talin, α-enolase, cofilin-1, and vinculin) are detectable. Talin protein levels steadily decreased with increasing postmortem interval. Interestingly, the study demonstrated that talin protein levels were statistical significant between postmortem intervals of 24 versus 48 h and 24 versus 72 h by ANOVA. These results provide strong evidence that talin has potential to be used as a unique biomarker for the establishment of an additional method to estimate the time of death. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  13. Evaluation of thymic volume by postmortem computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Abe, Shuntaro; Hasegawa, Iwao; Vogel, Hermann; Heinemann, Axel; Suzuki, Koichi; Püschel, Klaus

    2015-07-01

    The thymus is exceedingly sensitive to stress and undergoes abrupt involution as a result of exposure to strong stress in early childhood. Therefore, thymic involution is often utilized to assess the presence of a stressful environment, such as an environment involving child abuse, in forensic medicine. In recent years, computed tomography (CT) has been commonly used in the daily practice of forensic medicine. We have focused on the thymic volume in postmortem CT images to evaluate the presence of a stressful antemortem environment. We calculated the thymus volume from postmortem CT images of children under six years old and demonstrated that the volume showed a positive correlation with the real weight obtained from an autopsy. The evaluation of thymic volume by CT may make it possible for us to identify child maltreatment. The most useful feature of this application of CT is to be able to demonstrate thymic involution less invasively in a surviving victim.

  14. Post-mortem CT imaging of the lungs: pathological versus non-pathological findings.

    PubMed

    Filograna, Laura; Thali, Michael J

    2017-08-23

    Nowadays, the modern computed tomography techniques are more and more applied in forensic investigations. The detection of abnormalities in post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) imaging of the lungs is very common. As in clinical imaging, also in post-mortem imaging the right interpretation of alterations has an extreme importance for the assessment of correct conclusions. This is even crucial when the radiologist who approaches the PMCT images is not routinely involved in forensic cases. The aim of this article is to provide radiologists who approach PMCT imaging cases with some indications for a proper and correct interpretation of pulmonary findings, to avoid misleading forensic conclusions. Particularly, the following issues will be addressed: PMCT imaging of post-mortem changes of the lungs; PMCT imaging of pathological lungs [(a) in thoracic trauma cases, (b) in cases without thoracic trauma]. Finally, the possible pitfalls in interpretation of PMCT imaging of the lungs will be also discussed.

  15. Postmortem computed tomography in victims of military air mishaps: radiological-pathological correlation of CT findings.

    PubMed

    Levy, Gad; Goldstein, Liav; Blachar, Arye; Apter, Sara; Barenboim, Erez; Bar-Dayan, Yaron; Shamis, Ari; Atar, Eli

    2007-10-01

    A thorough medical inquiry is included in every aviation mishap investigation. While the gold standard of this investigation is a forensic pathology examination, numerous reports stress the important role of computed tomography in the postmortem evaluation of trauma victims. To characterize the findings identified by postmortem CT and compare its performance to conventional autopsy in victims of military aviation mishaps, we analyzed seven postmortem CT examinations. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 57.8% of the traumatic findings identified by postmortem CT. The most frequent findings were fractures of the rib (47%), skull (9.6%) and facial bones (8.6%). Abnormally located air accounted for 24% of findings, for which CT was superior (3.5% detected by autopsy, 100% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001). The performance of autopsy in detecting injuries was superior (autopsy detected 85.8% of all injuries, postmortem CT detected 53.9%, P < 0.001), especially in the detection of superficial lesions (100% detected by autopsy, 10.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001) and solid organ injuries (100% by autopsy, 18.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001). Performance in the detection of musculoskeletal injuries was similar (91.3% for autopsy, 90.3% for postmortem CT, P = not significant). Postmortem CT and autopsy have distinct performance profiles, and although the first cannot replace the latter it is a useful complementary examination.

  16. Drug concentrations in post-mortem femoral blood compared with therapeutic concentrations in plasma

    PubMed Central

    Launiainen, Terhi; Ojanperä, Ilkka

    2014-01-01

    Therapeutic drug concentrations measured in plasma are of limited value as reference intervals for interpretation in post-mortem (PM) toxicology. In this study, drug concentration distributions were studied in PM femoral venous blood from 57 903 Finnish autopsy cases representing all causes of death during an 11-year period. Cause-of-death information was obtained from death certificates issued by forensic pathologists. Median, mean, and upper percentile (90th, 95th, 97.5th) concentrations were calculated for 129 drugs. To illustrate how PM median concentrations relate to established therapeutic ranges in plasma, a PM blood/plasma relationship was calculated for each drug. Males represented 75% of the subjects and showed a lower median age (55 yrs) than females (59 yrs). In 43% of these cases, blood alcohol concentration was higher than 0.2‰, and the median was 1.8‰. Sixty-one (47%) of the 129 drugs showed a PM blood/plasma relationship of 1. For 22 drugs (17%), the relationship was <1, and for 46 drugs (35%), the relationship was >1. No marked correlation was found between the PM blood/plasma relationship and the volume of distribution (Vd). For 36 drugs, more than 10% of cases were fatal poisonings attributed to this drug as the main finding. These drug concentration distributions based on a large database provide a helpful reference not only to forensic toxicologists and pathologists but also to clinical pharmacologists in charge of interpreting drug concentrations in PM cases. © 2013 The Authors. Drug Testing and Analysis published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:23881890

  17. Assistance of ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate in the interpretation of postmortem ethanol findings.

    PubMed

    Krabseth, Hege; Mørland, Jørg; Høiseth, Gudrun

    2014-09-01

    Postmortem ethanol formation is a well-known problem in forensic toxicology. The aim of this study was to interpret findings of ethanol in blood, in a large collection of forensic autopsy cases, by use of the nonoxidative ethanol metabolites, ethyl glucuronide (EtG), and ethyl sulfate (EtS). In this study, according to previously published literature, antemortem ethanol ingestion was excluded in EtS-negative cases. Among 493 ethanol-positive forensic autopsy cases, collected during the study period, EtS was not detected in 60 (12 %) of the cases. Among cases with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of ≤ 0.54 g/kg, antemortem ethanol ingestion was excluded in 38 % of the cases, while among cases with a BAC of ≥ 0.55 g/kg, antemortem ethanol ingestion was excluded in 2.2 % of the cases. For all cases where ethanol was measured at a concentration >1.0 g/kg, EtS was detected. The highest blood ethanol concentration in which EtS was not detected was 1.0 g/kg. The median concentrations of EtG and EtS in blood were 9.5 μmol/L (range: not detected (n.d.) 618.1) and 9.2 μmol/L (range: n.d. 182.5), respectively. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between concentration levels of ethanol and of EtG (Spearman's rho=0.671, p<0.001) and EtS (Spearman's rho=0.670, p<0.001), respectively. In conclusion, this study showed that in a large number of ethanol-positive forensic autopsy cases, ethanol was not ingested before the time of death, particularly among cases where ethanol was present in lower blood concentrations. Routine measurement of EtG and EtS should therefore be recommended, especially in cases with BAC below 1 g/kg.

  18. Storm-Related Postmortem Damage to Skeletal Remains.

    PubMed

    Maijanen, Heli; Wilson-Taylor, Rebecca J; Jantz, Lee Meadows

    2016-05-01

    In April 2011, human skeletons were exposed to heavy storms at the outdoor Anthropology Research Facility (ARF) in Knoxville, Tennessee. Of the approximate 125 skeletons at the ARF in April 2011, 30 donations exhibited postmortem damage that could be attributed to the storms. At least 20 of the affected donations exhibit postmortem damage clearly associated with hailstones due to the oval shape and similar small size of the defects observed. The irregular shape and larger size of other defects may be a product of other falling objects (e.g., tree branches) associated with the storms. Storm-related damage was observed throughout the skeleton, with the most commonly damaged skeletal elements being the scapula and ilium, but more robust elements (i.e., femora and tibiae) also displayed characteristic features of hailstone damage. Thus, hailstone damage should be considered when forensic practitioners observe unusual postmortem damage in skeletal remains recovered from the outdoor context.

  19. Forensic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cobb, P. G. W.

    1973-01-01

    Summarizes the type of work carried out by forensic chemists and the minimum qualification needed for appointment. Indicates that there are eight Home Office regional forensic science laboratories in addition to the Central Research Establishment at Aldermaston. (CC)

  20. Forensic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cobb, P. G. W.

    1973-01-01

    Summarizes the type of work carried out by forensic chemists and the minimum qualification needed for appointment. Indicates that there are eight Home Office regional forensic science laboratories in addition to the Central Research Establishment at Aldermaston. (CC)

  1. Forensic odontology.

    PubMed

    Shamim, Thorakkal

    2012-04-01

    Forensic odontology is a specialized field of dentistry which analyses dental evidence in the interest of justice. Forensic odontology embraces all dental specialities and it is almost impossible to segregate this branch from other dental specialities. This review aims to discuss the utility of various dental specialities with forensic odontology.

  2. Bupropion Overdose Resulted in a Pharmacobezoar in a Fatal Bupropion (Wellbutrin(®) ) Sustained-release Overdose: Postmortem Distribution of Bupropion and its Major Metabolites.

    PubMed

    Schmit, Gregory; De Boosere, Evy; Vanhaebost, Jessica; Capron, Arnaud

    2017-06-20

    Bupropion (BUP) overdose commonly causes generalized seizures and central nervous system depression. The case of a 28-year-old woman who died from a massive lethal overdose with sustained-release bupropion (Wellbutrin(®) 300 mg) is herein presented. The autopsy revealed the presence of a pharmacobezoar consisting of at least 40 tablets in the stomach. Determination of bupropion and its active metabolites (hydroxybupropion, threobupropion, erythrobupropion) was achieved by a liquid chromatographic mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Postmortem concentrations for bupropion, hydroxybupropion, threobupropion, and erythrobupropion were obtained in intracranial blood, urine, bile, liver, kidney, and vitreous humor. In this case, intracranial blood level of the parent drug was 1.9 mg/L. Threobupropion was the most abundant metabolite in both blood and urine, 59.3 and 890.6 mg/L. Tissue distribution showed the highest concentration in the liver, 12.3 mg/kg. The 0.8 bupropion concentration ratio vitreous/blood suggested that vitreous could be a valuable specimen for toxicological analysis should postmortem blood be unavailable. © 2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  3. Postmortem computed tomography images of a broken piece of a weapon in the skull.

    PubMed

    Kawasumi, Yusuke; Hosokai, Yoshiyuki; Usui, Akihito; Saito, Haruo; Ishibashi, Tadashi; Funayama, Masato

    2012-02-01

    The use of post-mortem radiological imaging is becoming increasing widespread in forensic medicine. These images can help improve the quality and safety of autopsy. We report two cases of homicide victims that had broken pieces of a weapon in their skull. Postmortem multislice computed tomography (MSCT) demonstrated metal artifacts in the skull of two homicide cases. Autopsy showed that both artifacts were pieces broken off of a sharp instrument. Some possible benefits of postmortem MSCT include the ability to reconstruct visual images of weapons and the possible prevention of injury to autopsy personnel.

  4. Estimation of postmortem interval through albumin in CSF by simple dye binding method.

    PubMed

    Parmar, Ankita K; Menon, Shobhana K

    2015-12-01

    Estimation of postmortem interval is a very important question in some medicolegal investigations. For the precise estimation of postmortem interval, there is a need of a method which can give accurate estimation. Bromocresol green (BCG) is a simple dye binding method and widely used in routine practice. Application of this method in forensic practice may bring revolutionary changes. In this study, cerebrospinal fluid was aspirated from cisternal puncture from 100 autopsies. A study was carried out on concentration of albumin with respect to postmortem interval. After death, albumin present in CSF undergoes changes, after 72 h of death, concentration of albumin has become 0.012 mM, and this decrease was linear from 2 h to 72 h. An important relationship was found between albumin concentration and postmortem interval with an error of ± 1-4h. The study concludes that CSF albumin can be a useful and significant parameter in estimation of postmortem interval.

  5. Opioid overdose mortality in Kansas, 2001-2011: toxicologic evaluation of intent.

    PubMed

    Okic, Merisa; Cnossen, Leslie; Crifasi, Joseph A; Long, Christopher; Mitchell, Erik K

    2013-01-01

    Drug concentration is a factor in the determination of the manner of death, but considerable overlap exists between therapeutic and toxic concentrations. This study aims to quantify opioid mortality in Kansas from use of fentanyl, methadone and oxycodone and to evaluate utility of drug concentrations for the determination of the manner of death. Cases referred to a forensic pathology practice in Kansas for autopsy from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2011 were considered. The criterion for inclusion was detection of fentanyl, methadone and/or oxycodone in postmortem toxicology. Of 9,789 cases, 3,315 had positive toxicology: 180 of fentanyl, 299 of methadone and 310 of oxycodone. There were 207 single opioid fatalities, 264 polydrug overdoses and 318 deaths where an opioid was present but not contributory to the mechanism of death. In line with published studies, incidence of opioid overdose deaths increased over the time of the study. Drug concentrations within each cause and manner of death covered broad ranges. Non-natural and natural manners had less overlap than existed within non-natural manners in limited comparisons. This study shows that drug concentration is independent of manner for non-natural deaths and although insufficient to identify intent, can provide a guideline in differentiating non-natural from natural deaths.

  6. Application of contrast media in post-mortem imaging (CT and MRI).

    PubMed

    Grabherr, Silke; Grimm, Jochen; Baumann, Pia; Mangin, Patrice

    2015-09-01

    The application of contrast media in post-mortem radiology differs from clinical approaches in living patients. Post-mortem changes in the vascular system and the absence of blood flow lead to specific problems that have to be considered for the performance of post-mortem angiography. In addition, interpreting the images is challenging due to technique-related and post-mortem artefacts that have to be known and that are specific for each applied technique. Although the idea of injecting contrast media is old, classic methods are not simply transferable to modern radiological techniques in forensic medicine, as they are mostly dedicated to single-organ studies or applicable only shortly after death. With the introduction of modern imaging techniques, such as post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) and post-mortem magnetic resonance (PMMR), to forensic death investigations, intensive research started to explore their advantages and limitations compared to conventional autopsy. PMCT has already become a routine investigation in several centres, and different techniques have been developed to better visualise the vascular system and organ parenchyma in PMCT. In contrast, the use of PMMR is still limited due to practical issues, and research is now starting in the field of PMMR angiography. This article gives an overview of the problems in post-mortem contrast media application, the various classic and modern techniques, and the issues to consider by using different media.

  7. Full validation of a method for the determination of drugs of abuse in non-mineralized dental biofilm using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and application to postmortem samples.

    PubMed

    Henkel, Kerstin; Altenburger, Markus J; Auwärter, Volker; Neukamm, Merja A

    2018-01-01

    Alternative matrices play a major role in postmortem forensic toxicology, especially if common matrices (like body fluids or hair) are not available. Incorporation of illicit and medicinal drugs into non-mineralized dental biofilm (plaque) seems likely but has not been investigated so far. Analysis of plaque could therefore extend the spectrum of potentially used matrices in postmortem toxicology. For this reason, a rapid, simple and sensitive method for the extraction, determination and quantification of ten drugs of abuse from plaque using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed and fully validated. Amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), cocaine, benzoylecgonine, morphine, codeine and 6-acetylmorphine were extracted from 2mg of dried and powdered plaque via ultrasonication with acetonitrile. The extracts were analyzed on a triple-quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometer in scheduled multiple reaction monitoring mode (sMRM). The method was fully validated and proved accurate, precise, selective and specific with satisfactory linearity within the calibrated ranges. The lower limit of quantification was 10-15pgmg(-1) for all compounds except for MDA (100pgmg(-1)) and amphetamine (200pgmg(-1)). The method has been successfully applied to three authentic postmortem samples with known drug history. Amphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, benzoylecgonine, morphine and codeine could be detected in these cases in concentrations ranging from 18pgmg(-1) for cocaine to 1400pgmg(-1) for amphetamine. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Forensic pathology of companion animal abuse and neglect.

    PubMed

    Gerdin, J A; McDonough, S P

    2013-11-01

    Submission of cases of suspected animal abuse and neglect (AAN) to veterinary pathologists is increasingly frequent. These cases require modification of postmortem procedures and written reports, as the questions asked by courts typically differ from those asked in routine diagnostic cases. Here we review the practice of veterinary forensic pathology as it applies to cases of companion AAN, as well as the fundamental principles of forensic pathology, the components of a forensic necropsy, and the goals of the necropsy in cases of blunt-force trauma, projectile wounds, and starvation. Future directions and endeavors in veterinary forensic pathology are broached.

  9. Post-mortem CT and MRI: appropriate post-mortem imaging appearances and changes related to cardiopulmonary resuscitation

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Post-mortem cross-sectional imaging in the form of CT and, less frequently, MRI is an emerging facility in the evaluation of cause-of-death and human identification for the coronial service as well as in assisting the forensic investigation of suspicious deaths and homicide. There are marked differences between the radiological evaluation and interpretation of the CT and MRI features of the live patient (i.e. antemortem imaging) and the evaluation and interpretation of post-mortem CT and MRI appearances. In addition to the absence of frequently utilized tissue enhancement following intravenous contrast administration in antemortem imaging, there are a number of variable changes which occur in the tissues and organs of the body as a normal process following death, some of which are, in addition, affected significantly by environmental factors. Many patients and victims will also have undergone aggressive attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the perimortem period which will also significantly alter post-mortem CT and MRI appearances. It is paramount that the radiologist and pathologist engaged in the interpretation of such post-mortem imaging are familiar with the appropriate non-pathological imaging changes germane to death, the post-mortem interval and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in order to avoid erroneously attributing such changes to trauma or pathology. Some of the more frequently encountered radiological imaging considerations of this nature will be reviewed. PMID:26562099

  10. Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    ‘Computational toxicology’ is a broad term that encompasses all manner of computer-facilitated informatics, data-mining, and modeling endeavors in relation to toxicology, including exposure modeling, physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling, dose-response modeling, ...

  11. Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    ‘Computational toxicology’ is a broad term that encompasses all manner of computer-facilitated informatics, data-mining, and modeling endeavors in relation to toxicology, including exposure modeling, physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling, dose-response modeling, ...

  12. Developmental Toxicology##

    EPA Science Inventory

    Developmental toxicology encompasses the study of developmental exposures, pharmacokinetics, mechanisms, pathogenesis, and outcomes potentially leading to adverse health effects. Manifestations of developmental toxicity include structural malformations, growth retardation, functi...

  13. Developmental Toxicology##

    EPA Science Inventory

    Developmental toxicology encompasses the study of developmental exposures, pharmacokinetics, mechanisms, pathogenesis, and outcomes potentially leading to adverse health effects. Manifestations of developmental toxicity include structural malformations, growth retardation, functi...

  14. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: Evaluation of forensic autopsy cases.

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Luo; Zhang, Yang; Zielke, H Ronald; Levine, Barry; Zhang, Xiang; Chang, Lin; Fowler, David; Li, Ling

    2012-11-30

    Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. Mortality is significantly increased in patients with epilepsy. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most common seizure-related category of death. A retrospective study of forensic autopsy cases from 2007 to 2009 at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) yielded a total of 104 sudden unexpected deaths directly or indirectly caused by an epilepsy/seizure disorder in the State of Maryland. Of these deaths, 74 cases met a general accepted definition of SUDEP. The age of SUDEP individuals ranged from 14 to 63 with the majority of subjects in the ages between 21 and 50 years (58 cases, 78.4%). Males were slightly more likely than females to die of SUDEP (male:female=1.5:1 based on the rate). The onset age of epilepsy was documented in 47.3% of cases (35/74) based on investigation and medical records. Of the 35 cases, 12 subjects had early onset epilepsy (onset ages 1-15 years) and 20 subjects had duration of epilepsy for more than 10 years. The majority of deaths (61 of the 74 cases, 82.4%) were unwitnessed. Death scene investigation showed that 71 deaths (95.9%) occurred inside their residence with 50 subjects (70.4%) found either in bed or on the bedroom floor near the bed. Forty-three out of 74 cases (58.1%) showed neuropathological lesions. Per history, 50 subjects were reported as being on anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). However, postmortem toxicological analysis revealed that only 26 subjects (35.1%) had detectable AEDs. Of the 74 cases, seizure disorder or epilepsy was listed as primary cause of death in 66 cases and the term of SUDEP as official cause of death in only 8 cases. This report focuses on the characteristics of death scene investigation and postmortem examination findings of SUDEP cases.

  15. A case of postoperative hemorrhage after a hysterectomy in which a bleeding point of the left uterine artery was identified by postmortem angiography.

    PubMed

    Kominato, Yoshihiko; Fujikura, Takashi; Hata, Yukiko; Matsui, Ken-Ichi; Takizawa, Hisao

    2004-07-01

    We report a case of fatal postoperative hemorrhage caused by failure to ligate the left uterine artery during a hysterectomy in a 42-year-old woman, as demonstrated postmortem by conventional autopsy methods and confirmed by angiography. Angiography was confirmed to be a useful adjunctive technique for postmortem diagnosis and localization of the bleeding point. In cases of suspected fatal postoperative hemorrhage, postmortem angiography may be of value to the forensic pathologist.

  16. Spaceflight Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyers, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides a review of NASA Johnson Space Center's Toxicology program. The mission of this program is to protect crews from toxic exposures during spaceflight. The presentation reviews some of the health hazards. A toxicological hazard level chart is presented that reviews the rating of hazard level, irritancy, systemic effects and containability. The program also participates in the Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Advisory Group.

  17. Requesting toxicological specimens from tissue procurement organizations.

    PubMed

    Trim, Robert S; Jentzen, Jeff; Penn, Genevieve

    2013-12-01

    Opinions based on toxicology results are dependent, in part, upon the quality of the specimen's acquisition, storage, and chain of custody. The responsibility for these factors is often delegated to tissue and eye bank technicians. These technicians are not employees of the medical examiner (ME)'s office and may have no documented training related to the proper acquisition and handling of retained toxicology specimens. Medical examiners and coroners often request tissue recovery technicians to provide them with these toxicology samples when the tissue recovery is performed before autopsy. This practice helps facilitate donation and is convenient for the ME, but there may be unexpected implications for both the technicians and the ME that deserve further consideration. This article highlights the relevant issues in the postmortem recovery of biological samples for toxicology analysis and makes recommendations for the practice.

  18. Tasks of research in forensic medicine - different study types in clinical research and forensic medicine.

    PubMed

    Madea, Burkhard; Saukko, Pekka; Musshoff, Frank

    2007-01-17

    In the last years the research output of forensic medicine has sometimes been regarded as insufficient and as of poor quality, especially when parameters as impact factors and external funding were taken into account. However, forensic medicine has different tasks compared to clinical medicine. The main difference between basic subjects, clinical and forensic medicine is not a lack of scientific efficiency in forensic medicine but is a result of the questions asked, the available methods and specific aims. In contrast to natural-scientific research, forensic science has furthermore important intersections with arts and socio-scientific disciplines. Etiologic and pathogenetic research is of only limited relevance in forensic medicine. Thus, forensic medicine is excluded from these research fields, which are mainly supported by external funding. In forensic medicine research mainly means applied research regarding findings, the probative value and reconstruction as well as examination at different points of intersection between medicine and law. Clinical types of research such as controlled randomised, prospective cross-sectional, cohort or case-control studies can only rarely be applied in forensic medicine due to the area specific research fields (e.g. thantatology, violent death, vitality, traffic medicine, analytical toxicology, hemogenetics and stain analysis). The types of studies which are successfully established in forensic medicine are comparison of methods, sensitivity studies, validation of methods, kinetic examinations etc. Tasks of research in forensic medicine and study types, which may be applied will be addressed.

  19. FORENSIC SCIENCE:: 20 YEARS OF FORENSIC DENTISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB, 1994 - 2014.

    PubMed

    Brkić, Hrvoje

    2014-06-01

    Data from available literature point to an early beginning of Forensic Dentistry in Croatia relating to a post-mortem examination of a female patient after a dental procedure in the 1930s. Later on, there were several mass casualties due to collisions and airplane crashes and a railway accident at the Zagreb Main Railway Station wherein the identity of the victims was established based on dental features. Foreign experts in forensics helped identify those victims, particularly forensic dentists because this specialty was almost unknown in our region at the time. During the twenty-year period of the development of Forensic Dentistry at the University of Zagreb, the School of Dental Medicine, the city of Zagreb and Croatia have become internationally recognised on the forensic map of the world.

  20. Forensic Analysis of Cathinones.

    PubMed

    Gautam, L; Shanmuganathan, A; Cole, M D

    2013-03-01

    In the past decade there has been a significant increase in the popularity of synthetic cathinones in the illegal drug market. They have been easily available from Internet-based vendors as well as at "head shops" and "smart shops". The recent prominence of synthetic cathinones can be attributed to their stimulatory properties similar to those of amphetamines. This paper provides a review on the current popular cathinone derivatives, their history and prevalence in the illegal drug market, legislation of these drugs in various countries, pharmacology, toxicology, and metabolism studies, analysis of toxicology samples (blood, urine, and hair) and criminalistic samples (seized, purchased via the Internet, and synthesized). From the reviewed literature, it is concluded that the products sold as "legal highs" do not only contain cathinone but also cathinone derivatives, and adulterants such as caffeine, lidocaine, and inorganic materials. Full toxicity data is currently unavailable for this drug class and hence more research is required with regard to their analysis and metabolism. Moreover, clandestine chemists are constantly synthesizing new derivatives and hence forensic chemists often need to synthesize and characterize these drugs to confirm the identity of the seized samples. This is expensive as well as time-consuming. Therefore, there is a need for national and international collaboration among forensic chemists to overcome this difficulty.

  1. Pig-mentation: postmortem iris color change in the eyes of Sus scrofa.

    PubMed

    Abraham, Elizabeth; Cox, Margaret; Quincey, David

    2008-05-01

    Experienced forensic pathologists and examiners may be familiar with the phenomenon of postmortem iris color change; however, only Knight, Simpson's forensic medicine, Arnold, London, 1997; Ref. 1 and Saukko and Knight, Knight's forensic pathology, 3rd ed., Arnold, London, 2004; Ref. 2 have referred to it in the literature, and to date, there have been no published scientific research studies on this taphonomic artifact. A controlled experiment was conducted of postmortem changes to isolated Sus scrofa eyes. The eyes (n = 137) were separated into three groups and each sample was observed for 3-day postmortem at a different temperature. In addition, a Sus scrofa head was obtained to observe postmortem changes of eyes in situ. All isolated blue eyes in the experiment, at room temperature and higher, changed to brown/black within 48 h. The in situ blue eye, at room temperature, turned brown/black within 72 h. If iris color consistently changes postmortem in humans, then this taphonomic artifact must be incorporated into victim identification protocol, including disaster victim identification software, and autopsy reports to prevent inaccurate victim identification and inappropriate exclusion from the identification process.

  2. [Cantharidin and its detection in forensic toxicology].

    PubMed

    Dolný, A; Buchtová, M; Loyka, S

    1992-11-01

    Experimental detection of deadly toxic cantharidin C10H12O4 by chemical analysis was performed in imagoes of two species of cryptotoxic Meloidae beetles--Lytta vesicatoria and Mylabris variabilis. Samples were processed by extraction and sublimation and analyzed by gas chromatography. Graphic documentation proved the presence of cantharidin. A part of microcristalline sublimate was studied microscopically and determinant features of crystalline cantharidin were identified. Moreover, cantharidin levels in single body parts of the beetle were investigated.

  3. Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry for the Quantitation of Seventeen Sedative Hypnotics in Six Common Toxicological Matrices.

    PubMed

    Mata, Dani C; Davis, John F; Figueroa, Ariana K; Stanford, Mary June

    2016-01-01

    An ultra performance liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) method for the quantification of 14 benzodiazepines and three sedative hypnotics is presented. The fast and inexpensive assay was developed for California's Orange County Crime Lab for use in antemortem (AM) and postmortem casework. The drugs were rapidly cleaned up from AM blood, postmortem blood, urine, liver, brain and stomach contents using DPX(®) Weak Anion Exchange (DPX WAX) tips fitted on a pneumatic extractor, which can process up to 48 samples at one time. Assay performance was determined for validation based on recommendations by the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology for linearity, limit of quantitation, limit of detection, bias, precision (within run and between run), dilution integrity, carry-over, selectivity, recovery, ion suppression and extracted sample stability. Linearity was verified using the therapeutic and toxic ranges of all 17 analytes. Final verification of the method was confirmed by four analysts using 20 blind matrix matched samples. All results were within 20% of each other and the expected value.

  4. Analysis of Drugs of Abuse in Cerumen - Correlation of Postmortem Analysis Results with Those for Blood, Urine and Hair.

    PubMed

    Meier, Sylvia I; Koelzer, Sarah C; Schubert-Zsilavecz, Manfred; Toennes, Stefan W

    2017-02-27

    The evaluation of drug and alcohol abuse is a major subject of forensic toxicology. Assessment of drug abstinence currently requires the analysis of urine or hair. In the present study cerumen, a mixture of sebum and sweat, was tested as an alternative. Postmortem samples (blood, urine, hair and cerumen from 38 corpses) were analyzed using liquid chromatography and gas chromatography, each coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS, GC-MS). The results were compared. In all cases of recent drug use (i.e. detection of opiates, amphetamine and derivatives, cocaine, methadone and diazepam or their metabolites in blood) the corresponding cerumen was positive. In 3 cases, where drugs could only be detected in urine, cerumen was also found to be positive. Even in cases where only hair was positive cerumen still contained analytes in some instances (52.5 %). However, cannabis use was only detected in 31.6 % of cerumen samples of the deceased cannabis users. Unexpectedly, not tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was detected but its oxidized form, cannabinol. The present results suggest that cerumen is a promising alternative for drugs of abuse testing. The detection time window of cerumen is obviously in excess of that of urine but not as long as with hair. However, current problems with the detection of cannabinoids require further research.

  5. Interpretation of postmortem change in cadavers in Spain.

    PubMed

    Prieto, José L; Magaña, Concepción; Ubelaker, Douglas H

    2004-09-01

    Estimating time since death is especially difficult in the examination of poorly preserved cadavers and depends on the experience of the examiner and comparison with previously documented cases showing similar characteristics. The present study reports on information obtained over the past ten years through the work of the Laboratorio de Antropología y Odontología Forense (LAF) of the Instituto Anatómico Forense de Madrid, Spain, in particular evaluating how the type of fracture influences postmortem change. From the original 225 forensic cases examined between 1992 and 2002 in the LAF, a sample of 29 cases were selected from various regions of the Spanish mainland. A data collection protocol was established to reflect factors which the existing specialized literature, documenting the relation existing in the sample analyzed between time since death and the extent of postmortem change, which in the environments examined are distributed into the following phases: Phase 1 (putrefaction): one week to one month on the surface and two months in water. Phase 2 (initial skeletonization): two months on the surface and five to six months in water. Phase 3 (advanced skeltonization): six months to 1.5 years on the surface and 2.5 years buried. Phase 4 (complete skeletonization): about one year on the surface and three years buried. This paper also provide useful information on the impact of carrion insect activity, location, climate, seasonality, and predator.

  6. [Troponin in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Nowak, Agnieszka; Nowak, Seweryn; Chowaniec, Czesław; Wojnicz, Romuald

    2012-01-01

    In this review we try to answer the question whether and to what degree contemporary forensic pathology takes advantage of quantitative and qualitative troponin determinations. The report is simultaneously an introduction to discussing our results in this area. To perform this review we used the database "PubMed". Polish literature, concurrent with the objective of the study and not included in "PubMed" or included in "OLDMEDLINE" was also analyzed. The identified publications, which were concurrent with the aim of the study, were read and citations were checked. If among the cited papers we found one that was concurrent with the subject of the review, it was also included. While several studies support the use of post-mortem blood and body fluid levels of cardiac troponin T and I as a marker of sudden cardiac death, in our opinion, further research is required to determine the effects of post-mortem autolysis, microbial activity, metabolic derangement and the use of different sample matrices in autopsy cases.

  7. [Application and progress of RNA in forensic science].

    PubMed

    Gao, Lin-Lin; Li, You-Ying; Yan, Jiang-Wei; Liu, Ya-Cheng

    2011-12-01

    With the development of molecular biology, the evidences of genetics has been used widely in forensic sciences. DNA technology has played an important role in individual identification and paternity testing, RNA technology is showing more and more wide application in prospect. This article reviews the application and progress of RNA in forensic science including estimation of postmortem interval, bloodstain age, wound age, as well as determination of cause of death and the source of body fluids.

  8. Advances in post-mortem CT-angiography

    PubMed Central

    Grimm, J; Dominguez, A; Vanhaebost, J; Mangin, P

    2014-01-01

    Performing a post-mortem multidetector CT (MDCT) scan has already become routine in some institutes of forensic medicine. To better visualize the vascular system, different techniques of post-mortem CT-angiography have been explored, which can essentially be divided into partial- and whole-body angiography techniques. Probably the most frequently applied technique today is the so-called multiphase post-mortem CT-angiography (MPMCTA) a standardized method for investigating the vessels of the head, thorax and abdomen. Different studies exist, describing its use for medicolegal investigations, and its advantages as well as its artefacts and pitfalls. With the aim to investigate the performance of PMCTA and to develop and validate techniques, an international working group was created in 2012 called the “Technical Working Group Post-mortem Angiography Methods” (TWGPAM). Beyond its primary perspective, the goals of this group include creating recommendations for the indication of the investigation and for the interpretation of the images and to distribute knowledge about PMCTA. This article provides an overview about the different approaches that have been developed and tested in recent years and an update about ongoing research in this field. It will explain the technique of MPMCTA in detail and give an outline of its indications, application, advantages and limitations. PMID:24234582

  9. Advances in post-mortem CT-angiography.

    PubMed

    Grabherr, S; Grimm, J; Dominguez, A; Vanhaebost, J; Mangin, P

    2014-04-01

    Performing a post-mortem multidetector CT (MDCT) scan has already become routine in some institutes of forensic medicine. To better visualize the vascular system, different techniques of post-mortem CT-angiography have been explored, which can essentially be divided into partial- and whole-body angiography techniques. Probably the most frequently applied technique today is the so-called multiphase post-mortem CT-angiography (MPMCTA) a standardized method for investigating the vessels of the head, thorax and abdomen. Different studies exist, describing its use for medicolegal investigations, and its advantages as well as its artefacts and pitfalls. With the aim to investigate the performance of PMCTA and to develop and validate techniques, an international working group was created in 2012 called the "Technical Working Group Post-mortem Angiography Methods" (TWGPAM). Beyond its primary perspective, the goals of this group include creating recommendations for the indication of the investigation and for the interpretation of the images and to distribute knowledge about PMCTA. This article provides an overview about the different approaches that have been developed and tested in recent years and an update about ongoing research in this field. It will explain the technique of MPMCTA in detail and give an outline of its indications, application, advantages and limitations.

  10. Long-term RNA persistence in postmortem contexts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Ribonucleic acids (RNA) are generally considered fragile molecules that are readily degraded. However, there is growing documentation of long-term (from days to centuries) RNA persistence in a variety of contexts and tissue types, and as such a number of academic disciplines are beginning to exploit degraded RNA. While the reasons for its survival are not fully understood, there are several plausible mechanisms that would safeguard this molecule against degradation. However, after examining the literature available on the postmortem instability and decay mechanisms of RNA, it has become clear that limited experimental studies and no reviews offer an overview of these mechanisms. Hence in this review we outline molecular reasons for RNA surviving long-term postmortem, and provide specific examples of RNA survival in forensic, archival and archaeological contexts. A better understanding of the mechanisms of RNA decay will be crucial for developing expectations on its long-term survival. PMID:23618361

  11. Microbiome Tools for Forensic Science.

    PubMed

    Metcalf, Jessica L; Xu, Zhenjiang Z; Bouslimani, Amina; Dorrestein, Pieter; Carter, David O; Knight, Rob

    2017-09-01

    Microbes are present at every crime scene and have been used as physical evidence for over a century. Advances in DNA sequencing and computational approaches have led to recent breakthroughs in the use of microbiome approaches for forensic science, particularly in the areas of estimating postmortem intervals (PMIs), locating clandestine graves, and obtaining soil and skin trace evidence. Low-cost, high-throughput technologies allow us to accumulate molecular data quickly and to apply sophisticated machine-learning algorithms, building generalizable predictive models that will be useful in the criminal justice system. In particular, integrating microbiome and metabolomic data has excellent potential to advance microbial forensics. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Exhumation of Wistar rats experimentally exposed to the carbamate pesticides aldicarb and carbofuran: A pathological and toxicological study.

    PubMed

    de Siqueira, Adriana; Rodrigues, Karina Borges Almeida; Gonçalves-Júnior, Vagner; Calefi, Atilio Sersun; Fukushima, André Rinaldi; Cuevas, Silvia Elena Campusano; Spinosa, Helenice de Souza; Maiorka, Paulo César

    2016-06-01

    Exhumation is required for the investigation of suspicions deaths when a body is buried and is usually performed under court order. Exhumation of animals is not a routine practice in forensic pathology. In this study, 30 male 70-day-old Wistar rats were experimentally exposed to the carbamate pesticides aldicarb and carbofuran. Toxicological, macroscopic and microscopic examinations were performed. Groups of 3 animals (2 exposed and 1 control) were evaluated at 24h, 3days, 5days, 7days and 10days post-mortem. In histopathological examination, the brain, liver, lungs and kidneys were assessed, and for toxicological analysis, the gastric contents, liver, vitreous humor, skeletal muscle and larvae (when available) were collected. The pesticides were detected by HPLC and quantified in the analyzed matrices, and a possible delay in tissue putrefaction due to the pesticides was observed. This study has revealed that it is possible to exhume animals for investigations of possible poisoning by carbamates and has demonstrated that the exhumation of an animal in a suspected case of poisoning should not be ruled out. The increasing demand for investigations of suspicious animal deaths, e.g., in cases of poisoning, will likely lead to an increase in the use of this type of procedure in veterinary pathology.

  13. The difficult task of assessing perimortem and postmortem fractures on the skeleton: a blind text on 210 fractures of known origin.

    PubMed

    Cappella, Annalisa; Amadasi, Alberto; Castoldi, Elisa; Mazzarelli, Debora; Gaudio, Daniel; Cattaneo, Cristina

    2014-11-01

    The distinction between perimortem and postmortem fractures is an important challenge for forensic anthropology. Such a crucial task is presently based on macro-morphological criteria widely accepted in the scientific community. However, several limits affect these parameters which have not yet been investigated thoroughly. This study aims at highlighting the pitfalls and errors in evaluating perimortem or postmortem fractures. Two trained forensic anthropologists were asked to classify 210 fractures of known origin in four skeletons (three victims of blunt force trauma and one natural death) as perimortem, postmortem, or dubious, twice in 6 months in order to assess intraobserver error also. Results show large errors, ranging from 14.8 to 37% for perimortem fractures and from 5.5 to 14.8% for postmortem ones; more than 80% of errors concerned trabecular bone. This supports the need for more objective and reliable criteria for a correct assessment of peri- and postmortem bone fractures.

  14. [Paradigm of forensic medicine--trends of development].

    PubMed

    Nasiłowski, Władysław

    2007-01-01

    The author addresses several issues concerning the current condition of forensic medicine and further trends of its development. One can believe that the split and the crisis of forensic medicine may result from the enfeeblement of its institutional character caused by changes to legal proceedings requirements. Disintegration seems to be also caused by strong subspecialty tendencies resulting from the progress and the increasing specialization in individual biological sciences forming a joint paradigm of forensic medicine, i.e. medico-legal toxicology, hemogenetics, histopathology and classic forensic medicine.

  15. The forensic importance of frontal sinus radiographs.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Rhonan Ferreira; Prado, Felippe Bevilacqua; Caputo, Isamara Geandra Cavalcanti; Devito, Karina Lopes; Botelho, Tessa de Luscena; Daruge Júnior, Eduardo

    2009-01-01

    The identification of unidentified human remains through the comparison of antemortem and postmortem radiographs has found wide acceptance in recent years. Reported here is the forensic case of an unidentified adult male who had died as the result of a traffic accident, after which the body was identified by matching images of ante- and postmortem radiographs of the frontal sinus. A general discussion on identification using frontal sinus radiographs is presented, highlighting the reliability of this method, in reference to the uniqueness of the frontal sinus in humans. However, it also notes a few difficulties, especially in reference to the X-ray technique in cases where antemortem radiographs are available and a potentially larger number of anatomical, pathological or traumatic features are present. The comparison of frontal sinus outlines is recommended when it may become necessary to provide quantitative substantiation for forensic identification based on these structures.

  16. [Death in the neonatal period and infancy. History of medicine and forensic criminal aspects].

    PubMed

    Risse, Manfred

    2002-01-01

    From antiquity up to the present time the history of medicine contains innumerable examples of the different attitude of human beings in dealing with the death of children. This is paradigmatically described for the death of neonates and infants, with special consideration of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and selected forensic-criminalistic aspects. Against the historical background of forensic postmortem examination and forensic paidopathology the development of the autopsy is also outlined.

  17. Smartphone Image Acquisition During Postmortem Monocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy.

    PubMed

    Lantz, Patrick E; Schoppe, Candace H; Thibault, Kirk L; Porter, William T

    2016-01-01

    The medical usefulness of smartphones continues to evolve as third-party applications exploit and expand on the smartphones' interface and capabilities. This technical report describes smartphone still-image capture techniques and video-sequence recording capabilities during postmortem monocular indirect ophthalmoscopy. Using these devices and techniques, practitioners can create photographic documentation of fundal findings, clinically and at autopsy, without the expense of a retinal camera. Smartphone image acquisition of fundal abnormalities can promote ophthalmological telemedicine--especially in regions or countries with limited resources--and facilitate prompt, accurate, and unbiased documentation of retinal hemorrhages in infants and young children. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  18. Rib fractures at postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) validated against the autopsy.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Claudia; Hoppe, Hanno; Schweitzer, Wolf; Schwendener, Nicole; Grabherr, Silke; Jackowski, Christian

    2013-12-10

    To evaluate the sensitivity of postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) in rib fracture detection validated against autopsy. Fifty-one forensic cases underwent a postmortem CT prior to forensic autopsy. Two image readers (radiologist and forensic pathologist) assessed high resolution CT data sets for rib fractures. Correct recognition rates (CRR), sensitivity and specificity values were calculated over all observations as well as individually for every rib and region. Additionally, for partial rib fractures the sensitivity of autopsy was calculated vice versa. 3876 entries in each study protocol (autopsy, PMCT radiologist and PMCT forensic pathologist) were investigated. A total of 690 fractures (autopsy), 491 (PMCT and radiologist) and 559 (PMCT and forensic pathologist) were detected. The CRR was 0.85. Sensitivity and specificity of PMCT for rib fracture detection were 0.63 (0.58 radiologist, 0.68 forensic pathologist) and 0.97 (both readers 0.97), respectively. Low CRR and sensitivity values were obtained for antero-lateral fractures. Partial rib fractures were better detected by PMCT. PMCT has a rather low sensitivity for rib fracture detection when validated against autopsy and indicates that clinical CT may also demonstrate a reasonable number of false negatives. Partial rib fractures often remain undetected at autopsy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Forensic molecular pathology of violent deaths.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Hitoshi; Zhu, Bao-li; Ishikawa, Takaki; Michiue, Tomomi

    2010-12-15

    In forensic pathology, while classical morphology remains a core procedure to investigate deaths, a spectrum of ancillary procedures has been developed and incorporated to detail the pathology. Among them, postmortem biochemistry is important to investigate the systemic pathophysiological changes involved in the dying process that cannot be detected by morphology. In addition, recent advances in molecular biology have provided a procedure to investigate genetic bases of diseases that might present with sudden death, which is called 'molecular autopsy'. Meanwhile, the practical application of RNA analyses to postmortem investigation has not been accepted due to rapid decay after death; however, recent experimental and practical studies using real-time reverse transcription-PCR have suggested that the relative quantification of mRNA transcripts can be applied in molecular pathology for postmortem investigation of deaths, which may be called 'advanced molecular autopsy'. In a broad sense, forensic molecular pathology implies applied medical sciences to investigate the genetic basis of diseases, and the pathophysiology of diseases and traumas leading to death at a biological molecular level in the context of forensic pathology. The possible applications include analyses of local pathology, including tissue injury, ischemia/hypoxia and inflammation at the site of insult or specific tissue damage from intoxication, systemic responses to violence or environmental hazards, disorders due to intoxication, and systemic pathophysiology of fatal process involving major life-support organs. A review of previous studies suggests that systematic postmortem quantitative analysis of mRNA transcripts can be established from multi-faceted aspects of molecular biology and incorporated into death investigations in forensic pathology, to support and reinforce morphological evidence.

  20. Forensics Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walsh, Grace

    This annotated bibliography lists and discusses 28 books on forensics, debate, argumentation, discussion, and public speaking. The books cover various topics in oral communication for secondary and college level study. (CH)

  1. Forensic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Keith O.; Nigh, W. G.

    1973-01-01

    A course is described, which was given during an interim, with an enrollment of 41 students. The course involved an in-depth study of forensic science, involving students with the methodology of science. (DF)

  2. Forensic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Keith O.; Nigh, W. G.

    1973-01-01

    A course is described, which was given during an interim, with an enrollment of 41 students. The course involved an in-depth study of forensic science, involving students with the methodology of science. (DF)

  3. Forensic pathology and the miscarriage of justice.

    PubMed

    Pollanen, Michael S

    2012-09-01

    A case of conviction for rape-murder that was eventually overturned based on a post-conviction re-evaluation of the findings at autopsy is described. The main issue elucidated on post-conviction review was that postmortem anal dilation and postmortem hypostatic hemorrhages of the neck were misinterpreted as injuries. After review of the autopsy findings, the prosecution agreed with the appellant that a miscarriage of justice had occurred and the conviction was quashed by an appellate court. This case underscores the need for an awareness of key pitfalls that can be encountered at autopsy, such as the proper interpretation of postmortem artefacts. The evolving role of the evidence-based framework for forensic pathology is explored as a systemic solution to enhance the administration of justice.

  4. Misinterpretation of Anogenital Findings and Misdiagnosis of Child Sexual Abuse: The Role of the Forensic Pathologist.

    PubMed

    Pelletti, Guido; Tambuscio, Silvia; Montisci, Massimo; Snenghi, Rossella

    2016-04-01

    The interpretation of anogenital postmortem findings is an issue of main concern, because the nature and appearance of anogenital tissues during the postmortem interval is not widely known by health providers. An 8-year-old girl died in the hospital 48 hours after hospitalization. On the basis of the atypical anogenital findings, the health care professionals notified the fact to the Public Prosecutor as an alleged child abuse. The forensic pathologist ruled out this possibility, interpreting the anal findings due to physiological postmortem anal alterations and to the insertion of suppositories before death. Forensic pathological analysis should be included in routine postmortem evaluation in the case of suspected child sexual abuse, because normal postmortem findings could be misinterpreted by physicians, whose sole experience is on the basis of antemortem scenarios. Copyright © 2016 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Elderly-animal postmortem attachment.

    PubMed

    Peretti, P O

    1990-01-01

    Attachment can be strong between people and their pets. The present study was conducted to determine: (1) specific variables associated with the final rite and disposition of the deceased pet, and (2) those criteria associated with emotional and social factors pertaining to elderly-animal postmortem attachment. Results suggested four most frequently stated variables of final rite and disposition, and eight emotional and social factors of elderly-animal postmortem attachment.

  6. [Forensic medicine and the overlap with pathology].

    PubMed

    Riepert, T

    2010-07-01

    Forensic medicine incorporates research, teaching and professional service. In the routine practice this encompasses interdisciplinary cooperation with physicians, natural scientists and the legal profession. Lectures in forensic medicine include the correct performance of an external examination of corpses, which every physician must be capable of, just as medical questions and the evidential documentation of injuries. Clinical forensic medicine encompasses the examination and documentation of living victims of physical and/or sexual violence. For further training to become a specialist for forensic medicine it is mandatory to undertake a 6-month training period in pathology. Fatalities with an unclear or unnatural manner of death must be registered with the police. On suspicion of third party involvement the public prosecutor will request a legal autopsy, which is carried out and documented by two physicians in accordance with the penal code. Imaging procedures are standard for an autopsy. Extensive samples are taken for additional testing, such as toxicological and molecular biological investigations.

  7. A Machine Learning Approach for Using the Postmortem Skin Microbiome to Estimate the Postmortem Interval

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Hunter R.; Trinidad, Donovan D.; Guzman, Stephania; Khan, Zenab; Parziale, James V.; DeBruyn, Jennifer M.

    2016-01-01

    Research on the human microbiome, the microbiota that live in, on, and around the human person, has revolutionized our understanding of the complex interactions between microbial life and human health and disease. The microbiome may also provide a valuable tool in forensic death investigations by helping to reveal the postmortem interval (PMI) of a decedent that is discovered after an unknown amount of time since death. Current methods of estimating PMI for cadavers discovered in uncontrolled, unstudied environments have substantial limitations, some of which may be overcome through the use of microbial indicators. In this project, we sampled the microbiomes of decomposing human cadavers, focusing on the skin microbiota found in the nasal and ear canals. We then developed several models of statistical regression to establish an algorithm for predicting the PMI of microbial samples. We found that the complete data set, rather than a curated list of indicator species, was preferred for training the regressor. We further found that genus and family, rather than species, are the most informative taxonomic levels. Finally, we developed a k-nearest- neighbor regressor, tuned with the entire data set from all nasal and ear samples, that predicts the PMI of unknown samples with an average error of ±55 accumulated degree days (ADD). This study outlines a machine learning approach for the use of necrobiome data in the prediction of the PMI and thereby provides a successful proof-of- concept that skin microbiota is a promising tool in forensic death investigations. PMID:28005908

  8. Postmortem interval determination using 18S-rRNA and microRNA.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen-Can; Ma, Kai-Jun; Lv, Ye-Hui; Zhang, Ping; Pan, Hui; Zhang, Heng; Wang, Hui-Jun; Ma, Duan; Chen, Long

    2014-07-01

    The importance of determining postmortem interval (PMI) is crucial to criminal, civil and forensic cases. The precise estimation of PMI is a critical step in many death investigations. A technique exploiting the level of RNA, 18S rRNA and microRNA to estimate PMI was investigated. 18S-rRNA is a main ribosomal RNA presented as part of the ribosomal protein complex, while microRNA is a class of small non-coding single-stranded RNA, only 21-25 nucleotides, which has a strong conservation between different species. In this study, heart tissues were removed from adult rats at various postmortem intervals. An efficient extraction and detection protocol to analyze the level of 18S-rRNA and microRNA in postmortem tissue was carried out. The process consists of total RNA extraction, transcription and visualization by quantitative real time PCR. The result indicates a characteristic parabola relationship between postmortem period and Ct values for 18S-rRNA in dead rat hearts. The result indicates that the degradation pattern of tissue 18S-rRNA and microRNA is useful in the determination of the postmortem interval within seven days. Copyright © 2014 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Postmortem diffusion of n-butane and i-butane used for anticontagious plugging spray.

    PubMed

    Okuda, Katsuhiro; Maseda, Chikatoshi; Asari, Masaru; Isozaki, Shotaro; Kiya, Hiroshi; Yajima, Daisuke; Shiono, Hiroshi; Shimizu, Keiko

    2016-03-01

    Blood and tissue samples from a forensic autopsy of a man in his late 60s, who developed dementia and died of multiple head traumas due to a fall from a moving vehicle, contained certain amounts of n-butane and i-butane. The concentration of n-butane was in the range of 0.48-70.5 μL/g, which would be considered as toxic or lethal levels. We had to distinguish whether the cause of his unexplained behavior was due to his pre-existing condition (dementia), or from a confused state induced by butane abuse. No traces of butane use were found at the scene. Police investigation revealed that a propellant used in an anticontagious plugging spray had been administered to him during a postmortem treatment in the emergency hospital. In order to prove the postmortem butane diffusion had resulted from the spray administration and to estimate the diffused concentration, experimental simulation was conducted by using rats. As a result of postmortem treatment with the spray, n-butane at concentrations of 0.54-15.5 μL/mL or g were found in the rat blood and tissues. In this case, we provided further evidence that the postmortem butane diffusion, caused by using the anticontagious plugging spray containing butane gas as a propellant administered to a cadaver during a postmortem procedure prior to forensic autopsy, should be distinguished from cases of actual butane poisoning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The use of Megaselia abdita (Diptera: Phoridae) in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Manlove, J D; Disney, R H L

    2008-02-25

    This case study demonstrates the importance of the Phorid, Megaselia abdita (Schmitz), as an indicator for post-mortem interval estimation in criminal investigations involving forensic entomology where it is usually the more frequently occurring Calliphorids that are most useful. A case example is discussed where the temperatures were low for the period of time the deceased was missing.

  11. [Microscopic myocardial changes and their significance for forensic medical diagnosis].

    PubMed

    Kapustin, A V

    2006-01-01

    Morphological myocardial changes essential for diagnosis in forensic medical medicine are listed as well as alterations in the vessels of the myocardium, cardiac muscular fibers and cardiomyocytes important for diagnosis of death of ischemic heart disease, acute alcohol poisoning, alcohol cardiomyopathy, closed cardiac lesions. Changes induced by reflex impacts on the heart and postmortem alterations are also shown.

  12. Quality assurance in forensic pathology.

    PubMed

    Ong, Beng Beng; Milne, Nathan

    2009-06-01

    One of the requirements for proper running of a pathology laboratory is implementation of a quality assurance programme. Forensic pathology is not exempted, especially so when cases are increasing in complexity. It is not difficult to introduce a quality assurance programme even in a small forensic centre. Among the steps that can be implemented including introduction of a set of minimal standards in performance of the autopsy, timeliness and report writing, a vigorous peer review process either internally or externally and participation in external quality programmes. Proper documentation of the post-mortem process (photography, slides and blocks and various imaging modalities) is to be encouraged. There should be limits set on workload of pathologists as overburden is known to lower standards. A pleasant work environment is also essential. Personal continuous medical education should be made mandatory. Introduction of a quality assurance programme will not only improve standards but minimise possible negligence. The post-mortem reports will be seen to carry more weight in court.

  13. [Problems of postdiploma training of specialists for forensic chemical departments of bureaus of forensic medical examination and approaches to their solution].

    PubMed

    Kutiakov, V A; Chikun, V I; Grotsan, A I

    2010-01-01

    This paper is focused on selected problems of postdiploma training of experts for forensic chemical departments of bureaus of forensic medical examination. The main drawbacks of the existing system of advanced education for such specialists are the narrow spectrum of pharmaceutical disciplines and the lack of internship training for future experts for forensic chemical departments. Other interfering factors are conflicting situations arising in the course of forensic chemical examination at bureaus of forensic medical examination and chemical-toxicological investigations carried out in clinical and diagnostic laboratories by specialists having diploma of higher education in pharmacia. It is proposed that a new speciality (forensic toxicology) should be listed in the nomenclature of specialities of workers having higher and postdiploma education in medicine and pharmaceutics, in analogy with the universally accepted world practice.

  14. Dental diagnostic radiology in the forensic sciences: two case presentations.

    PubMed

    Nicopoulou-Karayianni, K; Mitsea, A G; Horner, K

    2007-06-01

    Dentomaxillofacial radiology is a useful tool in forensic science to reveal characteristics of the structures of the dentomaxillofacial region. Postmortem radiographs are valuable to the forensic odontologist for comparison with antemortem radiographs, which are the most consistent part of the antemortem records that can be transmitted during forensic examination procedures. By using dentomaxillofacial radiology we can, therefore, give answers to problems dealing with identification cases, mass disasters and dental age estimation. We present the contribution of dentomaxillofacial radiology to the forensic sciences through two cases of deceased persons, where identification was based on information provided by radiographs. The right performance, interpretation and reportage of dentomaxillofacial radiological examination and procedures can be extremely valuable in solving forensic problems.

  15. Best practice in forensic entomology--standards and guidelines.

    PubMed

    Amendt, Jens; Campobasso, Carlo P; Gaudry, Emmanuel; Reiter, Christian; LeBlanc, Hélène N; Hall, Martin J R

    2007-03-01

    Forensic entomology, the use of insects and other arthropods in forensic investigations, is becoming increasingly more important in such investigations. To ensure its optimal use by a diverse group of professionals including pathologists, entomologists and police officers, a common frame of guidelines and standards is essential. Therefore, the European Association for Forensic Entomology has developed a protocol document for best practice in forensic entomology, which includes an overview of equipment used for collection of entomological evidence and a detailed description of the methods applied. Together with the definitions of key terms and a short introduction to the most important methods for the estimation of the minimum postmortem interval, the present paper aims to encourage a high level of competency in the field of forensic entomology.

  16. Alcohols toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Wimer, W.W.; Russell, J.A.; Kaplan, H.L.

    1984-01-01

    A comprehensive reference volume which summarizes literature reports of the known consequences of human and animal contact with alcohols and alcohol-derived substances is presented. Following a discussion of alcohol nomenclature and a brief history of alcohols, the authors have provided detailed chapters on the toxicology of methanol, ethanol, normal and isopropanol, and the butanols. Properties of these alcohols are compared; industrial hygiene and exposure limits are discussed. Additional sections are included covering processing and production technology and exhaust emissions studies. Of particular interest are the section containing abstracts and synopses of principal works and the extensive bibliography of studies dating from the 1800s. 331 references, 26 figures, 56 tables

  17. [Food toxicology].

    PubMed

    Würzner, H P

    1984-02-01

    The complex problems of food toxicology and especially of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis require continuing efforts for a better understanding of the mechanisms, risk evaluation and prevention. Essential progress was the recognition of mutation. In vitro tests now provide reproducible results within a short time. Risk evaluation remains a difficult problem, since is has not been possible yet to establish thresholds values for genotoxic substances. However, threshold levels for carcinogen promoters gain increasing importance as demonstrated for 3 representative classes of substances: mycotoxines , nitrosamines and pesticides.

  18. Behavioral toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Needleman, H.L.

    1995-09-01

    The new fields of behavioral toxicology and behavioral teratology investigate the outcome of specific toxic exposures in humans and animals on learning, memory, and behavioral characteristics. Three important classes of behavioral neurotoxicants are metals, solvents, and pesticides. The clearest data on the deleterious effects of prenatal exposure to toxicants comes from the study of two metals, lead and mercury, and form epidemiological investigations of the effects of alcohol taken during pregnancy. Less complete data are available for two other groups of agents, solvents, and pesticides. What we do know about their effects on the fetal brain is convincing enough to make us demand caution in their distribution. 15 refs.

  19. Forensic odontology involvement in disaster victim identification.

    PubMed

    Berketa, John William; James, Helen; Lake, Anthony W

    2012-06-01

    Forensic odontology is one of three primary identifiers designated by Interpol to identify victims of mass casualty events. Forensic odontology is involved in all five phases-Scene, Postmortem, Antemortem, Reconciliation and Debrief. Forward planning, adequate funding, international cooperation and standardization are essential to guarantee an effective response. A Standard Operation Procedure should be utilized to maximize quality, facilitate occupation and health issues, maintain security and form a structure to the relief program. Issues that must be considered in the management of the forensic odontology component of disaster victim identification are given in "Appendix 1". Each stage of the disaster, from initial notification to debrief, is analyzed and a comprehensive checklist of actions suggested.

  20. Comprehensive postmortem analyses of intestinal microbiota changes and bacterial translocation in human flora associated mice.

    PubMed

    Heimesaat, Markus M; Boelke, Silvia; Fischer, André; Haag, Lea-Maxie; Loddenkemper, Christoph; Kühl, Anja A; Göbel, Ulf B; Bereswill, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Postmortem microbiological examinations are performed in forensic and medical pathology for defining uncertain causes of deaths and for screening of deceased tissue donors. Interpretation of bacteriological data, however, is hampered by false-positive results due to agonal spread of microorganisms, postmortem bacterial translocation, and environmental contamination. We performed a kinetic survey of naturally occurring postmortem gut flora changes in the small and large intestines of conventional and gnotobiotic mice associated with a human microbiota (hfa) applying cultural and molecular methods. Sacrificed mice were kept under ambient conditions for up to 72 hours postmortem. Intestinal microbiota changes were most pronounced in the ileal lumen where enterobacteria and enterococci increased by 3-5 orders of magnitude in conventional and hfa mice. Interestingly, comparable intestinal overgrowth was shown in acute and chronic intestinal inflammation in mice and men. In hfa mice, ileal overgrowth with enterococci and enterobacteria started 3 and 24 hours postmortem, respectively. Strikingly, intestinal bacteria translocated to extra-intestinal compartments such as mesenteric lymphnodes, spleen, liver, kidney, and cardiac blood as early as 5 min after death. Furthermore, intestinal tissue destruction was characterized by increased numbers of apoptotic cells and neutrophils within 3 hours postmortem, whereas counts of proliferative cells as well as T- and B-lymphocytes and regulatory T-cells decreased between 3 and 12 hours postmortem. We conclude that kinetics of ileal overgrowth with enterobacteria and enterococci in hfa mice can be used as an indicator for compromized intestinal functionality and for more precisely defining the time point of death under defined ambient conditions. The rapid translocation of intestinal bacteria starting within a few minutes after death will help to distinguish between relevant bacteria and secondary contaminants thus providing

  1. The role of laboratory examinations in medical toxicology.

    PubMed

    Piekoszewski, Wojciech; Florek, Ewa

    2005-01-01

    Medical toxicology is a medical subspecialty focusing on the diagnosis, management and prevention of poisoning and other adverse health effects due to medications, occupational and environmental toxins, and biological agents. The medical toxicology laboratories operates an analytical facility for clinical toxicology (intentional or unintentional drug overdose), environmental medicine (occupational and environmental toxicology, workplace drug monitoring), drug of abuse management, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) and in some cases forensic toxicology. This article is focus on clinical toxicology, monitoring of drug abused patients and TDM. Still the most popular in medical toxicology is determination of xenobiotics in classic biological materials (blood/plasma, urine) however alternative materials (saliva, hairs) cause increasing attention. Alternative materials has special value in drug of abuse management (evaluation of drug abstinence), when collecting the blood create some problems and urine samples can be adulterated. For screening usually immunology based assays are applied and for some xenobiotics thin-layer chromatography (TLC) method. Conformation and quantitative analysis are carrying on using chromatographic method. In clinical toxicology chemical analysis are performed for diagnostic, therapeutic and some time for legal purposes. If results of toxicological analysis have direct influence on diagnosis or treatment they should be available during 2 hours other determination ought to be performed during 24 or 48 hours. Integral part of toxicological analysis is interpretation of results carried over by well-trained analyst with close co-operation with clinical toxicologist (physician).

  2. Forensic pedology, forensic geology, forensic geoscience, geoforensics and soil forensics.

    PubMed

    Ruffell, Alastair

    2010-10-10

    We now have a confusing set of five commonly used terms for the application of Earth evidence in forensic science. This confusion is resulting in Earth scientists who use these methods mentioning different terms, sometimes for the same type of study. Likewise, forensic scientists, police/law enforcement officers and those employed by courts of law are becoming confused as to what each term means. A nomenclatural framework (based on the first use of each term) is proposed to encourage consistency in the use of terminology. Generally, the number of Earth science applications has grown through time, from soil and sediment analysis to remote sensing and GIS. The issue of where forensic biology and microbiology sits with these uses of Earth evidence is considered. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Post-mortem clinical pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Ferner, R E

    2008-01-01

    Clinical pharmacology assumes that deductions can be made about the concentrations of drugs from a knowledge of the pharmacokinetic parameters in an individual; and that the effects are related to the measured concentration. Post-mortem changes render the assumptions of clinical pharmacology largely invalid, and make the interpretation of concentrations measured in post-mortem samples difficult or impossible. Qualitative tests can show the presence of substances that were not present in life, and can fail to detect substances that led to death. Quantitative analysis is subject to error in itself, and because post-mortem concentrations vary in largely unpredictable ways with the site and time of sampling, as a result of the phenomenon of post-mortem redistribution. Consequently, compilations of ‘lethal concentrations’ are misleading. There is a lack of adequate studies of the true relationship between fatal events and the concentrations that can be measured subsequently, but without such studies, clinical pharmacologists and others should be wary of interpreting post-mortem measurements. PMID:18637886

  4. Postmortem distribution of trazodone concentrations.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Iain M; Mallett, Phyllis; Stabley, Robert

    2015-06-01

    Non-toxic postmortem trazodone tissue (liver) concentrations have not been previously described. Liver trazodone concentrations were compared to peripheral blood and central blood concentrations in 19 medical examiner cases. Postmortem blood specimens were initially screened for alcohol and simple volatiles, drugs of abuse, and alkaline drugs. Trazodone, when detected by the alkaline drug screen, was subsequently confirmed and quantified by a high performance liquid chromatography procedure. Re-analyses showed that there may be degradation of trazodone in postmortem blood stored at 4°C. There was, on average, about a 20% decrease in samples stored up to eight months. These data suggest that postmortem trazodone peripheral blood concentrations may be considered non-toxic to at least 1.0mg/L with liver concentrations to at least 2.2mg/kg. Overall, trazodone concentrations ranged from 0.08-6.1mg/L in peripheral blood, 0.07-7.1mg/L in central blood, and 0.39-26mg/kg in liver. The median trazodone central blood to peripheral blood ratio was 0.98 (N=19). The liver to peripheral blood ratios showed a median value of 2.8L/kg (N=18). Given that a liver to peripheral blood ratio less than 5L/kg is consistent with little to no propensity for postmortem redistribution, these data demonstrate that trazodone is unlikely to show significant redistribution.

  5. Development and validation of an ESI-LC-MS/MS method for simultaneous identification and quantification of 24 analytes of forensic relevance in vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma.

    PubMed

    Arora, Beauty; Velpandian, Thirumurthy; Saxena, Rohit; Lalwani, Sanjeev; Dogra, T D; Ghose, Supriyo

    2016-01-01

    Detection and quantification of drugs from various biological matrices are of immense importance in forensic toxicological analysis. Despite the various reported methods, development of a new method for the detection and quantification of drugs is still an active area of research. However, every method and biological matrix has its own limitation, which further encourage forensic toxicologists to develop new methods and to explore new matrices for the analysis of drugs. In this study, an electrospray ionization-liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-LC-MS/MS) method is developed and validated for simultaneous identification and quantification of 24 drugs of forensic relevance in various body fluids, namely, whole blood, plasma and vitreous humour. The newly developed method has been validated for intra-day and inter-day accuracy, precision, selectivity and sensitivity. Absolute recovery shows a mean of 84.5, 86.2, and 103% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma respectively, which is suitable for the screening procedure. Further, the absolute matrix effect (AME) shows a mean of 105, 96.5, and 109% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma, respectively. In addition, to examine the practical utility of this method, it has been applied for screening of drugs in post-mortem samples of the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma collected at autopsy from ten cadavers. Experimental results show that the newly developed method is well applicable for screening of analytes in all the three matrices. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. A brief history of forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Benecke, M

    2001-08-15

    Apart from an early case report from China (13th century) and later artistic contributions, the first observations on insects and other arthropods as forensic indicators were documented in Germany and France during mass exhumations in the late 1880s by Reinhard and Hofmann, whom we propose recognizing as co-founders of the discipline. After the French publication of Mégnin's popular book on the applied aspects of forensic entomology, the concept quickly spread to Canada and the US. At the time, researchers recognized that the lack of systematic observations of forensically important insects stood in the way of their use as indicators of postmortem interval. General advances in insect taxonomy, and ecology helped close this gap over the following decades. Many early case reports dealt with alleged child homicides, including the suspected use of sulphuric acid. In this context, it was shown that ants, cockroaches, and freshwater arthropods could produce postmortem artifacts suggestive of child abuse. After the World Wars, few forensic entomology cases entered the scientific literature. From the 1960s to the 1980s, Leclecq and Nuorteva were primarily responsible for maintaining the method in Central Europe, with a focus on case work. Since then, basic research in the US, Russia and Canada has opened the way to the routine use of entomology in forensic investigations. The following article gives a brief overview of historic developments in the field. A major focus is on the work done between 1850 and 1950. Since sources from that time remain difficult to track down, the article also includes a historic bibliographical overview on forensic entomology of that era.

  7. Bayesian networks for evaluation of evidence from forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Andersson, M Gunnar; Sundström, Anders; Lindström, Anders

    2013-09-01

    In the aftermath of a CBRN incident, there is an urgent need to reconstruct events in order to bring the perpetrators to court and to take preventive actions for the future. The challenge is to discriminate, based on available information, between alternative scenarios. Forensic interpretation is used to evaluate to what extent results from the forensic investigation favor the prosecutors' or the defendants' arguments, using the framework of Bayesian hypothesis testing. Recently, several new scientific disciplines have been used in a forensic context. In the AniBioThreat project, the framework was applied to veterinary forensic pathology, tracing of pathogenic microorganisms, and forensic entomology. Forensic entomology is an important tool for estimating the postmortem interval in, for example, homicide investigations as a complement to more traditional methods. In this article we demonstrate the applicability of the Bayesian framework for evaluating entomological evidence in a forensic investigation through the analysis of a hypothetical scenario involving suspect movement of carcasses from a clandestine laboratory. Probabilities of different findings under the alternative hypotheses were estimated using a combination of statistical analysis of data, expert knowledge, and simulation, and entomological findings are used to update the beliefs about the prosecutors' and defendants' hypotheses and to calculate the value of evidence. The Bayesian framework proved useful for evaluating complex hypotheses using findings from several insect species, accounting for uncertainty about development rate, temperature, and precolonization. The applicability of the forensic statistic approach to evaluating forensic results from a CBRN incident is discussed.

  8. Investigation into the merits of infrared imaging in the investigation of tattoos postmortem.

    PubMed

    Starkie, Alexandra; Birch, Wendy; Ferllini, Roxana; Thompson, Tim J U

    2011-11-01

    Infrared imaging has a history of use in the forensic examination of artwork and documents and is investigated here for its wider use in the detection of tattoos on the human body postmortem. Infrared photographic and reflectographic techniques were tested on 18 living individuals, displaying a total of 30 tattoos. It was observed that neither age, sex, age of the tattoo, nor, most significantly, skin color affected the ability to image the tattoos using infrared imaging techniques. Second, a piglet carcass was tattooed and the impact of the decomposition process on the visibility of the tattoos assessed. Changes were recorded for 17 days and decomposition included partial mummification and skin discoloration. Crucially, the discoloration was recorded as greatly affecting the image quality using conventional photography, but was insignificant to the infrared recording of these tattoos. It was concluded that infrared reflectography was beneficial in the investigation into tattoos postmortem. © 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  9. A microbial clock provides an accurate estimate of the postmortem interval in a mouse model system

    PubMed Central

    Metcalf, Jessica L; Wegener Parfrey, Laura; Gonzalez, Antonio; Lauber, Christian L; Knights, Dan; Ackermann, Gail; Humphrey, Gregory C; Gebert, Matthew J; Van Treuren, Will; Berg-Lyons, Donna; Keepers, Kyle; Guo, Yan; Bullard, James; Fierer, Noah; Carter, David O; Knight, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Establishing the time since death is critical in every death investigation, yet existing techniques are susceptible to a range of errors and biases. For example, forensic entomology is widely used to assess the postmortem interval (PMI), but errors can range from days to months. Microbes may provide a novel method for estimating PMI that avoids many of these limitations. Here we show that postmortem microbial community changes are dramatic, measurable, and repeatable in a mouse model system, allowing PMI to be estimated within approximately 3 days over 48 days. Our results provide a detailed understanding of bacterial and microbial eukaryotic ecology within a decomposing corpse system and suggest that microbial community data can be developed into a forensic tool for estimating PMI. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01104.001 PMID:24137541

  10. Use of Cardiac Injury Markers in the Postmortem Diagnosis of Sudden Cardiac Death.

    PubMed

    Carvajal-Zarrabal, Octavio; Hayward-Jones, Patricia M; Nolasco-Hipolito, Cirilo; Barradas-Dermitz, Dulce Ma; Calderón-Garcidueñas, Ana Laura; López-Amador, Noé

    2017-09-01

    In the daily practice of forensic pathology, sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a diagnostic challenge. Our aim was to determine the usefulness of blood biomarkers [creatine kinase CK-MB, myoglobin, troponins I and T (cTn-I and T), and lactate dehydrogenase] measured by immunoassay technique, in the postmortem diagnosis of SCD. Two groups were compared, 20 corpses with SCD and 8 controls. Statistical significance was determined by variance analysis procedures, with a post hoc Tukey multiple range test for comparison of means (p < 0.05). SCD cases showed significantly higher levels (p < 0.05) of cTn-T and cTn-I compared to the control group. Although only cases within the first 8 h of postmortem interval were included, and the control group consisted mainly of violent death cases, our results suggest that blood troponin levels may be useful to support a diagnosis of SCD. © 2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  11. [Forensic entomology].

    PubMed

    Açikgöz, Halide Nihal

    2010-01-01

    Odour of the animal or human corpses immediately after death is very attractive for insects and other invertebrates. Blue and green bottle flies from the Calliphoridae family are the first colonizers of cadaver and immediately later necrophagous Diptera from the Sarcophagidae family settle on the same corpse. It is essential to determine the time past after death for elucidating the event in case of the homicide or suspicious death, and it is directly proportional to the post mortem interval expected time, which is based upon the speed of the larval growth. In this article, we purposed to stress the special interest of forensic entomology for the scientists who will apply this science in their forensic researches and case studies, and also to provide information to our judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agents in order to consider the entomological samples to be reliable and applicable evidences as biological stains and hairs. We are of the opinion that if any forensic entomologist is called to the crime scene or if the evidences are collected and then delivered to an entomologist, the forensic cases will be elucidated faster and more accurately.

  12. Forensic microbiology.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Donald C

    2012-01-01

    The field of forensic microbiology is fairly new and still evolving. With a threat of bioterror and biocrime, the rapid identification and subtyping of infectious agents is of upmost importance. Microbial genetic analysis is a valuable tool in this arena. The cost to sequence a microbial genome has fallen dramatically in recent years making this method more widely available. Surveillance and vigilance are important as is further research. The United States Department of Homeland Security established the Bioforensics Analysis Center to become the foremost U.S. biodefense research institution involved with bioforensics. Many countries are better prepared for biologic events than ever before, but more work is needed. Most medical laboratory scientists are not familiar with forensic principles or testifying in court. Demonstrating chain of custody and quality assurance are critical so that test results will be admissible in a court of law. The Scientific Working Group on Microbial Genetics and Forensics has published guidelines for forensic microbiology laboratories. Incorporating these guidelines help to provide test results that are useful in legal proceedings. If a laboratory scientist suspects bioterror or biocrime, or other legal case, law enforcement agents must be notified and diagnostic samples preserved. Additional sample testing might be necessary in court cases.

  13. Teaching forensic medicine in the University of Porto.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Teresa; Dinis-Oliveira, Ricardo Jorge; Santos, Agostinho

    2014-07-01

    The University of Porto (UP) provides education in Forensic Medicine (FM) through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle of studies, post-graduation and continuing education courses. This education is related to forensic pathology, clinical forensic medicine (including forensic psychology and psychiatry), forensic chemistry and toxicology, forensic genetics and biology, and criminalistics. With this work we intent to reflect on how we are currently teaching FM in the UP, at all levels of university graduation. We will present our models, regarding the educational objectives, curricular program and teaching/learning methodologies of each cycle of studies as well as in post-graduate and continuing education courses. Historically, and besides related administratively to the Ministry of Justice, the Portuguese Medico-Legal Institutes (since 1918) and more recently the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF) also have educational and research responsibilities. Thus, it lends space and cooperates with academic institutions and this contribution, namely regarding teaching forensic sciences in Portugal has been judged as an example for other Countries. This contribution is so important that in UP, the Department of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine (FMUP) shares, until now, the same physical space with North Branch of the INMLCF, which represents a notorious advantage, since it makes possible the "learning by doing". Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  14. [Clinical toxicology in the historical and contemporary aspects].

    PubMed

    Kłys, Małgorzata

    2011-01-01

    Analyzing the problem of poisons and poisonings over the centuries can be seen that despite the different genealogies, the development of clinical and forensic toxicology runs parallel. However, slightly different areas of interests have been needed to produce. Staying in parallel position and complement each other, they form a single discipline - Toxicology. The analytics is the core of toxicology, because the turning point of the toxicology evolution was the development of laboratory diagnostic methods, whose role is still increasing, enabling decision-making and consultative medical examination. The toxicology history is fascinating and covers wide issues of the poisonings epidemiology, research methods, cognitive sphere, including the mechanisms of poisoning, expanding the practice through the casuistry and jurisdiction in terms of criminal responsibility, medical errors and the cause of death.

  15. Systems toxicology.

    PubMed

    Hartung, Thomas; van Vliet, Erwin; Jaworska, Joanna; Bonilla, Leo; Skinner, Nigel; Thomas, Russell

    2012-01-01

    The need for a more mechanistic understanding of the ways in which chemicals modulate biological pathways is urgent if we are to identify and better assess safety issues relating to a wide range of substances developed by the pharmaceutical, chemical, agri-bio, and cosmetic industries. Omics technologies provide a valuable opportunity to refine existing methods and provide information for so-called integrated testing strategies via the creation of signatures of toxicity. By mapping these signatures to underlying pathways of toxicity, some of which have been identified by toxicologists over the last few decades, and bringing them together with pathway information determined from biochemistry and molecular biology, a "systems toxicology" approach will enable virtual experiments to be conducted that can improve the prediction of hazard and the assessment of compound toxicity.

  16. Space Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Safe breathing air for space faring crews is essential whether they are inside an Extravehicular Mobility Suit (EMU), a small capsule such as Soyuz, or the expansive International Space Station (ISS). Sources of air pollution can include entry of propellants, excess offgassing from polymeric materials, leakage of systems compounds, escape of payload compounds, over-use of utility compounds, microbial metabolism, and human metabolism. The toxicological risk posed by a compound is comprised of the probability of escaping to cause air pollution and the magnitude of adverse effects on human health if escape occurs. The risk from highly toxic compounds is controlled by requiring multiple levels of containment to greatly reduce the probability of escape; whereas compounds that are virtually non-toxic may require little or no containment. The potential for toxicity is determined by the inherent toxicity of the compound and the amount that could potentially escape into the breathing air.

  17. [The toxicological aspects of poisonings by psilocybine-containing mushrooms].

    PubMed

    Babakhanian, R V; Bushuev, E S; Kazankov, S P; Kostyrko, T A

    1997-01-01

    Cases involving the investigation of psylocybin-containing mushrooms became more frequent in forensic chemical and criminological expert evaluation in recent years. The authors present the data on the main chemical factors contained in these mushrooms, on the mechanism of their toxic effect, clinical picture of poisoning, and methods of chemical and toxicological analysis.

  18. Forensic anthropology in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Işcan, M Y; Olivera, H E

    2000-03-13

    . Regional standards are also needed to estimate postmortem interval, to identify culture specific causes of trauma and other forensic phenomena. Some of these can be remedied if there is a database where the available literature is stored and osteometric information is shared.

  19. Postmortem muscle protein degradation in humans as a tool for PMI delimitation.

    PubMed

    Pittner, Stefan; Ehrenfellner, Bianca; Monticelli, Fabio C; Zissler, Angela; Sänger, Alexandra M; Stoiber, Walter; Steinbacher, Peter

    2016-11-01

    Forensic estimation of time since death relies on diverse approaches, including measurement and comparison of environmental and body core temperature and analysis of insect colonization on a dead body. However, most of the applied methods have practical limitations or provide insufficient results under certain circumstances. Thus, new methods that can easily be implemented into forensic routine work are required to deliver more and discrete information about the postmortem interval (PMI). Following a previous work on skeletal muscle degradation in the porcine model, we analyzed human postmortem skeletal muscle samples of 40 forensic cases by Western blotting and casein zymography. Our results demonstrate predictable protein degradation processes in human muscle that are distinctly associated with temperature and the PMI. We provide information on promising degradation markers for certain periods of time postmortem, which can be useful tools for time since death delimitation. In addition, we discuss external influencing factors such as age, body mass index, sex, and cause of death that need to be considered in future routine application of the method in humans.

  20. The screening of forensic blood, urine, and tissue specimens for xenobiotics using ion-trap liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert D; Botch, Sabra R

    2011-03-01

    During the investigation of aviation accidents, postmortem specimens from accident victims including blood, urine, and tissue are submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) for toxicological analysis. The first, and perhaps most important, step in the analysis process is the initial screening of biological specimens for illicit, medically prescribed, and over-the-counter compounds that may be present and potentially be a cause and/or factor in the accident. Currently, our general unknown screening (GUS) procedure involves, in part, both gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography (LC) with both diode-array detection (DAD) and fluorescence detection. Both GC and LC techniques have inherent limitations that prevent the detection of certain types of compounds. The decreased specificity and sensitivity of LC-DAD has been an impediment to the existing GUS procedure. Therefore, our laboratory set out to develop and validate an LC-MS-MS procedure that is superior to LC-DAD. The limits of detection of 359 forensically important xenobiotics have been established following solid-phase extraction from whole blood and analysis by LC-MS-MS. Although whole blood was used as the matrix during instrument validation, the method has been successfully applied to both forensic urine and tissue specimens as well.

  1. [Post-mortem examination prior to cremation--an instrument to verify the quality of medical post-mortems and uncover non-natural deaths?].

    PubMed

    Germerott, Tanja; Todt, Melanie; Bode-Jänisch, Stefanie; Albrecht, Knut; Breitmeier, Dirk

    2012-01-01

    The external post-mortem examination, its deficient quality and possible causes have been the subject of numerous political and professional discussions. The external post-mortem examination is the basis for the decision whether further criminal investigations are required to clarify the cause of death. It is thus an essential instrument to ensure legal certainty. Before cremation, a second external post-mortem examination is performed by a public medical officer to make sure that errors of the first post-mortem are corrected. In the present study, cases were retrospectively analyzed in which a forensic autopsy had been ordered on the basis of the results of the post-mortem examination performed before cremation. The entries on the death certificate regarding the manner and cause of death were compared with the autopsy results. Between 1998 and 2007, 387 autopsies were ordered after external examination before cremation. In 55 cases (14.2%), the autopsy revealed a non-natural death, although a natural death had been attested on the death certificate. In descending order, a wrong manner of death was attested by clinicians, general practitioners and emergency physicians. With regard to the place where the first external post-mortem had been performed the lowest error rate was seen in nursing homes. Concerning the cause of death, discrepancies between the first post-mortem and autopsy were found in 59.4% of the cases. In this respect, general practitioners and clinicians were ranking first, whereas in nursing homes the cause of death was wrongly assessed in over 70% of cases. At present, the medical post-mortem does not meet the required quality standards, especially with regard to legal certainty. Determination of the cause of death on the basis of the external post-mortem examination is a challenging task even for the experienced medical examiner. As to the categorization of the manner of death it has to be stated that non-natural deaths are often not recognized or

  2. Forensic entomology and main challenges in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Leonardo; Von Zuben, Cláudio J

    2006-01-01

    Apart from an early case report from China (13th century), the first observations on insects and other arthropods as forensic indicators were documented in Germany and France during mass exhumations in the 1880s by Reinhard, who is considered a co-founder of the discipline. After the French publication of Mégnin's popular book on the applied aspects of forensic entomology, the concept quickly spread to Canada and United States. At that time, researchers recognized that the lack of systematic observations of insects of forensic importance jeopardized their use as indicators of postmortem interval. General advances in insect taxonomy and ecology helped to fill this gap over the following decades. After World Wars, few forensic entomology cases were reported in the scientific literature. From 1960s to the 1980s, Leclercq and Nuorteva were primarily responsible for maintaining the method in Central Europe, reporting isolated cases. Since then, basic research in the USA, Russia and Canada opened the way to the routine use of Entomology in forensic investigations. Identifications of insects associated with human cadavers are relatively few in the literature of the Neotropical region and have received little attention in Brazil. This article brings an overview of historic developments in this field, the recent studies and the main problems and challenges in South America and mainly in Brazil.

  3. [Forensic anthropology].

    PubMed

    Lynnerup, Niels

    2009-09-07

    Forensic anthropology is the application of biological or physical anthropology in the service of justice. One main area is the analysis of human remains. Such analyses involve person identification by assessment of age and sex of the deceased, and comparison with ante-mortem data. Another major area is the analysis of surveillance pictures and videos. Such analyses may comprise facial and bodily morphological comparisons, multi-angle photogrammetry and gait analysis. We also perform studies of human remains for archaeologists.

  4. Forensic geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruffell, Alastair; McKinley, Jennifer

    2014-02-01

    Geomorphology plays a critical role in two areas of geoforensics: searching the land for surface or buried objects and sampling scenes of crime and control locations as evidence. Associated geoscience disciplines have substantial bodies of work dedicated to their relevance in forensic investigations, yet geomorphology (specifically landforms, their mapping and evolution, soils and relationship to geology and biogeography) have not had similar public exposure. This is strange considering how fundamental to legal enquiries the location of a crime and its evolution are, as this article will demonstrate. This work aims to redress the balance by showing how geomorphology featured in one of the earliest works on forensic science methods, and has continued to play a role in the sociology, archaeology, criminalistics and geoforensics of crime. Traditional landscape interpretation from aerial photography is used to demonstrate how a geomorphological approach saved police time in the search for a clandestine grave. The application geomorphology has in military/humanitarian geography and environmental/engineering forensics is briefly discussed as these are also regularly reviewed in courts of law.

  5. Biosensors in forensic analysis. A review.

    PubMed

    Yáñez-Sedeño, P; Agüí, L; Villalonga, R; Pingarrón, J M

    2014-05-01

    Forensic analysis is an important branch of modern Analytical Chemistry with many legal and socially relevant implications. Biosensors can play an important role as efficient tools in this field considering their well known advantages of sensitivity, selectivity, easy functioning, affordability and capability of miniaturization and automation. This article reviews the latest advances in the use of biosensors for forensic analysis. The different methodologies for the transduction of the produced biological events are considered and the applications to forensic toxicological analysis, classified by the nature of the target analytes, as well as those related with chemical and biological weapons critically commented. The article provides several Tables where the more relevant analytical characteristics of the selected reported methods are gathered. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Present and foreseeable future of metabolomics in forensic analysis.

    PubMed

    Castillo-Peinado, L S; Luque de Castro, M D

    2016-06-21

    The revulsive publications during the last years on the precariousness of forensic sciences worldwide have promoted the move of major steps towards improvement of this science. One of the steps (viz. a higher involvement of metabolomics in the new era of forensic analysis) deserves to be discussed under different angles. Thus, the characteristics of metabolomics that make it a useful tool in forensic analysis, the aspects in which this omics is so far implicit, but not mentioned in forensic analyses, and how typical forensic parameters such as the post-mortem interval or fingerprints take benefits from metabolomics are critically discussed in this review. The way in which the metabolomics-forensic binomial succeeds when either conventional or less frequent samples are used is highlighted here. Finally, the pillars that should support future developments involving metabolomics and forensic analysis, and the research required for a fruitful in-depth involvement of metabolomics in forensic analysis are critically discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Founding editorial--forensics and TheScientificWorld.

    PubMed

    Rowe, W

    2001-10-30

    At the beginning of a new millennium it seems a good idea to stop for a moment and take stock of the current state of forensic science. As a field of scientific research and scientific application, forensic science is a little more than a century old. Forensic science may be said to have begun in 1887 with the simultaneous publication of A. Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet and Hans Gross's Handbuch f1/4r Untersuchungsrichter. Conan Doyle's novel introduced to the world the character of Sherlock Holmes, whose literary career would popularize the use of physical evidence in criminal investigations. Gross's manual for examining magistrates suggests ways in which the expertise of chemists, biologists, geologists, and other natural scientists could contribute to investigations. Gross's book was translated into a number of languages and went through various updated editions during the course of the century. The intervening century saw the development and application of fingerprinting, firearm and tool mark identification, forensic chemistry, forensic biology, forensic toxicology, forensic odontology, forensic pathology, and forensic engineering. Increasingly, the judicial systems of the industrial nations of the world have come to rely upon the expertise of scientists in a variety of disciplines. In most advanced countries, virtually all criminal prosecutions now involve the presentation of scientific testimony. This has had the beneficial effect of diminishing the reliance of courts on eyewitness testimony and defendant confessions.

  8. Multimedia Forensics Is Not Computer Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böhme, Rainer; Freiling, Felix C.; Gloe, Thomas; Kirchner, Matthias

    The recent popularity of research on topics of multimedia forensics justifies reflections on the definition of the field. This paper devises an ontology that structures forensic disciplines by their primary domain of evidence. In this sense, both multimedia forensics and computer forensics belong to the class of digital forensics, but they differ notably in the underlying observer model that defines the forensic investigator’s view on (parts of) reality, which itself is not fully cognizable. Important consequences on the reliability of probative facts emerge with regard to available counter-forensic techniques: while perfect concealment of traces is possible for computer forensics, this level of certainty cannot be expected for manipulations of sensor data. We cite concrete examples and refer to established techniques to support our arguments.

  9. Africa's present and future needs in toxicology education: Southern African perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Gulumian, Mary . E-mail: mary.gulumian@nioh.nhls.co.za; Ginsburg, Carren; Stewart, Michael J.

    2005-09-01

    Degrees and diplomas as well as certificates that are granted by universities and technikons in South Africa in scientific disciplines, such as forensic medicine, pharmacology, marine and veterinary sciences, environmental health, and occupational hygiene, include toxicology as one of the subjects in their overall syllabus. However, aspects of toxicology included in each of these courses are biased towards that particular subdiscipline and basic level of toxicology may be taught. Educational needs in toxicology in South Africa can be summarized as follows: (a) recognition of toxicology as a discipline in its own right at these tertiary education institutions and (b) creation of opportunities to study and obtain higher degrees in one or more of the many subdisciplines of toxicology. The results from a survey conducted on the toxicology syllabi offered at these tertiary education institutions are used to substantiate these needs.

  10. Forensic entomology: applications and limitations.

    PubMed

    Amendt, J; Richards, C S; Campobasso, C P; Zehner, R; Hall, M J R

    2011-12-01

    Forensic entomology is the science of collecting and analysing insect evidence to aid in forensic investigations. Its main application is in the determination of the minimum time since death in cases of suspicious death, either by estimating the age of the oldest necrophagous insects that developed on the corpse, or by analysing the insect species composition on the corpse. In addition, toxicological and molecular examinations of these insects may help reveal the cause of death or even the identity of a victim, by associating a larva with its last meal, for example, in cases where insect evidence is left at a scene after human remains have been deliberately removed. Some fly species can develop not only on corpses but on living bodies too, causing myiasis. Analysis of larvae in such cases can demonstrate the period of neglect of humans or animals. Without the appropriate professional collection of insect evidence, an accurate and convincing presentation of such evidence in court will be hampered or even impossible. The present paper describes the principles and methods of forensic entomology and the optimal techniques for collecting insect evidence.

  11. Specifying digital forensics: A forensics policy approach

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Carol Louise; Popovsky, Barbara; Frincke, Deborah A.

    2007-09-01

    In this paper we present an approach to digital forensics specification based on forensic policy definition. Our methodology borrows from computer security policy specification, which has accumulated a significant body of research over the past 30 years. We first define the process of specifying forensics properties through a forensics policy and then present an example application of the process. This approach lends itself to formal policy specification and verification, which would allow for more clarity and less ambiguity in the specification process

  12. Forensic entomology: a template for forensic acarology?

    PubMed

    Turner, Bryan

    2009-10-01

    Insects are used in a variety of ways in forensic science and the developing area of forensic acarology may have a similar range of potential. This short account summarises the main ways in which entomology currently contributes to forensic science and discusses to what extent acarology might also contribute in these areas.

  13. Postmortem serum endotoxin level in relation to the causes of death.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bao-Li; Ishikawa, Takaki; Michiue, Tomomi; Quan, Li; Maeda, Hitoshi

    2005-03-01

    Serum endotoxin is a clinical marker of sepsis. However, it is vulnerable to bacterial contamination, and the postmortem stability has not been established. In the present study, to evaluate the forensic pathological significance of postmortem endotoxemia in relation to the causes of death, we investigated a series of 111 autopsy cases (postmortem interval<48 h), in part, using bacteriological investigations. Systemic endotoxemia involving both the cardiac and peripheral blood was observed in some specific causes of death, including pneumonia (n=1/3), peritonitis (n=2/5), delayed traumatic death with severe secondary infection (n=7/33), drownings (freshwater, n=3/9; saltwater, n=3/16), fire deaths (n=3/16), and also in protracted deaths under critical medical care (n=2). Most cases of fatal blunt injury (n=4/5) showed sporadic endotoxemia in cardiac or peripheral blood, whereas there was no elevation of serum endotoxin in acute hemorrhagic death from sharp instrument injury (n=6). The bacteriological investigation showed some characteristic profiles in infections and drownings. These observations suggested that, although endotoxin is a vulnerable serum marker to ante and postmortem interference, systemic postmortem endotoxemia involving peripheral blood may be a possible indicator of antemortem bacteremia related to some specific causes of death accompanied by advanced infection or pulmonary alveolar damage in the dying process especially due to drownings and fires.

  14. The forensic entomologist in the context of the forensic pathologist's role.

    PubMed

    Campobasso, C P; Introna, F

    2001-08-15

    An adequate death investigation requires the combined efforts and cooperation of experts in different disciplines: crime scene technicians, death investigators, forensic pathologists, anthropologists, entomologists, other medical and non-medical professionals. These front-line experts play a crucial role in every death investigation process. The forensic pathologist normally has the legal authority to take charge of the dead body at a death scene and his primary functions are the exterior and interior examination of the cadaver by analyzing the extent of antemortem injuries and the postmortem changes and the recovery of physical evidence. He is responsible for determining how, when and why of any death which is the result of violence, suspicious or unexplained circumstances or a death which is sudden or unattended, defending and explaining the reasons for making these diagnoses in a courtroom. The forensic entomologist can provide invaluable aid in death cases where human remains are colonized by insects and in the overall investigation. His principal role is to identify the arthropods associated with such cases and to analyze entomological data for interpreting insect evidence. He is responsible for determining the period of insect activity according to all the variables affecting insect invasion of remains and their development. The major goal of medico-criminal entomology is to contribute to the determination of the time, cause, manner and place of the investigated death (especially on badly decomposed corpses or skeletonized human remains) with the support of all the elements which can be inferred from the study of insects found on the cadaver or nearby. The application of techniques devised recently in forensic entomology can allow experts in the field to collect strong entomological evidence and provide useful information not only in a death investigation including movement or storage of the remains following death, time of dismemberment, postmortem artifacts

  15. Biomarkers in Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biomarkers are a means to evaluate chemical exposure and/or the subsequent impacts on toxicity pathways that lead to adverse health outcomes. Computational toxicology can integrate biomarker data with knowledge of exposure, chemistry, biology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and e...

  16. National Toxicology Program

    MedlinePlus

    ... toxicological information about potentially hazardous substances in our environment. NTP strives to remain at the cutting edge of scientific research and the development and application of new technologies for modern toxicology ...

  17. Biomarkers in Computational Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biomarkers are a means to evaluate chemical exposure and/or the subsequent impacts on toxicity pathways that lead to adverse health outcomes. Computational toxicology can integrate biomarker data with knowledge of exposure, chemistry, biology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and e...

  18. The eyeball killer: serial killings with postmortem globe enucleation.

    PubMed

    Coyle, Julie; Ross, Karen F; Barnard, Jeffrey J; Peacock, Elizabeth; Linch, Charles A; Prahlow, Joseph A

    2015-05-01

    Although serial killings are relatively rare, they can be the cause of a great deal of anxiety while the killer remains at-large. Despite the fact that the motivations for serial killings are typically quite complex, the psychological analysis of a serial killer can provide valuable insight into how and why certain individuals become serial killers. Such knowledge may be instrumental in preventing future serial killings or in solving ongoing cases. In certain serial killings, the various incidents have a variety of similar features. Identification of similarities between separate homicidal incidents is necessary to recognize that a serial killer may be actively killing. In this report, the authors present a group of serial killings involving three prostitutes who were shot to death over a 3-month period. Scene and autopsy findings, including the unusual finding of postmortem enucleation of the eyes, led investigators to recognize the serial nature of the homicides. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  19. Postmortem diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and its complications

    PubMed Central

    Palmiere, Cristian

    2015-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus has become a major cause of death worldwide and diabetic ketoacidosis is the most common cause of death in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Acute complications of diabetes mellitus as causes of death may be difficult to diagnose due to missing characteristic macroscopic and microscopic findings. Biochemical analyses, including vitreous glucose, blood (or alternative specimen) beta-hydroxybutyrate, and blood glycated hemoglobin determination, may complement postmortem investigations and provide useful information for determining the cause of death even in corpses with advanced decompositional changes. In this article, we performed a review of the literature pertaining to the diagnostic performance of classical and novel biochemical parameters that may be used in the forensic casework to identify disorders in glucose metabolism. We also present a review focusing on the usefulness of traditional and alternative specimens that can be sampled and subsequently analyzed to diagnose acute complications of diabetes mellitus as causes of death. PMID:26088843

  20. Postmortem diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and its complications.

    PubMed

    Palmiere, Cristian

    2015-06-01

    Diabetes mellitus has become a major cause of death worldwide and diabetic ketoacidosis is the most common cause of death in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Acute complications of diabetes mellitus as causes of death may be difficult to diagnose due to missing characteristic macroscopic and microscopic findings. Biochemical analyses, including vitreous glucose, blood (or alternative specimen) beta-hydroxybutyrate, and blood glycated hemoglobin determination, may complement postmortem investigations and provide useful information for determining the cause of death even in corpses with advanced decompositional changes. In this article, we performed a review of the literature pertaining to the diagnostic performance of classical and novel biochemical parameters that may be used in the forensic casework to identify disorders in glucose metabolism. We also present a review focusing on the usefulness of traditional and alternative specimens that can be sampled and subsequently analyzed to diagnose acute complications of diabetes mellitus as causes of death.

  1. Post-mortem urinary myoglobin levels with reference to the causes of death.

    PubMed

    Zhu, B L; Ishida, K; Quan, L; Taniguchi, M; Oritani, S; Kamikodai, Y; Fujita, M Q; Maeda, H

    2001-01-15

    To evaluate pathophysiological significance of post-mortem urinary myoglobin levels in determining the cause of death, we investigated 210 forensic autopsy cases, partially in comparison with serum levels. Post-mortem serum myoglobin levels were extraordinary high in most cases possibly due to post-mortem change. Urinary myoglobin levels did not correlate with the serum levels, showing possible post-mortem elevation in cases of a prolonged post-mortem period over 48h. A high (>1000 ng/ml), moderate (100-1000 ng/ml), slight (50-100 ng/ml) and not significant (<50 ng/ml) elevation of urinary myoglobin were observed in 26, 43, 31 and 110 cases, respectively. Half the highly elevated cases were those with a survival time over 24h. In cases of minor muscle injury such as head trauma, elevation of urinary myoglobin level was closely related to longer survival. In acute/subacute deaths with a post-mortem interval within 48h, a significant difference was observed in relation to the blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels of fire victims: myoglobinuria over 100 ng/ml was more frequently and markedly observed in cases with COHb below 60% than over 60%, suggesting muscle damage in fatal burns. Similar elevation was observed in heat stroke victims, and also in some cases of acute and subacute death from polytrauma, asphyxiation, drowning, electricity and spontaneous cerebral bleeding, but not in myocardial infarction. Thus, it was suggested that high post-mortem urinary myoglobin levels in acute and subacute death cases may be a possible indicator of antemortem massive skeletal muscle damage as well as exertional muscle hyperactivity or convulsive disorders associated with hypoxia.

  2. [Pre- and perimortem bone trauma vs. postmortem damages-- Principles of differentiation].

    PubMed

    Holz, Franziska; Birngruber, Christoph G; Verhoff, Marcel A

    2015-01-01

    In medicolegal practice, evidence of trauma or damage on human skeletons or single bones raises the question whether this was inflicted in an antemortem, perimortem, or postmortem time frame. Trauma that occurred around the time of death, i. e., perimortem trauma, is of special forensic interest, as it can yield clues about the manner and cause of death. Perimortem traumas thus need to be carefully distinguished both from antemortem injuries that were evidently survived (these can still be useful for identification purposes) and from postmortem damage, as may occur during retrieval of remains. This study offers an up-to-date review of the specialist literature, e. g. textbooks and pubmed-listed publications, identifying differentiation criteria for ante- and perimortem traumas and postmortem damage. The results that are useful for practice in actual medicolegal casework are presented, and an overview of all macroscopically visible criteria (including simple magnifications, i. e., magnifying glass) that can be used to distinguish between ante- and perimortem traumas on the one side, and postmortem damage on the other is given. The difficulty of distinguishing antemortem trauma and postmortem damage from perimortem trauma rises sharply the closer in time they were inflicted to the time of the death event. Additional postmortem changes due to exposure of the bones to the surrounding deposition conditions may also occur after the relevant postmortem damage or antemortem trauma was inflicted and further complicate the problem. In this context, the "perimortem interval" and the "Fracture Freshness Index" (FFI) are discussed as means to classify the time frame of traumas.

  3. Postmortem ventilation in cases of penetrating gunshot and stab wounds to the chest.

    PubMed

    Germerott, Tanja; Preiss, Ulrich S; Ross, Steffen G; Thali, Michael J; Flach, Patricia M

    2013-11-01

    We sought to determine the effect of postmortem ventilation in combination with a suction pump in cases showing penetrating trauma to the chest with haemo- and/or pneumothorax, for better evaluation of the lungs in postmortem computed tomography (PMCT). The study included 6 subjects (1 female, 5 male; age 32-67years) with a penetrating gunshot or stab wound to the chest and consecutive pneumo- and/or haemothorax. The pneumo- and haemothorax were evacuated by a suction pump, and postmortem ventilation was applied using a home care ventilator. PMCT images with and without postmortem ventilation were compared, as well as the autopsy results. In three cases haemo- and pneumothorax was clearly reduced. Postmortem ventilation led to distinct re-expansion of the lungs in two cases, and to re-expansion of single lung lobes in two cases with shotgun injuries. No visible effect was seen in the remaining two cases, because of extensive destruction of lung tissue and blood aspiration. In two cases the injuries sustained in the individual lung lobes were successfully located during postmortem ventilation. The bullet channel was apparent in one case; in another case, injury of the pericardium became visible by generating pneumopericardium. The present method is capable of improving evaluation of the postmortem lung in the presence of single stab or gunshot wounds and if there is no severe destruction of the respiratory system and aspiration. Forensic autopsy should still be considered as the gold standard, although in some cases the present method might be helpful, especially where no autopsy is required.

  4. [Researches in forensic biomechanics].

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Fan, Yubo; Yu, Xiaojun

    2004-02-01

    Forensic biomechanics is the science of proof, which applies the biomechanical theory and technology to resolve problems related to mechanics in the process of expert witness. It belongs to the realm of a new subject combining biomechanics and forensics. Forensic biomechanics is a new branch of modern biomechanics and at the same time a new important branch of forensics, and it is one of the most potential research areas in forensics of injury. In this paper, the task of forensic biomechanics expert witness, the procedure of expert witness, and the forensic biomechanics research methods and cases are reviewed.

  5. Triazolam blood concentrations in forensic cases in Canada.

    PubMed

    Joynt, B P

    1993-01-01

    Triazolam has been a controversial drug since its appearance on world markets as a hypnotic more than ten years ago. Whole blood concentrations of triazolam as found in forensic cases are cited in several categories; that is, impaired driving: 17 cases; sexual assault: four cases; death due to drugs: 45 cases; drug-related death (drugs contributed to the death but were not the ultimate cause): 20 cases; drug-involved death (drugs were present but were not felt to be a contributing factor): six cases; miscellaneous: one case. The data was gleaned from a forensic toxicology database designed and used by the Forensic Toxicology Sections of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) laboratories in Canada. Triazolam concentrations from selected references are included for comparison.

  6. "ADAM' or "EVE'?--a toxicological conundrum.

    PubMed

    Cox, D E; Williams, K R

    1996-01-12

    The 3,4-methylenedioxy ring-substituted amphetamines, including "ADAM' and "EVE', are currently popular drugs of abuse. Adverse reactions are reported in the clinical literature but few fatal cases are documented and little toxicological data is available to guide those determining the cause or manner of death in such cases. We report two deaths presenting in a similar manner and with similar clinical features. Various body fluid samples were analysed for amphetamines by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. In one case, amphetamine alone was detected at levels of 1.54 mg/l and 1.47 mg/l in postmortem blood and admission serum, respectively. The other involved several 3,4-methylenedioxy ring-substituted amphetamines, namely MDA, MDMA and MDEA, at levels of 0.25 mg/l, 0.43 mg/l and 0.3 mg/l, respectively in postmortem femoral blood and 0.24 mg/l, 0.55 mg/l and 0.49 mg/l in admission blood. The interpretation of these toxicological results and some novel legal issues are discussed.

  7. [Today and tomorrow of forensic thanatology].

    PubMed

    Raszeja, Stefan

    2007-01-01

    The essence of post-mortem examination and its special place among other disciplines of forensic medicine were presented. Attention was drawn to the role of better understanding of phenomena occurring during and directly after death in the development of forensic medicine. Progress in determination of the time of death and in estimation of the intravital character of injuries found on the corpse was discussed. The need for a wider application of results of bio- and thanatochemical analyses in determination of the cause of death and its mechanism was emphasized. Examples of progress in this domain were presented, based on a number of papers published in this field, especially in Poland. Finally, the author pointed to the necessity of upgrading training of medical doctors in the field of thanatology.

  8. Postmortem distribution and redistribution of MDAI and 2-MAPB in blood and alternative matrices.

    PubMed

    Staeheli, Sandra N; Boxler, Martina I; Oestreich, Andrea; Marti, Michelle; Gascho, Dominic; Bolliger, Stephan A; Kraemer, Thomas; Steuer, Andrea E

    2017-10-01

    Intoxication cases involving new psychoactive substances (NPS) provide several challenges for forensic toxicologists as data on pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties are lacking, especially on potency and toxicity. Furthermore, reference values and information on postmortem redistribution (PMR) do not exist so far for most NPS. A fatal case involving the amphetamine-derivatives MDAI (5,6-methylenedioxy-2-aminoindane) and 2-MAPB (1-(benzofuran-2-yl)-N-methylpropan-2-amine) was investigated at the Zurich Institute of Forensic Medicine. At admission at the institute approx. 11h after death (first time point, t1), femoral and heart blood (right ventricle) was collected using computed tomography (CT)-guided biopsy sampling. At autopsy (t2), samples from the same body regions as well as various tissue samples were collected manually. In addition, an antemortem blood sample collected 6h before death was available. MDAI and 2-MAPB were quantified using a validated LC-MS/MS method. A significant concentration decrease between the antemortem and the first peripheral postmortem blood sample was observed, which most probably can be explained by remaining metabolism and excretion within the last 6h prior to death. No significant concentration change was observed between the two postmortem heart blood and peripheral blood samples. Accordingly, MDAI and 2-MAPB did not seem to undergo relevant postmortem redistribution in peripheral and heart blood in the presented case. This is the first study on postmortem redistribution of the new psychoactive substances MDAI and 2-MAPB. However, more studies covering more cases are necessary to generate universal statements on the PMR with these two NPSs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Awareness of forensic odontology among dentists in Australia; are they keeping forensically valuable dental records?

    PubMed

    Al-Azri, Abdul Rahman; Harford, Jane; James, Helen

    2015-03-30

    Forensic odontologists provide an important service to the community by identifying unknown deceased people, allowing both legal outcomes and family closure. Non-visual identification may be achieved by comparison of post-mortem data with ante-mortem dental records provided by oral health practitioners. Success is dependent largely on the accuracy and adequacy of data in the dental records. An online self-administered questionnaire evaluated Australian dentists' knowledge and behaviours relevant to forensic odontology. Reported record keeping practices were assessed for detail, legibility, accessibility and retention. Behaviours were classified according to the frequency of response. Dentists reported overall reasonable awareness of the major applications of forensic odontology. Personal information and details of restorative treatment were recorded at high levels, while tooth anomalies, photography, additional patient details and denture marking were recorded inadequately. Legible tooth coding was reported at a high level, while other key legibility practices were recorded inadequately. Few of the behaviours related to retention or to maximise accessibility were recorded at a high level. Australian dentists have high expectations of the forensic value of their dental records; however many practices that would enhance the diagnostic, medico-legal and forensic value of dental records are not routinely applied. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. [Comments on histopathology examinations in forensic medicine -- the importance, indications and basic principles of preserving the tissues].

    PubMed

    Jankowski, Zbigniew; Pieśniak, Dorota

    2007-01-01

    Histopathology examinations and their usefulness in postmortem diagnosis and medico-legal expertise have always been regarded extremely important by the Faculty of the Chair and Department of Forensic Medicine at the Medical University of Gdansk. The authors postulate acceptance of indication criteria for histopathology examination in forensic autopsies and propose rules for collecting tissue samples from internal organs and the placenta. They also remind the readers of the principles of proceeding with the preserved material. The present paper may be helpful for doctors other than forensic pathologists, who perform autopsies in institutions other than university departments of forensic medicine.

  11. 3D Virtual Images and Forensic Identification Training

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-08-04

    properly trained for these duties, as a minimum all Air Force Dental Residency programs (13 sites) require a course in forensic dentistry including...Currently, there are 1,000 dentists and 3,000 dental technicians in the Air Force Dental Corps plus reserve dental officers and technicians. All of...examination of the dental records andlor the recovered body and complete an online version of the AFIP Antemortem and Postmortem forms. The completed

  12. Postmortem Fluid and Tissue Concentrations of THC, 11-OH-THC and THC-COOH.

    PubMed

    Saenz, Sunday R; Lewis, Russell J; Angier, Mike K; Wagner, Jarrad R

    2017-07-01

    Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug worldwide. Marijuana is used for its euphoric and relaxing properties. However, marijuana use has been shown to result in impaired memory, cognitive skills and psychomotor function. The Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute conducts toxicological analysis on aviation fatalities. Due to severe trauma associated with aviation accidents, blood is not always available; therefore, the laboratory must rely on specimens other than blood for toxicological analysis in ~30-40% of cases. However, the postmortem distribution of cannabinoids has not been well characterized. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the distribution of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and its metabolites, 11-hydroxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) and THC-COOH, in postmortem fluid and tissue specimens from 11 fatal aviation accident cases (2014-2015) previously found positive for cannabinoids. Specimens evaluated, when available, included: blood, urine, vitreous humor, liver, lung, kidney, spleen, muscle, brain, heart and bile. We developed and validated (following SWGTOX guidelines) a sensitive and robust method using solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to identify and quantify THC, 11-OH-THC and THC-COOH in postmortem fluids and tissues. The method readily identified and quantified these cannabinoids in postmortem fluids and tissues below 1 ng/mL. Qualitative cannabinoid results within each case were comparable between blood and non-blood specimens. However, there was no consistent distribution of the cannabinoids between blood and any other fluids or tissues. Therefore, while quantitative interpretation of non-blood postmortem fluid and tissues samples is not prudent, a majority of the non-blood specimens tested could be suitable alternative/supplemental choices for qualitative cannabinoid detection. Published by Oxford University Press 2017. This work is written by (a) US

  13. The utility of postmortem computed tomography selective coronary angiography in parallel with autopsy.

    PubMed

    Inokuchi, Go; Yajima, Daisuke; Hayakawa, Mutsumi; Motomura, Ayumi; Chiba, Fumiko; Torimitsu, Suguru; Makino, Yohsuke; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2013-12-01

    Historically, coronary angiography of the isolated heart has played an important role in the detection of stenotic or occlusive lesions that are difficult to identify by autopsy alone. Meanwhile, although the application of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) to forensic fields has accelerated recently, isolated single organ angiography with MDCT is rarely performed. In this article, we present an evaluation of postmortem selective coronary CT angiography of the isolated heart with MDCT and discuss its utility for autopsy. First, in a preliminary experiment using pig coronary artery, we examined the behavior of water soluble contrast material on postmortem computed tomography angiography (PMCTA) and found that better angiographic images were acquired when the viscosity of the contrast material was increased and CT was performed under conditions of sustained perfusion. Based on these results, we devised a selective coronary angiography procedure using a pressurized bag for drip infusion that can be performed easily, quickly, and at low cost. The angiographic images obtained provided useful supportive evidence of autopsy findings suggestive of ischemic heart disease. With active discussions underway in forensic fields on the proper use of postmortem computed tomography, PMCTA has also naturally attracted attention as it compensates for some of the shortcomings of CT alone. Although PMCTA typically involves whole-body angiography, if we view PMCTA as one of the many useful and supplementary tools available for autopsy, then isolated heart angiography continues to have utility in autopsy today.

  14. Sertraline concentrations and postmortem redistribution.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Iain M; Mallett, Phyllis

    2012-11-30

    Sertraline is a commonly prescribed selective inhibitor of serotonin uptake used for the treatment of mental depression and anxiety. Central blood and liver concentrations of sertraline (norsertraline) are compared to levels in peripheral blood in nine medical examiner cases. Specimens were initially screened for alcohol and simple volatiles by GC-FID headspace analysis, ELISA for drugs of abuse, and alkaline drugs by GC/MS. Sertraline, when detected by the alkaline drug screen, was subsequently confirmed and quantified by a specific GC-NPD procedure. Data suggest that when ingested with other medications, sertraline may be a contributing factor in death. Sertraline (norsertraline) concentrations ranged from 0.13 (0.11) to 2.1 (6.0) mg/L in peripheral blood, from 0.18 (0.12) to 2.0 (6.7) mg/L in central blood, and 21 to 160 mg/kg in liver. Sertraline central blood to peripheral blood ratios averaged 1.22±0.85 (mean±standard deviation). The liver to peripheral blood ratios, on the other hand, were markedly higher and averaged 97±40 (mean±standard deviation). Given that a liver to peripheral blood ratio exceeding 20 is indicative of propensity for significant postmortem redistribution, these data confirm that sertraline is prone to marked postmortem redistribution.

  15. [The application of X-ray imaging in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Kučerová, Stěpánka; Safr, Miroslav; Ublová, Michaela; Urbanová, Petra; Hejna, Petr

    2014-07-01

    X-ray is the most common, basic and essential imaging method used in forensic medicine. It serves to display and localize the foreign objects in the body and helps to detect various traumatic and pathological changes. X-ray imaging is valuable in anthropological assessment of an individual. X-ray allows non-invasive evaluation of important findings before the autopsy and thus selection of the optimal strategy for dissection. Basic indications for postmortem X-ray imaging in forensic medicine include gunshot and explosive fatalities (identification and localization of projectiles or other components of ammunition, visualization of secondary missiles), sharp force injuries (air embolism, identification of the weapon) and motor vehicle related deaths. The method is also helpful for complex injury evaluation in abused victims or in persons where abuse is suspected. Finally, X-ray imaging still remains the gold standard method for identification of unknown deceased. With time modern imaging methods, especially computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, are more and more applied in forensic medicine. Their application extends possibilities of the visualization the bony structures toward a more detailed imaging of soft tissues and internal organs. The application of modern imaging methods in postmortem body investigation is known as digital or virtual autopsy. At present digital postmortem imaging is considered as a bloodless alternative to the conventional autopsy.

  16. Time-related course of pleural space fluid collection and pulmonary aeration on postmortem computed tomography (PMCT).

    PubMed

    Hyodoh, Hideki; Shimizu, Jyunya; Watanabe, Satoshi; Okazaki, Shunichiro; Mizuo, Keisuke; Inoue, Hiromasa

    2015-07-01

    Postmortem CT (PMCT) is increasingly used in forensic practice, and knowledge and classification of typical postmortem imaging findings would facilitate the interpretation of PMCT. The goal of this study was to define the time-related course of postmortem chest findings. Twelve cadavers (eight male, four female, 27-81 [mean, 60.0]years) were examined twice by PMCT within an interval of time (4-164 h [mean, 30.8; median, 17.5]). The pleural-space-fluid volume, pulmonary parenchyma volume, decreased aerated lung volume (DLV), %DLV (=DLV/pulmonary parenchyma volume) and chest cavity volume were compared between the first and second PMCT examinations. To evaluate the volume change rate, the rate of increase in pleural space fluid volume (mL/h) and the DLV rate (mL/h) were plotted according to the postmortem period. On the second PMCT, the volume of pleural space fluid (p=0.0469) and %DLV (p=0.0161) were significantly increased. The increase rate of the pleural space fluid increased at approximately 30 h and the volume continued to increase until approximately 40 h after death. The rate of DLV constantly decreased in the early postmortem period. In conclusion, the pleural-space-fluid collection and the DLV increased over different time-related courses in the postmortem period. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Thinking forensics: Cognitive science for forensic practitioners.

    PubMed

    Edmond, Gary; Towler, Alice; Growns, Bethany; Ribeiro, Gianni; Found, Bryan; White, David; Ballantyne, Kaye; Searston, Rachel A; Thompson, Matthew B; Tangen, Jason M; Kemp, Richard I; Martire, Kristy

    2017-03-01

    Human factors and their implications for forensic science have attracted increasing levels of interest across criminal justice communities in recent years. Initial interest centred on cognitive biases, but has since expanded such that knowledge from psychology and cognitive science is slowly infiltrating forensic practices more broadly. This article highlights a series of important findings and insights of relevance to forensic practitioners. These include research on human perception, memory, context information, expertise, decision-making, communication, experience, verification, confidence, and feedback. The aim of this article is to sensitise forensic practitioners (and lawyers and judges) to a range of potentially significant issues, and encourage them to engage with research in these domains so that they may adapt procedures to improve performance, mitigate risks and reduce errors. Doing so will reduce the divide between forensic practitioners and research scientists as well as improve the value and utility of forensic science evidence.

  18. Genetic toxicology: web resources.

    PubMed

    Young, Robert R

    2002-04-25

    Genetic toxicology is the scientific discipline dealing with the effects of chemical, physical and biological agents on the heredity of living organisms. The Internet offers a wide range of online digital resources for the field of Genetic Toxicology. The history of genetic toxicology and electronic data collections are reviewed. Web-based resources at US National Library of Medicine (NLM), including MEDLINE, PUBMED, Gateway, Entrez, and TOXNET, are discussed. Search strategies and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) are reviewed in the context of genetic toxicology. The TOXNET group of databases are discussed with emphasis on those databases with genetic toxicology content including GENE-TOX, TOXLINE, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, Integrated Risk Information System, and Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System. Location of chemical information including chemical structure and linkage to health and regulatory information using CHEMIDPLUS at NLM and other databases is reviewed. Various government agencies have active genetic toxicology research programs or use genetic toxicology data to assist fulfilling the agency's mission. Online resources at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) are outlined. Much of the genetic toxicology for pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and pesticides that is performed in the world is regulatory-driven. Regulatory web resources are presented for the laws mandating testing, guidelines on study design, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations, and requirements for electronic data collection and reporting. The Internet provides a range of other supporting resources to the field of genetic toxicology. The web links for key professional societies and journals in genetic toxicology are listed. Distance education, educational media resources, and job placement services are also

  19. A case of acute subdural hematoma due to ruptured aneurysm detected by postmortem angiography.

    PubMed

    Inokuchi, Go; Makino, Yohsuke; Yajima, Daisuke; Motomura, Ayumi; Chiba, Fumiko; Torimitsu, Suguru; Hoshioka, Yumi; Iwase, Hirotaro

    2016-03-01

    Acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) is mostly caused by head trauma, but intrinsic causes also exist such as aneurysm rupture. We describe here a case involving a man in his 70s who was found lying on the bedroom floor by his family. CT performed at the hospital showed ASDH and a forensic autopsy was requested. Postmortem cerebral angiography showed dilatation of the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery, which coincided with the dilated part of the Sylvian fissure. Extravasation of contrast medium into the subdural hematoma from this site was suggestive of a ruptured aneurysm. Autopsy revealed a fleshy hematoma (total weight 110 g) in the right subdural space and findings of brain herniation. As indicated on angiography, a ruptured saccular aneurysm was confirmed at the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery. Obvious injuries to the head or face could not be detected on either external or internal examination, and intrinsic ASDH due to a ruptured middle cerebral artery aneurysm was determined as the cause of death. One of the key points of forensic diagnosis is the strict differentiation between intrinsic and extrinsic onset for conditions leading to death. Although most subdural hematomas (SDH) are caused by extrinsic factors, forensic pathologists should consider the possibility of intrinsic SDH. In addition, postmortem angiography can be useful for identifying vascular lesions in such cases.

  20. Forensic odontology, Part 1. Dental identification.

    PubMed

    Hinchliffe, J

    2011-03-12

    This series is based upon fact, experience, and some personal views of the author and gives a brief glimpse of forensic odontological issues with regard to the identification of human remains (to include mass fatality incidents), biting injuries and child abuse. The aim of the first paper is to give the reader greater understanding of the role of the forensic odontologist in the identification of human remains, and emphasise the importance of keeping good quality, accurate and comprehensive dental records. Identification of the deceased greatly assists families and friends at this difficult time, as well as aiding law enforcement agencies; getting it wrong is devastating to families and unacceptable. The dental identification process must be carefully undertaken and relies upon the comparison of information from the antemortem record with findings from the postmortem examination, and the efficiency of this process is dependent on the quality and availability of the dental record. As dental team members it is our responsibility to keep and maintain accurate records of our patients. The resilience of the dental structures to postmortem assault, denture labelling, and teeth as a source of DNA, all contribute to making identification successful. Dental identification is widely used, not only in the single fatality situation, but also in mass fatality incidents and cases of missing persons.

  1. Aquatic toxicology: fact or fiction

    SciTech Connect

    Macek, K.J.

    1980-02-01

    The science of aquatic toxicology is a relatively new science. The development of the field of aquatic toxicology since 1930 is traced. The state of the art of aquatic toxicology compared with that of classical toxicology is evaluated. The science of aquatic toxicology is expected to undergo a significant period of rapid growth and development, leading ultimately to the formation of a mature science.

  2. [Toxicological evaluation of diagnostic methods used for poisoning with psychoactive substances].

    PubMed

    Wachowiak, R

    2001-01-01

    Toxicological diagnosis in cases of intoxication with psychoactive substances known in clinical and forensic toxicology requires appropriate laboratory studies. The paper pertains evaluation of the currently employed techniques of quantitative and qualitative analysis of psychoactive substances in a biological material. Usefulness of the most frequently applied screening (immunochemical) approaches and the confirmation (physicochemical) techniques was evaluated against the validation criteria, relating to the specificity, detection limit and sensitivity of the discussed substances.

  3. Integrating Forensic Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funkhouser, John; Deslich, Barbara J.

    2000-01-01

    Explains the implementation of forensic science in an integrated curriculum and discusses the advantages of this approach. Lists the forensic science course syllabi studied in three high schools. Discusses the unit on polymers in detail. (YDS)

  4. Integrating Forensic Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funkhouser, John; Deslich, Barbara J.

    2000-01-01

    Explains the implementation of forensic science in an integrated curriculum and discusses the advantages of this approach. Lists the forensic science course syllabi studied in three high schools. Discusses the unit on polymers in detail. (YDS)

  5. Microbial forensics: the next forensic challenge.

    PubMed

    Budowle, Bruce; Murch, Randall; Chakraborty, Ranajit

    2005-11-01

    Pathogens and toxins can be converted to bioweapons and used to commit bioterrorism and biocrime. Because of the potential and relative ease of an attack using a bioweapon, forensic science needs to be prepared to assist in the investigation to bring perpetrators to justice and to deter future attacks. A new subfield of forensics--microbial forensics--has been created, which is focused on characterization of evidence from a bioterrorism act, biocrime, hoax, or an inadvertent release. Forensic microbiological investigations are essentially the same as any other forensic investigation regarding processing. They involve crime scene(s) investigation, chain of custody practices, evidence collection, handling and preservation, evidence shipping, analysis of evidence, interpretation of results, and court presentation. In addition to collecting and analyzing traditional forensic evidence, the forensic investigation will attempt to determine the etiology and identity of the causal agent, often in a similar fashion as in an epidemiologic investigation. However, for attribution, higher-resolution characterization is needed. The tools for attribution include genetic- and nongenetic-based assays and informatics to attempt to determine the unique source of a sample or at least eliminate some sources. In addition, chemical and physical assays may help determine the process used to prepare, store, or disseminate the bioweapon. An effective microbial forensics program will require development and/or validation of all aspects of the forensic investigative process, from sample collection to interpretation of results. Quality assurance (QA) and QC practices, comparable to those used by the forensic DNA science community, are being implemented. Lastly, partnerships with other laboratories will be requisite, because many of the necessary capabilities for analysis will not reside in the traditional forensic laboratory.

  6. Comparison of antemortem clinical diagnosis and postmortem findings in burn-related deaths.

    PubMed

    Tuğcu, Harun; Zor, Fatih; Toygar, Mehmet; Balandız, Hüseyin

    2015-12-01

    Burn injuries are an important public health problem resulting in high morbidity and mortality. Mortality in burn patients is associated with age, the extent of the burn surface, and the presence of concurrent chronic diseases. Studies have revealed differences between antemortem clinical diagnoses and postmortem findings in burn-related deaths. In the present study, postmortem examination reports and autopsy reports issued by the Department of Forensic Medicine in Gülhane Military Medical Academy between 1 January 1994 and 30 May 2013 were retrospectively reviewed together with patient charts in an attempt to compare postmortem findings and antemortem clinical findings in burn-related deaths. In a period of approximately 20 years, thirty-one (6.9%) of the deaths among 450 cases were burn-related. Of the injuries, 90.3% were caused by flame burns. Mean burn percentage was 70.52%, and the survival of these cases was found to decrease significantly with increasing burn percentage (r=-0.491, p=0.005). According to autopsy findings, pneumonia was the most frequently overlooked antemortem clinical diagnosis, and mortality was associated with systemic organ failures. Burn-related deaths are an important cause of mortality among soldiers. We believe that postmortem findings revealed by autopsies could significantly contribute to the treatment of burn cases, and that interdisciplinary data sharing would be important in this respect.

  7. Postmortem succession of gut microbial communities in deceased human subjects

    PubMed Central

    Hauther, Kathleen A.

    2017-01-01

    The human microbiome has demonstrated an importance for the health and functioning in living individuals. However, the fate of the microbiome after death is less understood. In addition to a better understanding of microbe-mediated decomposition processes, postmortem succession of human-associated microbial communities has been suggested as a possible forensic tool for estimating time since death, or postmortem interval (PMI). The objective of our study was to document postmortem changes in human gut bacterial communities. Gut microflora were repeatedly sampled from the caeca of cadavers as they decayed under natural environmental conditions. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed that over time, bacterial richness significantly increased (rs = 0.449) while diversity decreased (rs =  − 0.701). The composition of gut bacterial communities changed in a similar manner over time towards a common decay community. OTUs belonging to Bacteroidales (Bacteroides, Parabacteroides) significantly declined while Clostridiales (Clostridium, Anaerosphaera) and the fly-associated Gammaproteobacteria Ignatzschineria and Wohlfahrtiimonas increased. Our examination of human caeca microflora in decomposing cadavers adds to the growing literature on postmortem microbial communities, which will ultimately contribute to a better understanding of decomposition processes. PMID:28626612

  8. An examination of the postmortem redistribution of fentanyl and interlaboratory variability.

    PubMed

    Krinsky, Clarissa S; Lathrop, Sarah L; Zumwalt, Ross

    2014-09-01

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid agonist used for pain control. Often administered as a transdermal patch, it is an interesting drug for study of postmortem redistribution. We hypothesized that fentanyl concentrations would increase over time after death, as measured in blood drawn on the day prior to autopsy and in blood drawn at the time of autopsy in ten cases where fentanyl patches were identified at the scene. Concentrations were compared, and heart blood to femoral blood ratios were calculated as markers of postmortem redistribution. Fentanyl concentrations measured in peripheral blood drawn the day of autopsy (peripheral blood 2 [PB2]) were higher than those drawn the day prior to autopsy (peripheral blood 1 [PB1]) with a mean ratio (PB2/PB1) of 1.80. The ratio of heart blood concentrations (HB) to femoral blood concentrations drawn at autopsy (PB2) had a mean ratio (HB/PB2) of 1.08. Some cases had blood from the same source analyzed at two different laboratories, and concentrations of fentanyl in those samples showed inter- and intralaboratory differences up to 25 ng/mL. Postmortem fentanyl concentrations may be affected by antemortem factors, postmortem redistribution, and laboratory variability. Forensic pathologists must use caution in interpreting fentanyl levels as part of death investigation.

  9. Microbiology & Toxicology: Space Environment

    NASA Image and Video Library

    One key aspect in maintaining crew health and performance during spaceflight missions is the provision of a habitable environment with acceptably low concentrations of microbiological and toxicolog...

  10. [Postmortem distribution of tetrodotoxin in tissues and body fluids of guinea pigs].

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Da, Qing; Shen, Min

    2012-06-01

    To investigate the postmortem distribution of tetrodotoxin in tissues and body fluids of guinea pig, and to provide method and evidence for forensic identification and clinical diagnosis and treatment. Guinea pigs were intragastric administrated with 100, 50, 15 microg/kg tetrodotoxin, respectively. The poisoning symptoms were observed. The samples of heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, brain, stomach, intestines, bile, heart blood and urine were collected. The concentrations of tetrodotoxin in tissues and body fluids were measured with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). After administrated with tetrodotoxin, all guinea pigs came out poisoning signs including tachypnea, weary and dead finally. Tetrodotoxin concentrations in lung, stomach, intestines and urine were higher, followed by blood, heart and brain. The concentration in bile was the lowest. Postmortem distribution of tetrodotoxin in guinea pig is uneven. The concentration in the lung, stomach, intestines, urine and heart blood are higher, those tissues could be used for diagnosis of tetrodotoxin poisoning.

  11. Determination of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in Postmortem Samples in Ectopic Pregnancies.

    PubMed

    Palmiere, Cristian; Lesta, Maria del Mar; Fanton, Laurent; Ventura, Francesco; Bonsignore, Alessandro; Reggiani Bonetti, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Increased human chorionic gonadotropin levels (HCG) can be detected in femoral blood, bile, and vitreous humor collected during autopsy of pregnant women using a standard kit designed for living patients. In the study herein, the concentrations of HCG were measured in postmortem serum, vitreous, bile, cerebrospinal, and pericardial fluids in 4 cases of fatal ectopic pregnancy and 40 controls using a quantitative electrochemiluminescence immunoassay designed for living patients. No false-negative cases were identified in any of the analyzed samples in any of the ectopic pregnancy cases. No correlations were found between total HCG levels in postmortem serum and the other tested specimens. The results of this study would suggest that higher HCG in bile, vitreous, pericardial, and cerebrospinal fluids may confirm the existence of ectopic pregnancy and therefore identify other situations in which this hormone is increased, although gestational age cannot be reliably estimated using these values. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  12. Thematic Issue: Forensics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benjamin, James B., Ed.

    1977-01-01

    The 18 essays in this journal issue provide insight into the theory, issues and practice of forensics. They consider the following topics: an agenda for forensics education; problems of forensics in the United States today; improvement of debate practice and teaching; rhetorical dimensions of argumentation; use of speeches as an instructional…

  13. Integrating the microbiome as a resource in the forensics toolkit.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Thomas H; Gomez, Andres; Singh, Harinder; Nelson, Karen E; Brinkac, Lauren M

    2017-09-01

    The introduction of DNA fingerprinting to forensic science rapidly expanded the available evidence that could be garnered from a crime scene and used in court cases. Next generation sequencing technologies increased available genetic data that could be used as evidence by orders of magnitude, and as such, significant additional genetic information is now available for use in forensic science. This includes DNA from the bacteria that live in and on humans, known as the human microbiome. Next generation sequencing of the human microbiome demonstrates that its bacterial DNA can be used to uniquely identify an individual, provide information about their life and behavioral patterns, determine the body site where a sample came from, and estimate postmortem intervals. Bacterial samples from the environment and objects can also be leveraged to address similar questions about the individual(s) who interacted with them. However, the applications of this new field in forensic sciences raises concerns on current methods used in sample processing, including sample collection, storage, and the statistical power of published studies. These areas of human microbiome research need to be fully addressed before microbiome data can become a regularly incorporated evidence type and routine procedure of the forensic toolkit. Here, we summarize information on the current status of microbiome research as applies to the forensic field, the mathematical models used to make predictions, and the possible legal and practical difficulties that can limit the application of microbiomes in forensic science. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Embryology, normal anatomy, and imaging techniques of the hyoid and larynx with respect to forensic purposes: a review article.

    PubMed

    Soerdjbalie-Maikoe, Vidija; van Rijn, Rick R

    2008-01-01

    Experiences with pre- and postmortem imaging in a forensic setting create more and more interest. If autopsy is permitted, forensic pathologists perform careful examination of the neck structures, which plays an important role as this is decisive in the diagnostics of compressive neck injury. Primary tools are important: forensic pathologists and radiologists are supposed to be aware of the complex anatomy of the neck, especially the laryngeal region, to interprete their findings at autopsy and after imaging. It is of great interest whether CT and MR imaging techniques would be useful in comparing findings of autopsy and document findings if autopsy is refused. In the light of this, the embryology, anatomy and a review of imaging techniques of the neck will be highlighted in this article, with special attention to the value of updated imaging techniques of the larynx for forensic purposes in living people and postmortem.

  15. Advances in chemistry applied to forensic science.

    PubMed

    Rendle, David F

    2005-12-01

    Acts of terrorism, an increase in the use of firearms, drug abuse, the use of so-called date-rape drugs, and driving whilst under the influence of drugs, are just some of the subjects frequently in the news. In the absence of fingermarks and of material leading to the recovery of DNA, the forensic scientist has to rely upon chemical analysis of trace amounts of materials including explosives, drugs, toxicological specimens, firearms discharge residues, fibres, glass, paint, soil etc., in order to establish or eliminate links between suspect and victim and/or scene. This tutorial review describes analytical problems facing the forensic chemist, and the current methods and techniques employed to tackle them.

  16. Forensic science: the truth is out there

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herold, Lynne D.

    2002-06-01

    Criminalistics, one of the many sub-divisions of forensic science, is an applied science in which items of evidence are analyzed to provide investigative information and scientific evidence to be used in courts of law. Laboratories associated with governmental public agencies are typically involved in criminal cases as opposed to civil cases, and those types of cases that fall within the jurisdiction of the particular agency. Common analytical divisions within criminalistics laboratories include blood alcohol testing, toxicology, narcotics, questioned documents, biology, firearms, latent fingerprints, physical and trace evidence sections. Specialized field investigative services may be provided in the areas of clandestine drug laboratories and major crimes (firearms, biology, trace, arson/explosives). Forensic science best practice requires the use of non-destructive testing whenever reasonably possible. Several technically difficult situations (bodies and evidence encased in cement and metal) are presented as a challenge to audience.

  17. Expanding forensic science through forensic intelligence.

    PubMed

    Ribaux, Olivier; Talbot Wright, Benjamin

    2014-12-01

    Research and Development ('R&D') in forensic science currently focuses on innovative technologies improving the efficiency of existing forensic processes, from the detection of marks and traces at the scene, to their presentation in Court. R&D approached from this perspective provides no response to doubts raised by recent criminological studies, which question the effective contribution of forensic science to crime reduction, and to policing in general. Traces (i.e. forensic case data), as remnants of criminal activity are collected and used in various forms of crime monitoring and investigation. The aforementioned doubts therefore need to be addressed by expressing how information is conveyed by traces in these processes. Modelling from this standpoint expands the scope of forensic science and provides new R&D opportunities. Twelve propositions for R&D are stated in order to pave the way.

  18. [Unusual questions of evidence in a case of offensive post-mortem dismemberment].

    PubMed

    Madea, Burkhard; Schmidt, Peter; Preuss, Johanna; Dietmar, Elenz

    2010-01-01

    In cases of post-mortem dismemberment, the main medicolegal task apart from the identification and assignment of body parts to one or several individuals is the determination of the cause of death and the course of events. Notably in cases of offensive postmortem dismemberment, the medicolegal findings on the victim may be of special importance also for the psychiatric evaluation of the suspect. In a case of offensive post-mortem dismemberment, parts of the body were found in a stone quarry and in the apartment where the victim and the suspect had lived together. Since the suspect refused to make a statement, the medicolegal findings were of great relevance for the psychiatric evaluation. In the first trial, in which the psychiatric expert was not present when the forensic pathologist gave his opinion, the Regional Court acquitted the suspect of murder and committed him to a psychiatric hospital. The accused successfully appealed on points of law, as the form and content of the psychiatric expert opinion did not comply with the requirements of procedural law and the forensic psychiatric state of the art. In a second trial, additional psychiatric experts were summoned. In that hearing, the task of the medicolegal expert was to reconstruct the course of events as far as possible to create a reliable basis for the psychiatric evaluation, as the suspect refused to make a statement both with regard to his personal circumstances and the facts of the case and did not agree to a psychiatric exploration either. The motivational and morphological criteria of the medicolegal classification as offensive post-mortem dismemberment with a cannibalistic background are discussed. In addition, some issues to be answered such as the detection of bloodstains on nonporous surfaces by means of leucocrystalviolet and the time of heat exposure of burned body parts are dealt with.

  19. Personalized Medicine applied to Forensic Sciences: new advances and perspectives for a tailored forensic approach.

    PubMed

    Santurro, Alessandro; Vullo, Anna Maria; Borro, Marina; Gentile, Giovanna; Russa, Raffaele La; Simmaco, Maurizio; Frati, Paola; Fineschi, Vittorio

    2017-02-07

    Personalized medicine (PM), included in P5 medicine (Personalized, Predictive, Preventive, Participative and Precision medicine) is an innovative approach to the patient, emerging from the need to tailor and to fit the profile of each individual. PM promises to dramatically impact also on forensic sciences and justice system in ways we are only beginning to understand. The application of omics (genomic, transcriptomics, epigenetics/imprintomics, proteomic and metabolomics) is ever more fundamental in the so called "molecular autopsy". Emerging fields of interest in forensic pathology are represented by diagnosis and detection of predisposing conditions to fatal thromboembolic and hypertensive events, determination of genetic variants related to sudden death, such as congenital long QT syndromes, demonstration of lesions vitality, identification of biological matrices and species diagnosis of a forensic trace on crime scenes without destruction of the DNA. The aim of this paper is to describe the state-of-art in the application of personalized medicine in forensic sciences, to understand the possibilities of integration in routine investigation of these procedures with classical post-mortem studies and to underline the importance of these new updates in medical examiners' armamentarium in determining cause of death or contributing factors to death.

  20. Ethyl glucuronide in vitreous humor and blood postmortem specimens: analysis by liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry and interpreting results of neo-formation of ethanol.

    PubMed

    Vezzoli, Sara; Bernini, Marzia; De Ferrari, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    The determination of ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a stable and sensitive marker that is specific to alcohol intake, finds many applications both in the forensic toxicology and clinical fields. The aim of the study is to examine the possibility of using a cadaveric biological matrix, vitreous humor (VH), to determine EtG as a marker of recent ethanol use. The blood, taken from the femoral vein, and the VH were obtained from 63 autopsy cases. Analysis of the EtG was performed using an LC/MS/MS system. Analyses of the ethanol and putrefaction biomarkers, such as acetaldehyde and n-propanol, were performed using the HS-GC/FID technique in both the matrices. In 17 cases, both ethanol and EtG were absent in both matrices.Nineteen cases presented ethanol in blood from 0.05 to 0.30 g/L, EtG-Blood concentration from 0.02 to 3.27 mg/L, and EtG-VH concentration from 0.01 mg/L to 2.88 mg/L. Thirteen cases presented ethanol in blood > 0.05 g/L but EtG concentration in blood and VH lower than 0.01 mg/L, are part of these 8 samples presented acetic aldehyde and n- propanol in blood or VH, means identification of putrefaction indicators. Fourteen cases presented ethanol in blood > 0.46 and EtG concentration in blood and VH higher than 0.01 mg/L. The determination of EtG in biological material is important in those cases where the intake of ethanol appears doubtful, as it allows us to exclude the possibility of any post-mortem formation of ethanol.

  1. Proteomics for systems toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Titz, Bjoern; Elamin, Ashraf; Martin, Florian; Schneider, Thomas; Dijon, Sophie; Ivanov, Nikolai V.; Hoeng, Julia; Peitsch, Manuel C.

    2014-01-01

    Current toxicology studies frequently lack measurements at molecular resolution to enable a more mechanism-based and predictive toxicological assessment. Recently, a systems toxicology assessment framework has been proposed, which combines conventional toxicological assessment strategies with system-wide measurement methods and computational analysis approaches from the field of systems biology. Proteomic measurements are an integral component of this integrative strategy because protein alterations closely mirror biological effects, such as biological stress responses or global tissue alterations. Here, we provide an overview of the technical foundations and highlight select applications of proteomics for systems toxicology studies. With a focus on mass spectrometry-based proteomics, we summarize the experimental methods for quantitative proteomics and describe the computational approaches used to derive biological/mechanistic insights from these datasets. To illustrate how proteomics has been successfully employed to address mechanistic questions in toxicology, we summarized several case studies. Overall, we provide the technical and conceptual foundation for the integration of proteomic measurements in a more comprehensive systems toxicology assessment framework. We conclude that, owing to the critical importance of protein-level measurements and recent technological advances, proteomics will be an integral part of integrative systems toxicology approaches in the future. PMID:25379146

  2. Educational Challenges in Toxicology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, Robert L.

    1984-01-01

    Issues and topics related to educational challenges in toxicology at all levels are discussed. They include public awareness and understanding, general approach to toxicology, quality structure-activity relationships, epidemiological studies, quantification of risk, and the types of toxicants studied. (JN)

  3. Comparison of protocols for measuring and calculating postmortem submersion intervals for human analogs in fresh water.

    PubMed

    Humphreys, Michael K; Panacek, Edward; Green, William; Albers, Elizabeth

    2013-03-01

    Protocols for determining postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) have long been problematic for forensic investigators due to the wide variety of factors affecting the rate of decomposition of submerged carrion. Likewise, it has been equally problematic for researchers to develop standardized experimental protocols to monitor underwater decomposition without artificially affecting the decomposition rate. This study compares two experimental protocols: (i) underwater in situ evaluation with photographic documentation utilizing the Heaton et al. total aquatic decomposition (TAD) score and (ii) weighing the carrion before and after submersion. Complete forensic necropsies were performed as a control. Perinatal piglets were used as human analogs. The results of this study indicate that in order to objectively measure decomposition over time, the human analog should be examined at depth using the TAD scoring system rather than utilizing a carrion weight evaluation. The acquired TAD score can be used to calculate an approximate PMSI.

  4. Implant bone integration importance in forensic identification.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Danilo; Cattaneo, Cristina

    2015-03-01

    Odontological identification consists of the comparison of antemortem dental information regarding a missing person with postmortem data from an unidentified corpse or human remains. Usually, the comparison concerns morphologic features that the operator chooses among all the visible characteristics because of inter-individual uniqueness; for this reason, implants can be of enormous assistance. A case concerning the recovery of a burnt oral implant, connected to a bone fragment, among 2780 charred bone fragments, suspected to have belonged to a victim of homicide, is presented to demonstrate that dental implants and their site of bone integration represent a very precious element for personal forensic identification. Because of their morphological invariability in time and because of their morphologic uniqueness, they were used as evidence to associate unidentified human charred remains to a missing person where DNA analysis failed to do so. The case illustrates the fundamental contribution, not yet described in literature, given by the clinical aspects of tooth replacement with dental implants to a forensic discipline. Clinical practitioners should therefore be aware of the great importance of their work and of dental records in a forensic identification scenario.

  5. FORENSIC RADIOLOGY AND IMAGING FOR VETERINARY RADIOLOGISTS.

    PubMed

    Watson, Elizabeth; Heng, Hock Gan

    2017-02-24

    Imaging studies are often of evidentiary value in medicolegal investigations involving animals and the role of the veterinary radiologist is to interpret those images for courts as an expert or opinion witness. With progressing interest in prosecuting animal crimes and strengthening of penalties for crimes against animals, the participation of veterinary radiologists in medicolegal investigations is expected to increase. Veterinary radiologists who are aware of radiographic and imaging signs that result in animal suffering, abuse, or neglect; knowledgeable in ways radiology and imaging may support cause of death determinations; conversant in postmortem imaging; comfortable discussing mechanisms and timing of blunt or sharp force and projectile trauma in imaging; and prepared to identify mimics of abuse can assist court participants in understanding imaging evidence. The goal of this commentary review is to familiarize veterinary radiologists with the forensic radiology and imaging literature and with the advantages and disadvantages of various imaging modalities utilized in forensic investigations. Another goal is to provide background information for future research studies in veterinary forensic radiology and imaging.

  6. Forensic Entomology in Animal Cruelty Cases.

    PubMed

    Brundage, A; Byrd, J H

    2016-09-01

    Forensic entomology can be useful to the veterinary professional in cases of animal cruelty. A main application of forensic entomology is to determine the minimum postmortem interval by estimating the time of insect colonization, based on knowledge of the rate of development of pioneer colonizers and on insect species succession during decomposition of animal remains. Since insect development is temperature dependent, these estimates require documentation of the environmental conditions, including ambient temperature. It can also aid in the detection and recognition of wounds, as well as estimate the timing of periods of neglect. Knowledge of the geographic distribution of insects that colonize animal remains may suggest that there has been movement or concealment of the carcass or can create associations between a suspect, a victim, and a crime scene. In some instances, it can aid in the detection of drugs or toxins within decomposed or skeletonized remains. During animal cruelty investigations, it may become the responsibility of the veterinary professional to document and collect entomological evidence from live animals or during the necropsy. The applications of forensic entomology are discussed. A protocol is described for documenting and collecting entomological evidence at the scene and during the necropsy, with additional emphasis on recording geographic location, meteorological data, and collection and preservation of insect specimens.

  7. Postmortem pulmonary CT in hypothermia.

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, Wolf; Thali, Michael; Giugni, Giannina; Winklhofer, Sebastian

    2014-12-01

    Fatal hypothermia has been associated with pulmonary edema. With postmortem full body computed tomography scanning (PMCT), the lungs can also be examined for CT attenuation. In fatal hypothermia cases low CT attenuation appeared to prevail in the lungs. We compared 14 cases of fatal hypothermia with an age-sex matched control group. Additionally, 4 cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning were examined. Furthermore, 10 test cases were examined to test predictability based on PMCT. Two readers measured CT attenuation on four different axial slices across the lungs (blinded to case group and other reader's results). Hypothermia was associated with statistically significantly lower lung PMCT attenuation and lower lung weights than controls, and there was a dose-effect relationship at an environmental temperature cutoff of 2 °C. CO poisoning yielded low pulmonary attenuation but higher lung weights. General model based prediction yielded a 94% probability for fatal hypothermia deaths and a 21% probability for non-hypothermia deaths in the test group. Increased breathing rate is known to accompany both CO poisoning and hypothermia, so this could partly explain the low PMCT lung attenuation due to an oxygen dissociation curve left shift. A more marked distension in fatal hypothermia, compared to CO poisoning, indicates that further, possibly different mechanisms, are involved in these cases. Increased dead space and increased stiffness to deflation (but not inflation) appear to be effects of inhaling cold air (but not CO) that may explain the difference in low PMCT attenuation seen in hypothermia cases.

  8. [Toxicological evaluation in the childhood].

    PubMed

    Arroyo, Amparo; Rodrigo, Carlos; Marrón, M Teresa

    2014-03-01

    Intoxications in infancy require urgent medical treatment within national health systems. In our country they represent 0.3% of paediatric urgencies. Most of them are accidental intoxications but is not infrequent to find some related to child abuse or to suicidal intentions, especially in adolescence. The objectives of the study are to evaluate both clinical health care and medical legal aspects in intoxications in infancy. Medical assistance is described and it includes clinical diagnosis, typology of the more common toxics, percentages and referral to social work and emergency care equipment units of the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Department of Health or, where appropriate, directly to prosecutors and courts for their intervention. In cases of detection of alcohol, drugs or medication in infants, the importance of the correct interpretation of the results of toxicological findings is discussed. Several studies for the interpretation of results concerning the detection of these toxics are reported. Both legal aspects and the forensic medical opinion are assessed. The findings will be analysed by the judicial authority in order to circumscribe responsibilities or to take appropriate decisions concerning the protection of infants' interests. In conclusion intoxication in infancy can lead to legal proceedings requiring specific actions for their protection. Both physicians and hospitals must comply with the legal requirement of the submission to the court of judicial parties. On the other hand, this information is an interesting step toward reinforcing public health surveillance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

  9. [The contribution of N.I. Pirogov to the development of forensic medicine (on the occasion of his 200th birthday anniversary)].

    PubMed

    Isakov, V D; Tolmachev, I A; Ozeretskovskiĭ, L B; Tiurin, M V; Belousova, O D

    2011-01-01

    The main facets of professor N.I. Pirogov's professional activity are outlined. Forensic medicine (in the first place its organizational and practical aspects) was an integral component of his scientific and clinical work, along with applied anatomy and surgery. Landmark publications of N.I. Pirogov are listed with special reference to those concerned with forensic medical expertise of medical malpractice cases, postmortem inspection and intravital examination procedures, wound ballistics studies, the atlas of forensic pathology, etc. The surgeon and anatomist N.I. Pirogov can be justly regarded as a founder of forensic medicine in this country.

  10. Microbial communities associated with human decomposition and their potential use as postmortem clocks.

    PubMed

    Finley, Sheree J; Benbow, M Eric; Javan, Gulnaz T

    2015-05-01

    Most forensic research that is used to better understand how to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) entails the study of the physiochemical characteristics of decomposition and the effects that environmental factors have on the decomposition process. Forensic entomology exploits the life cycles of arthropods like Diptera (blow flies or flesh flies) and Coleoptera (beetles) deposited on the decaying carcass to determine PMI. Forensic taphonomy, from the Greek word taphos meaning burial, studies the creation of the fossils of decomposed cadavers to ascertain information as to the nature and time of death. Compared to other areas of taphonomy, there have been relatively few forensic science studies that have investigated the impact of human decomposition on the microbial changes occurring on or in a corpse or in the soil communities underneath a body. Such research may facilitate the critical determination of PMI. Therefore, the scope of this review is to provide a concise summary of the current progress in the newly emerging field of microbial diversity and the next-generation metagenomic sequencing approaches for assessing these communities in humans and in the soil beneath decomposing human.

  11. THE FUTURE OF TOXICOLOGY-PREDICTIVE TOXICOLOGY ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A chemistry approach to predictive toxicology relies on structure−activity relationship (SAR) modeling to predict biological activity from chemical structure. Such approaches have proven capabilities when applied to well-defined toxicity end points or regions of chemical space. These approaches are less well-suited, however, to the challenges of global toxicity prediction, i.e., to predicting the potential toxicity of structurally diverse chemicals across a wide range of end points of regulatory and pharmaceutical concern. New approaches that have the potential to significantly improve capabilities in predictive toxicology are elaborating the “activity” portion of the SAR paradigm. Recent advances in two areas of endeavor are particularly promising. Toxicity data informatics relies on standardized data schema, developed for particular areas of toxicological study, to facilitate data integration and enable relational exploration and mining of data across both historical and new areas of toxicological investigation. Bioassay profiling refers to large-scale high-throughput screening approaches that use chemicals as probes to broadly characterize biological response space, extending the concept of chemical “properties” to the biological activity domain. The effective capture and representation of legacy and new toxicity data into mineable form and the large-scale generation of new bioassay data in relation to chemical toxicity, both employing chemical stru

  12. Entomotoxicology, experimental set-up and interpretation for forensic toxicologists.

    PubMed

    Gosselin, Matthias; Wille, Sarah M R; Fernandez, Maria del Mar Ramírez; Di Fazio, V; Samyn, Nele; De Boeck, Gert; Bourel, Benoit

    2011-05-20

    Forensic entomotoxicology studies the usefulness of insects as alternative toxicological samples. Use of insects as alternative matrix for drug detection is well documented and recommended when conventional matrices such as blood, urine or internal organs are no longer available. However, several limitations of entomotoxicology have been highlighted, especially concerning interpretation of the drug concentrations in insects on human forensic cases. In addition, the lack of knowledge in pharmacokinetic of drugs in insects, large variability of experimental set-up and toxicological analysis compromise the utility of this science. This review focuses on the current knowledge of factors influencing drug detection in insects. Reasons for the current limitations, but also recommendations for future research are discussed and proposed in this paper. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Postmortem computed tomography with the use of air for blood vessel enhancement--Early experience.

    PubMed

    Borowska-Solonynko, Aleksandra; Solonynko, Bohdan; Fudalej, Marcin; Żyłkowski, Jarosław

    2016-04-01

    Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) is gaining popularity in forensic medicine. Computed tomography routinely performed in clinical medicine involves intravenous contrast administration. Unfortunately, postmortem examinations are typically limited to uncontrasted CT scans, where blood vessels and their potential injury sites are invisible. One serious problem is the fact that due to the process of decomposition, contrast agents used for vessel visualization in the living cannot be used in cadavers. Therefore, a special contrast agent designed for cadavers has been developed. This contrast agent has a high density and is lipophilic. Its use ensures very good visualization of blood vessels it is, however, associated with high costs and may alter findings of a later histopathological examination. This study presents early experience with the air as negative contrast agent to enhance all blood vessels in the body. The carbon dioxide (CO2) gas has been used as a contrast agent in live individuals with contraindications against the use of iodinated contrast. In corpses with advanced postmortem changes, putrefaction gases also considerably enhance the visibility of blood vessels and organs they fill. There have also been some positive effects with the use of gas in postmortem angiography of coronary vessels. These findings encouraged us to attempt air administration via catheters introduced into the femoral artery or a central venous access site in the superior vena cava. The gas distributed easily throughout the body and surprisingly well contrasted both arteries and veins of various caliber. The presence of the air administered into vessels did not cause any apparent, significant alterations in autopsy findings. Although optimization of the gas administration technique requires further studies, we can already say that this is a promising direction in postmortem angiography. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Are animal models predictive for human postmortem muscle protein degradation?

    PubMed

    Ehrenfellner, Bianca; Zissler, Angela; Steinbacher, Peter; Monticelli, Fabio C; Pittner, Stefan

    2017-07-18

    A most precise determination of the postmortem interval (PMI) is a crucial aspect in forensic casework. Although there are diverse approaches available to date, the high heterogeneity of cases together with the respective postmortal changes often limit the validity and sufficiency of many methods. Recently, a novel approach for time since death estimation by the analysis of postmortal changes of muscle proteins was proposed. It is however necessary to improve the reliability and accuracy, especially by analysis of possible influencing factors on protein degradation. This is ideally investigated on standardized animal models that, however, require legitimization by a comparison of human and animal tissue, and in this specific case of protein degradation profiles. Only if protein degradation events occur in comparable fashion within different species, respective findings can sufficiently be transferred from the animal model to application in humans. Therefor samples from two frequently used animal models (mouse and pig), as well as forensic cases with representative protein profiles of highly differing PMIs were analyzed. Despite physical and physiological differences between species, western blot analysis revealed similar patterns in most of the investigated proteins. Even most degradation events occurred in comparable fashion. In some other aspects, however, human and animal profiles depicted distinct differences. The results of this experimental series clearly indicate the huge importance of comparative studies, whenever animal models are considered. Although animal models could be shown to reflect the basic principles of protein degradation processes in humans, we also gained insight in the difficulties and limitations of the applicability of the developed methodology in different mammalian species regarding protein specificity and methodic functionality.

  15. Postmortem Quetiapine Reference Concentrations in Brain and Blood.

    PubMed

    Skov, Louise; Johansen, Sys Stybe; Linnet, Kristian

    2015-09-01

    Brain tissue is a useful alternative to blood in postmortem forensic investigations, but scarcity of information on reference concentrations in brain tissue makes interpretation challenging. Here we present a study of 43 cases where the antipsychotic drug quetiapine was quantified in brain tissue and related to concentrations in postmortem blood. For cases, where quetiapine was unrelated to the cause of death (N = 36), the 10-90 percentiles for quetiapine concentrations in brain tissue were 0.030-1.54 mg/kg (median 0.48 mg/kg, mean 0.79 mg/kg). Corresponding blood 10-90 percentile values were 0.007-0.39 mg/kg (median 0.15 mg/kg, mean 0.19 mg/kg), giving brain-blood ratio 10-90 percentiles of 2.31-6.54 (median 3.87, mean 4.32). Both correspond well to the limited amount of data found in the literature. For cases where quetiapine was a contributing factor to death (N = 5), the median value in brain tissue of 8.02 mg/kg (range 2.69-22.98 mg/kg) was more than 15 times higher than the median of the nontoxic values, and about the same relationship occurred for blood with a median of 3.19 mg/kg (range 1.00-6.90 mg/kg). The brain-blood ratios for toxic concentrations were in the range of 2.08-6.05, which correspond to those of the nontoxic concentrations. A single case, where quetiapine was ruled as the sole cause of death, a suicide by quetiapine overdose, had an even higher value of 25.74 mg/kg in brain tissue. The blood concentration was 8.99 mg/kg, giving a brain-blood ratio of 2.86. Thus, on average the brain concentrations were about four times the blood concentrations. The brain concentrations of quetiapine observed in cases, where quetiapine was unrelated to death, may serve as a reference, when evaluating postmortem cases with no blood available. The recorded concentrations, where quetiapine was contributing to death, give an indication of likely toxic concentrations.

  16. Operational Toxicology Research

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-01

    AFRL-HE-WP-TR-2006-0082 Operational Toxicology Research Darol E. Dodd MaryAnn Angell Alion Science and Technology Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433...CONTRACT NUMBER Operational Toxicology Research Contract F336l5-00-C-6060 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHORISI 5d. PROJECT NUMBER...AFRLlWS 06-1865 14. ABSTRACT This is a final report for the Operational Toxicology Research (OTR) Contract F33615-00-C-6060 initiated in March, 2001 to

  17. Forensic web watch--forensic podiatry.

    PubMed

    Brown, T; Rutty, G N

    2003-12-01

    A search for forensic podiatry sites on the Internet revealed thousands of 'hits', of which very few were of any educational merit. Following extensive sifting of these addresses, it was found that only a few of the associations for human identification included any information on forensic podiatry methods. The search was also made difficult by many websites failing to make the distinction between studies of footwear prints and forensic podiatry: the study of barefoot impressions. At present, the volume and quality of information on the World Wide Web does not reflect the potential importance of podiatry in forensic investigations. The need for improvement in the quality and available information this field is therefore recommended.

  18. American Academy of Forensic Sciences

    MedlinePlus

    ... Want to Be a Forensic Scientist! Read More Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) Read More ‹ › The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a multi-disciplinary professional organization that provides ...

  19. Influence of CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 genotypes on venlafaxine metabolic ratios and stereoselective metabolism in forensic autopsy cases.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, L; Zackrisson, A-L; Josefsson, M; Carlsson, B; Green, H; Kugelberg, F C

    2015-04-01

    We investigated whether polymorphisms in the CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 genes influence the metabolic ratios and enantiomeric S/R ratios of venlafaxine (VEN) and its metabolites O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV), N-desmethylvenlafaxine (NDV) and N,O-didesmethylvenlafaxine (DDV) in blood from forensic autopsy cases. In all, 94 postmortem cases found positive for VEN during toxicological screening were included. The CYP2D6 genotype was shown to significantly influence the ODV/VEN (P=0.003), DDV/NDV (P=0.010) and DDV/ODV (P=0.034) ratios. The DDV/ODV (P=0.013) and DDV/VEN (P=0.021) ratios were significantly influenced by the CYP2C19 genotype. The S/R ratios of VEN were significantly influenced by both CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 genotypes. CYP2D6 poor metabolizers (PMs) had lower S/R VEN ratios and CYP2C19 PMs had high S/R ratios of VEN in comparison. Our results show that the CYP2D6 genotype influences the O-demethylation whereas CYP2C19 influences the N-demethylation of VEN and its metabolites. In addition, we show a stereoselective metabolism where CYP2D6 favours the R-enantiomer whereas CYP2C19 favours the S-enantiomer.

  20. Some challenges in forensic veterinary pathology: a review.

    PubMed

    Munro, R; Munro, H M C

    2013-07-01

    Forensic veterinary pathology is a diverse discipline that is in an early phase of its development. Common challenges include estimation of the age of skin wounds and bruises, the diagnosis of drowning and estimation of the time since death. However, many details of the pathological findings related to these various aspects await validation. The 'multispecies' nature of veterinary pathology, combined with the preponderance of published observations originating from animal experimentation, rather than casework, poses two challenges. Firstly, extrapolation of results between species may jeopardize the reliability (and credibility) of the forensic opinion. Secondly, experimental studies may not truly reflect the spectrum of changes seen in actual cases (e.g. extent of injuries, infection, age and health of victim). With regard to drowning, diagnosis based on post-mortem findings remains problematical. Methods for estimation of the time since death (also known as the post-mortem interval) continue to be a major focus of study, with fresh avenues such as post-mortem diagnostic imaging offering interesting possibilities.

  1. Parallel digital forensics infrastructure.

    SciTech Connect

    Liebrock, Lorie M.; Duggan, David Patrick

    2009-10-01

    This report documents the architecture and implementation of a Parallel Digital Forensics infrastructure. This infrastructure is necessary for supporting the design, implementation, and testing of new classes of parallel digital forensics tools. Digital Forensics has become extremely difficult with data sets of one terabyte and larger. The only way to overcome the processing time of these large sets is to identify and develop new parallel algorithms for performing the analysis. To support algorithm research, a flexible base infrastructure is required. A candidate architecture for this base infrastructure was designed, instantiated, and tested by this project, in collaboration with New Mexico Tech. Previous infrastructures were not designed and built specifically for the development and testing of parallel algorithms. With the size of forensics data sets only expected to increase significantly, this type of infrastructure support is necessary for continued research in parallel digital forensics. This report documents the implementation of the parallel digital forensics (PDF) infrastructure architecture and implementation.

  2. Postmortem angiography in computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in a case of fatal hemorrhage due to an arterio-venous malformation in the brain.

    PubMed

    Franckenberg, Sabine; Schulze, Claudia; Bolliger, Stephan A; Gascho, Dominic; Thali, Michael J; Flach, Patricia M

    2015-05-01

    Autopsy is the traditional gold standard for determining the cause and manner of death in a forensic death investigation. However, postmortem imaging plays an ever-growing role in preliminary examination, even replacing conventional autopsy in some cases. This case report presents a case of massive intra-axial brain hemorrhage due to an arterio-venous malformation. The cause and manner of death were exclusively determined by postmortem radiology. Based on radiological findings, the autopsy was considered redundant and cancelled by the public prosecutor.

  3. PCR in forensic genetics.

    PubMed

    Morling, Niels

    2009-04-01

    Since the introduction in the mid-1980s of analyses of minisatellites for DNA analyses, a revolution has taken place in forensic genetics. The subsequent invention of the PCR made it possible to develop forensic genetics tools that allow both very informative routine investigations and still more and more advanced, special investigations in cases concerning crime, paternity, relationship, disaster victim identification etc. The present review gives an update on the use of DNA investigations in forensic genetics.

  4. Forensic odontology: an overview.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Duane E

    2014-06-01

    This article is an overview of the field of forensic odontology, highlighting historical cases, with an emphasis on California cases, and briefly discussing some of the current techniques and issues in the field. As with all fields of dentistry, forensic odontology is adapting to new methodologies, changes in techniques, research findings and legal issues. Today's dentist who works in the forensic arena must face and understand these changes and advancements.

  5. Toxicology Education Foundation

    MedlinePlus

    ... our newest video Toxicity Today offering a comic taste of the “sometimes not poisonous and sometimes very ... History In the Classroom Nanotechnology Occupational Toxicology Pesticides Product Safety Program Reproduction Risk Risk Assessment Smoking Tox ...

  6. Computational Toxicology (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The emerging field of computational toxicology applies mathematical and computer models and molecular biological and chemical approaches to explore both qualitative and quantitative relationships between sources of environmental pollutant exposure and adverse health outcomes. Th...

  7. Downloadable Computational Toxicology Data

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA’s computational toxicology research generates data that investigates the potential harm, or hazard of a chemical, the degree of exposure to chemicals as well as the unique chemical characteristics. This data is publicly available here.

  8. Computational Toxicology (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The emerging field of computational toxicology applies mathematical and computer models and molecular biological and chemical approaches to explore both qualitative and quantitative relationships between sources of environmental pollutant exposure and adverse health outcomes. Th...

  9. National Toxicology Program

    MedlinePlus

    ... Initiative Public Health Public Health Impact Report on Carcinogens Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods Health Assessment and ... 04/2016 HHS Releases the 14th Report on Carcinogens 11/03/2016 Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting ...

  10. Postmortem computed tomography angiography vs. conventional autopsy: advantages and inconveniences of each method.

    PubMed

    Chevallier, Christine; Christine, Chevallier; Doenz, Francesco; Francesco, Doenz; Vaucher, Paul; Paul, Vaucher; Palmiere, Cristian; Cristian, Palmiere; Dominguez, Alejandro; Alejandro, Dominguez; Binaghi, Stefano; Stefano, Binaghi; Mangin, Patrice; Patrice, Mangin; Grabherr, Silke; Silke, Grabherr

    2013-09-01

    Postmortem computed tomography angiography (PMCTA) was introduced into forensic investigations a few years ago. It provides reliable images that can be consulted at any time. Conventional autopsy remains the reference standard for defining the cause of death, but provides only limited possibility of a second examination. This study compares these two procedures and discusses findings that can be detected exclusively using each method. This retrospective study compared radiological reports from PMCTA to reports from conventional autopsy for 50 forensic autopsy cases. Reported findings from autopsy and PMCTA were extracted and compared to each other. PMCTA was performed using a modified heart-lung machine and the oily contrast agent Angiofil® (Fumedica AG, Muri, Switzerland). PMCTA and conventional autopsy would have drawn similar conclusions regarding causes of death. Nearly 60 % of all findings were visualized with both techniques. PMCTA demonstrates a higher sensitivity for identifying skeletal and vascular lesions. However, vascular occlusions due to postmortem blood clots could be falsely assumed to be vascular lesions. In contrast, conventional autopsy does not detect all bone fractures or the exact source of bleeding. Conventional autopsy provides important information about organ morphology and remains the only way to diagnose a vital vascular occlusion with certitude. Overall, PMCTA and conventional autopsy provide comparable findings. However, each technique presents advantages and disadvantages for detecting specific findings. To correctly interpret findings and clearly define the indications for PMCTA, these differences must be understood.

  11. Application of MALDI-TOF MS for Estimating the Postmortem Interval in Rat Muscle Samples.

    PubMed

    Li, Chengzhi; Ma, Dong; Deng, Kaifei; Chen, Yijiu; Huang, Ping; Wang, Zhenyuan

    2017-09-01

    Estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) is very important in the forensic sciences. Although many approaches have been used for estimating the PMI, accurate PMI calculations are still difficult. In this study, four Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were sacrificed by suffocation, and muscle samples were collected by dissection at various time intervals (0, 48, 96, and 144 h) after death. All samples were probed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) to obtain molecular images and data for principal component analysis (PCA). The results showed that the peaks at m/z 1511, 1543, 1564, 1586 clearly decreased in intensity from 0 to 144 h postmortem and that the time groups were separated from each other on the PCA score plot. The prediction model showed high recognition capability (95.93%) and cross-validation (83.72%). Our work suggests that MALDI-TOF MS can be used to determine the PMI. © 2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  12. Progress in computational toxicology.

    PubMed

    Ekins, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Computational methods have been widely applied to toxicology across pharmaceutical, consumer product and environmental fields over the past decade. Progress in computational toxicology is now reviewed. A literature review was performed on computational models for hepatotoxicity (e.g. for drug-induced liver injury (DILI)), cardiotoxicity, renal toxicity and genotoxicity. In addition various publications have been highlighted that use machine learning methods. Several computational toxicology model datasets from past publications were used to compare Bayesian and Support Vector Machine (SVM) learning methods. The increasing amounts of data for defined toxicology endpoints have enabled machine learning models that have been increasingly used for predictions. It is shown that across many different models Bayesian and SVM perform similarly based on cross validation data. Considerable progress has been made in computational toxicology in a decade in both model development and availability of larger scale or 'big data' models. The future efforts in toxicology data generation will likely provide us with hundreds of thousands of compounds that are readily accessible for machine learning models. These models will cover relevant chemistry space for pharmaceutical, consumer product and environmental applications. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Postmortem bacteriology: a re‐evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Morris, J A; Harrison, L M; Partridge, S M

    2006-01-01

    Aim To assess the value of postmortem bacteriology in necropsy practice, with specific emphasis on bacterial invasion of blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Methods A review of published articles on postmortem bacteriology. Studies were selected to cover the full range of necropsy practice including adults, the perinatal period, and infancy. The review covers over 5000 necropsies, mainly in adults, but including 1108 perinatal cases and 468 cases of sudden unexpected death in infancy. Data are available on 4992 blood cultures, 1168 specimens of CSF, and 743 cultures of spleen. Results Studies in which careful precautions have been taken to reduce contamination show that approximately two thirds of blood cultures are negative, two in nine yield a single isolate, and one in nine have a mixed growth. The postmortem interval has only a small effect on the isolation rate. A pure growth of a known pathogen has a more than 50% likelihood of being found in association with genuine infection in adults and in the perinatal period. Conclusions The main postmortem artefact is contamination, but this can be considerably reduced by careful technique. Agonal spread is less common than is often assumed. Postmortem translocation is not a problem if the body is appropriately stored. A pure growth of a pathogen in blood or CSF should be regarded as a possible contributing factor to death at all ages. PMID:16394274

  14. Recent applications of mass spectrometry in forensic toxicology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foltz, Rodger L.

    1992-09-01

    This review encompasses applications of mass spectrometry reported during the years 1989, 1990 and 1991 for the analysis of cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and their metabolites in physiological specimens.

  15. Sudden death as a late sequel of Kawasaki disease: postmortem CT demonstration of coronary artery aneurysm.

    PubMed

    Okura, Naoki; Okuda, Takahisa; Shiotani, Seiji; Kohno, Mototsugu; Hayakawa, Hideyuki; Suzuki, Atsuko; Kawasaki, Tomisaku

    2013-02-10

    Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute, self-limited vasculitis of unknown etiology that primarily affects the coronary artery (CA) and presents during childhood. The characteristic coronary arterial lesion of KD is an aneurysm. Ischemic heart disease derived from a CA aneurysm is experienced approximately two decades after the onset of acute KD. In recent years, the primary issue of concern has been asymptomatic adults with a CA aneurysm caused by undiagnosed KD. We present a case of sudden death as a late KD sequel in a young adult. A postmortem CT scan revealed a coarse calcification of a left anterior descending CA aneurysm, which was confirmed at the time of autopsy. A postmortem CT scan is useful in cases of sudden death where the detection of a calcified CA aneurysm would suggest to the forensic pathologist that the deceased suffered from a late sequel of KD. The use of screening postmortem CT scans for young people may detect cases of unsuspected CA aneurysms, raising the possibility of untreated KD.

  16. [Determination of death and post-mortem examination on the high seas].

    PubMed

    Buschmann, Claas T; Tsokos, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Usually death has to be determined by a physician. Deaths on board of ocean-going vessels confront the crew with special challenges, as on the high seas--especially in the container and cargo ship business--often no physician will be available and death has to be determined by medical laymen such as the captain or the medical officer. To document the determination of death, a "Provisional Certificate of Death on the High Seas" is presented. Moreover, an algorithm "Provisional Post-Mortem Examination on the High Seas" is presented to document the results and the practical performance of the external post-mortem examination by medical laymen on a ship. With the help of concrete procedural instructions medical laymen on board of sea-going vessels are to be enabled to determine the death of a human being beyond doubt, to perform a preliminary external post-mortem examination and to store the corpse according to forensic requirements until the ship reaches a port and the body is delivered to the harbour physician.

  17. Skin analysis following dermal exposure to kerosene in rats: the effects of postmortem exposure and fire.

    PubMed

    Hieda, Yoko; Tsujino, Yoshio; Xue, Yuying; Takayama, Koji; Fujihara, Junko; Kimura, Kojiro; Dekio, Satoshi

    2004-02-01

    To evaluate the usefulness of skin analysis for the forensic examination of cases involving postmortem dermal exposure to kerosene and/or fire, an experimental study using rats was performed. Rats received dermal exposure to kerosene before or after death, and the effect of fire was determined by burning an area of exposed skin after death. Kerosene concentrations in skin and blood were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and microscopic observation was performed for skin samples. No differences were observed in skin kerosene levels between antemortem and postmortem exposure. Kerosene concentrations in mildly burned skin where the stratum corneum (SC) was retained were approximately 84% compared to those in non-burned exposed skin, whereas concentrations in severely burned skin where the SC was almost completely burned off were 28% of non-burned skin. Even in non-exposed control skin 14% of the original kerosene concentrations could be detected, which was considered to be caused by contamination during the experimental protocol combined with kerosene's property of a high affinity for the SC. These results suggest that (1) skin analysis is useful in estimating the type of petroleum product involved in crimes or accidents even for postmortem exposure, (2) whether the SC is retained or not primarily determined the kerosene levels in burned skin, and (3) attention must be paid to evaluate the results obtained from skin samples in the light of the circumstances surrounding the case.

  18. Explanatory model of cattle death by starvation in Manitoba: forensic evaluation.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Terry L; Postey, Rosemary C; Chestley, Seylene T; Wruck, Gustave C

    2012-11-01

    Cattle death by starvation is a persistent annual event in Manitoba. Herds with more than 10% overwinter death loss are usually identified in the late winter or early spring. Field and postmortem findings suggest that there is complete mobilization of fat followed by inability to maintain adequate thermoregulation and death by cardiac arrest. Carcasses show only mild evidence of muscle catabolism and are in excellent preservation if located prior to or around the time of spring thaw. A forensic diagnosis of death by starvation-induced exposure can be made with a high level of confidence when considering field data, whole carcass appearance, and postmortem evaluation of residual fat stores.

  19. A new mathematical modelling based shape extraction technique for Forensic Odontology.

    PubMed

    G, Jaffino; A, Banumathi; Gurunathan, Ulaganathan; B, Vijayakumari; J, Prabin Jose

    2017-04-01

    Forensic Odontology is a specific means for identifying a person in which deceased, and particularly in fatality incidents. The algorithm can be proposed to identify a person by comparing both postmortem (PM) and antemortem (AM) dental radiographs and photographs. This work aims to introduce a new mathematical algorithm for photographs in addition with radiographs. Isoperimetric graph partitioning method is used to extract the shape of dental images in forensic identification. Shape matching is done by comparing AM and PM dental images using both similarity and distance measures. Experimental results prove that the higher matching distance is observed by distance metric rather than similarity measures. The results of this algorithm show that a high hit rate is observed for distance based performance measures and it is well suited for forensic odontologist to identify a person. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  20. An Update on the Hazards and Risks of Forensic Anthropology, Part I: Human Remains.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Lindsey G; Dabbs, Gretchen R; Spencer, Jessica R

    2016-01-01

    This work reviews the hazards and risks of practicing forensic anthropology in North America, with a focus on pathogens encountered through contact with unpreserved human remains. Since the publication of Galloway and Snodgrass' seminal paper concerning the hazards of forensic anthropology, research has provided new information about known pathogen hazards, and regulating authorities have updated recommendations for the recognition and treatment of several infections. Additionally, forensic anthropology has gained popularity, exposing an increased number of students and practitioners to these hazards. Current data suggest many occupational exposures to blood or body fluids go unreported, especially among students, highlighting the need for this discussion. For each pathogen and associated disease, this work addresses important history, reviews routes of exposure, provides an overview of symptoms and treatments, lists decontamination procedures, and presents data on postmortem viability. Personal protection and laboratory guidelines should be established and enforced in conjunction with the consideration of these data. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  1. [Progress on epigenetics applications in forensic science].

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya-ran; Wang, Peng-xiang; Fang, Xiang-dong; Yan, Jiang-wei

    2012-10-01

    Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Such changes include DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation and non-coding RNA regulation. Recent progresses on epigenetics open new possibilities in tackling these challenging problems in forensic science, including identification of fetal paternity testing in embryonic period, determination of the necessary allele in paternity testing, discrimination of identical twins, origination analysis of micro tissue, verification of forged DNA. This review focuses on epigenetics concept and its latest application in the field of paternity testing, age estimation, discrimination between the twins, identification of tissue of origin, and estimation of postmortem interval.

  2. Characterization of postmortem biochemical changes in rabbit plasma using ATR-FTIR combined with chemometrics: A preliminary study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ji; Li, Bing; Wang, Qi; Li, Chengzhi; Zhang, Yinming; Lin, Hancheng; Wang, Zhenyuan

    2017-02-01

    Postmortem interval (PMI) determination is one of the most challenging tasks in forensic medicine due to a lack of accurate and reliable methods. It is especially difficult for late PMI determination. Although many attempts with various types of body fluids based on chemical methods have been made to solve this problem, few investigations are focused on blood samples. In this study, we employed an attenuated total reflection (ATR)-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) technique coupled with principle component analysis (PCA) to monitor biochemical changes in rabbit plasma with increasing PMI. Partial least square (PLS) model was used based on the spectral data for PMI prediction in an independent sample set. Our results revealed that postmortem chemical changes in compositions of the plasma were time-dependent, and various components including proteins, lipids and nucleic acids contributed to the discrimination of the samples at different time points. A satisfactory prediction within 48 h postmortem was performed by the combined PLS model with a good fitting between actual and predicted PMI of 0.984 and with an error of ± 1.92 h. In consideration of the simplicity and portability of ATR-FTIR, our preliminary study provides an experimental and theoretical basis for application of this technique in forensic practice.

  3. [The markers of wound vitality in forensic pathology].

    PubMed

    Gauchotte, Guillaume; Martrille, Laurent; Plénat, François; Vignaud, Jean-Michel

    2013-04-01

    Skin wounds datation is one of the most challenging problems in forensic pathology. The vitality of a recent wound cannot be affirmed when no inflammatory cell is visible. There are in the literature numerous studies about wound vitality, looking for markers involved in coagulation or inflammation, using various methods such as enzymology, molecular biology or immunohistochemistry. In this update, we first introduce some methodological principles to respect. Then, we review the main studies available in the literature. We insist on immunohistochemistry, which seems to be the more valuable method, given its easiness to perform and the possibility to analyze the localization of the molecules of interest. Some markers are promising, such as TNFα, IL-6, IL-1β, TGFα or TGFβ1. Before using them in daily practice, these first results need to be confirmed with other studies, driven by independent teams and integrating multiple controls. Most notably, the antibodies have to be tested in numerous post-mortem wounds. Indeed, there is a critical risk of overexpression in post-mortem wounds, and some interesting markers have been secondary invalidated because of post-mortem false positivity (e.g. fibronectin, P-selectin). Finally, optimal sensibility and specificity values would be probably reached by combining several markers, validated with large groups of pre- and post-mortem wounds.

  4. Postmortem abdominal radiographic findings in feline cadavers.

    PubMed

    Heng, Hock Gan; Teoh, Wen Tian; Sheikh-Omar, Abdul Rahman

    2008-01-01

    Postmortem radiographic examinations of animals are commonly performed in judicial investigations to rule out gunshot and fractures. However, there was no available data on radiographic postmortem changes of animals. Forty-one sets of abdominal radiographs of feline cadavers made within 12 h of death were evaluated for postmortem changes. Intravascular gas was detected in 11 of 41 (27%) cadavers. The most common site of intravascular gas was the liver. Intravascular gas was also present in the aorta, femoral artery, celiac and cranial mesenteric arteries, and caudal superficial epigastric artery. Intrasplenic gas was detected in two cadavers. Only two cadavers had distended small intestine. One cadaver had pneumatosis coli. The changes detected were most likely due to putrefaction.

  5. Forensic Science Technician

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tech Directions, 2010

    2010-01-01

    Forensic science technicians, also called crime laboratory technicians or police science technicians, help solve crimes. They examine and identify physical evidence to reconstruct a crime scene. This article discusses everything students need to know about careers for forensic science technicians--wages, responsibilities, skills needed, career…

  6. Forensic video image analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Thomas R.

    1997-02-01

    Forensic video image analysis is a new scientific tool for perpetrator enhancement and identification in poorly recorded crime scene situations. Forensic video image analysis is emerging technology for law enforcement, industrial security and surveillance addressing the following problems often found in these poor quality video recorded incidences.

  7. Forensic Science Technician

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tech Directions, 2010

    2010-01-01

    Forensic science technicians, also called crime laboratory technicians or police science technicians, help solve crimes. They examine and identify physical evidence to reconstruct a crime scene. This article discusses everything students need to know about careers for forensic science technicians--wages, responsibilities, skills needed, career…

  8. Role of forensic odontologist in post mortem person identification

    PubMed Central

    Pramod, Jahagirdar B.; Marya, Anand; Sharma, Vidhii

    2012-01-01

    The natural teeth are the most durable organs in the bodies of vertebrates, and humankind's understanding of their own past and evolution relies heavily upon remnant dental evidence found as fossils. The use of features unique to the human dentition as an aid to personal identification is widely accepted within the forensic field. Comparative dental identifications play a major role in identifying the victims of violence, disaster or other mass tragedies. The comparison of ante-mortem and postmortem dental records to determine human identity has long been established. Indeed, it is still a major identification method in criminal investigations, mass disasters, grossly decomposed or traumatized bodies, and in other situations where visual identification is neither possible nor desirable. This article has comprehensively described some of the methods, and additional factors aiding in postmortem person identification. PMID:23559914

  9. Soil Microbial Forensics.

    PubMed

    Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M; Cano, Raúl J

    2016-08-01

    Soil microbial forensics can be defined as the study of how microorganisms can be applied to forensic investigations. The field of soil microbial forensics is of increasing interest and applies techniques commonly used in diverse disciplines in order to identify microbes and determine their abundances, complexities, and interactions with soil and surrounding objects. Emerging new techniques are also providing insights into the complexity of microbes in soil. Soil may harbor unique microbes that may reflect specific physical and chemical characteristics indicating site specificity. While applications of some of these techniques in the field of soil microbial forensics are still in early stages, we are still gaining insight into how microorganisms may be more robustly used in forensic investigations.

  10. Forensic psychiatry in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Tariq; Nizami, Asad Tamizuddin; Hirji, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    This article reviews existing forensic psychiatric services in Pakistan highlighting the role played by the judicial and the medical fraternity in managing the legal and forensic issues of the population of patients with mental illnesses. Until 2001, all legal and forensic issues were dealt with the mental health legislation of 1912, the Lunacy Act of 1912. This was inherited from the British rulers in the Sub-Continent at the time. The Mental Health Ordinance of 2001 could not sustain following the 18th constitutional amendment in 2010, whereby psychiatric healthcare was devolved to the provinces from the previous federal authority. The article also highlights the difficulties and the barriers in implementation of the forensic psychiatric services in Pakistan at various levels within the healthcare system. This article also delves into the current framework of training in forensic psychiatry for postgraduates as well as the assessments and management schedules for the mentally ill offenders at tertiary care institutions in Pakistan.

  11. Postmortem assay of digoxin by radioimmunoassay.

    PubMed Central

    Holt, D W; Benstead, J G

    1975-01-01

    Analysis of postmortem blood samples from patients previously on maintenance digoxin therapy suggests that the results are of value in assessing the degree of digitalization at the time of death. Control cases gave results within the normal therapeutic range wheras of six cases in which digoxin was suspected of being implicated in the death five had 'serum' digoxin levels above the therapeutic range. Differences in digoxin concentration were noted in blood collected from three sites in the body, and it is suggested that postmortem blood should be collected from the leg veins if assessment of antermortem digitalization is to be made. PMID:1141449

  12. Interpreting results of ethanol analysis in postmortem specimens: a review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Kugelberg, Fredrik C; Jones, Alan Wayne

    2007-01-05

    We searched the scientific literature for articles dealing with postmortem aspects of ethanol and problems associated with making a correct interpretation of the results. A person's blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) and state of inebriation at the time of death is not always easy to establish owing to various postmortem artifacts. The possibility of alcohol being produced in the body after death, e.g. via microbial contamination and fermentation is a recurring issue in routine casework. If ethanol remains unabsorbed in the stomach at the time of death, this raises the possibility of continued local diffusion into surrounding tissues and central blood after death. Skull trauma often renders a person unconscious for several hours before death, during which time the BAC continues to decrease owing to metabolism in the liver. Under these circumstances blood from an intracerebral or subdural clot is a useful specimen for determination of ethanol. Bodies recovered from water are particular problematic to deal with owing to possible dilution of body fluids, decomposition, and enhanced risk of microbial synthesis of ethanol. The relationship between blood and urine-ethanol concentrations has been extensively investigated in autopsy specimens and the urine/blood concentration ratio might give a clue about the stage of alcohol absorption and distribution at the time of death. Owing to extensive abdominal trauma in aviation disasters (e.g. rupture of the viscera), interpretation of BAC in autopsy specimens from the pilot and crew is highly contentious and great care is needed to reach valid conclusions. Vitreous humor is strongly recommended as a body fluid for determination of ethanol in postmortem toxicology to help establish whether the deceased had consumed ethanol before death. Less common autopsy specimens submitted for analysis include bile, bone marrow, brain, testicle, muscle tissue, liver, synovial and cerebrospinal fluids. Some investigators recommend measuring the

  13. Aerospace Toxicology and Microbiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.; Parmet, A. J.; Pierson, Duane L.

    2007-01-01

    Toxicology dates to the very earliest history of humanity with various poisons and venom being recognized as a method of hunting or waging war with the earliest documentation in the Evers papyrus (circa 1500 BCE). The Greeks identified specific poisons such as hemlock, a method of state execution, and the Greek word toxos (arrow) became the root of our modern science. The first scientific approach to the understanding of poisons and toxicology was the work during the late middle ages of Paracelsus. He formulated what were then revolutionary views that a specific toxic agent or "toxicon" caused specific dose-related effects. His principles have established the basis of modern pharmacology and toxicology. In 1700, Bernardo Ramazzini published the book De Morbis Artificum Diatriba (The Diseases of Workers) describing specific illnesses associated with certain labor, particularly metal workers exposed to mercury, lead, arsenic, and rock dust. Modern toxicology dates from development of the modern industrial chemical processes, the earliest involving an analytical method for arsenic by Marsh in 1836. Industrial organic chemicals were synthesized in the late 1800 s along with anesthetics and disinfectants. In 1908, Hamilton began the long study of occupational toxicology issues, and by WW I the scientific use of toxicants saw Haber creating war gases and defining time-dosage relationships that are used even today.

  14. Teaching post-mortem external examination in undergraduate medical education--the formal and the informal curriculum.

    PubMed

    Anders, Sven; Fischer-Bruegge, Dorothee; Fabian, Merle; Raupach, Tobias; Petersen-Ewert, Corinna; Harendza, Sigrid

    2011-07-15

    In undergraduate medical education, the training of post-mortem external examination on dead bodies might evoke strong emotional reactions in medical students that could counteract the intended learning goals. We evaluated student perception of a forensic medicine course, their perceived learning outcome (via self-assessment) and possible tutor-dependent influences on the overall evaluation of the course by a questionnaire-based survey among 150 medical students in Hamburg, Germany. The majority of students identified post-mortem external examination as an important learning objective in undergraduate medical education and did not feel that the dignity of the deceased was offended by the course procedures. After the course, more than 70% of the students felt able to perform an external examination and to fill in a death certificate. Respectful behavior of course tutors towards the deceased entailed better overall course ratings by students (p<0.001). Our findings highlight the importance of factors such as clearly defined learning goals and course standardization (formal curriculum) as well as tutor behavior (informal curriculum) in undergraduate education in forensic medicine. Furthermore, we suggest embedding teaching in forensic medicine in longitudinal curricula on death and dying and on the health consequences of interpersonal violence.

  15. Post-mortem CT: Hounsfield unit profiles obtained in the lungs with respect to the cause of death assessment.

    PubMed

    Schober, Daniel; Schwendener, Nicole; Zech, Wolf-Dieter; Jackowski, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Segmentation of the lungs using post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) data was so far not feasible due to post-mortem changes such as internal livores. Recently, an Osirix plug-in has been developed allowing automatically segmenting lungs also in PMCT data. The aim of this study was to investigate if the Hounsfield unit (HU) profiles obtained in PMCT data of the segmented lung tissue present with specific behaviour in relation to the cause of death. In 105 PMCT data sets of forensic cases, the entire lung volumes were segmented using the Mia Lite plug-in on Osirix. HU profiles of the lungs were generated and correlated to cause of death groups as assessed after forensic autopsy (cardiac death, fatal haemorrhage, craniocerebral injury, intoxication, drowning, hypothermia, hanging and suffocation). Especially cardiac death cases, intoxication cases, fatal haemorrhage cases and hypothermia cases showed very specific HU profiles. In drowning, the profiles showed two different behaviours representing wet and dry drowning. HU profiles rather varied in craniocerebral injury cases, hanging cases as well as in suffocation cases. HU profiles of the lungs segmented from PMCT data may support the cause of death diagnosis as they represent specific morphological changes in the lungs such as oedema, congestion or blood loss. Especially in cardiac death, intoxication, fatal haemorrhage, hypothermia and drowning cases, HU profiles may be very supportive for the forensic pathologist.

  16. Discrimination potential of root canal treated tooth in forensic dentistry.

    PubMed

    Khalid, K; Yousif, S; Satti, A

    2016-07-01

    Forensic Odontology is a vital component of forensic science and one branch involves the application of dental science to the identification of unknown human remains. The aim of this study is to investigate the discriminatory potential for identification of the radiographic morphology of obturated single root canals. Thirty periapical radiographs of patients having endodontic treatment of single rooted canals were selected randomly from the data bank of the digital X- ray system present in the restorative department, University of Science and Technology, Sudan. The post-operative radiographs were considered as an ant-mortem data "Set 1". Ten radiographs from the thirty were reprinted, labelled from (A-J) and considered as a post-mortem data "Set 2". This post-mortem group of 10 radiographs "Set 2" would be compared with the ante-mortem group of 30 radiographs comprising "Set 1". These two sets of radiographs would be examined by 40 dentally trained personnel. The thirty radiographs comprising "Set 1" and the 10 radiographs comprising "Set 2" were provided to each of the examiners who were asked to match the individual post-mortem radiographs ("Set 2") with the ante-mortem radiographs ("Set1"). The result demonstrated that 34 examiners achieved a success rate of 100%, 4 examiners achieved a success rate of 97.5% (1 mismatch) and 2 examiners achieved a success rate of 95% (2 mismatches). The radiographic images of obturated single-rooted teeth in this study were shown to have highly- specific morphological features. It is proposed that, in cases where the ante and post-mortem radiographs of a single-rooted obturated canal show similar morphology, this commonality of morphology can be used as a tool in the identification process.

  17. [The concept of "forensic medicine"].

    PubMed

    Popov, V L

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of the definition of forensic medicine and its evolution during the past 300 years is presented. The special character of forensic medicine, its subject-matter, scope of research, procedures, goals and targeted application of forensic medical knowledge are discussed. The original definition of the notion of "forensic medicine" is proposed.

  18. The Evolution of Toxicology and Chemical Regulation ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Presentation for lecture for the 17th Annual Sitlington Lecture in Toxicology at Oklahoma State University Interdisciplinary Toxicology Symposium Presentation for lecture for the 17th Annual Sitlington Lecture in Toxicology at Oklahoma State University Interdisciplinary Toxicology Symposium

  19. Review of Urinalysis Drug Testing Program. Report by a Panel of Army and Civilian Experts in Toxicology and Drug Testing Legal Issues for the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-12-12

    the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Simon is a consultant on forensic toxicology and currently is the Director of Industrial...THC ratio algorithm, and no laboratory has the personnel trained to provide forensic testimony on the THC or other drug GC/MS data. d. The GC/MS...adequate expertise to support GC/MS internally and forensically document (for courts-martial) GC/MS. The USAF Homestead AFB case is a glaring example of

  20. [Use of personal computers in forensic medicine facilities].

    PubMed

    Vorel, F

    1995-08-01

    The authors present a brief account of possibilities to use computers, type PC, in departments of forensic medicine and discuss basic technical and programme equipment. In the author's opinion the basic reason for using computers is to create an extensive database of post-mortem findings which would make it possible to process them on a large scale and use them for research and prevention. Introduction of computers depends on the management of the department and it is necessary to persuade workers-future users of computers-of the advantages associated with their use.

  1. [Forensic entomology and globalisation].

    PubMed

    Turchetto, M; Vanin, S

    2004-06-01

    The main aim of Forensic Entomology has always been, and is today, to establish the time of death (P.M.I.: Postmortem Period) or, more exactly, how long a carrion has been exposed in the environment. Most of the invertebrate fauna occurring on corpses consists of insects (mostly Diptera and Coleoptera). They are selectively attracted by the decomposing status of the carrion, and form complex communities or biocenosis within necrophagous or sarcophagous species and their predators, parasites and parasitoids, competing each one another. The rapid and continuos changes of the micro-ecosystem (the body), until its breakdown, does not permit the achievement of a steady state or an equilibrium in the animal communities. These continuous modifications give us the possibility to estimate when (and where) the death has occurred, by the identification of the species feeding on the corpse, the knowledge of their life history, and the length of each stage of their cycle at varying the temperature and the other abiotic factors, external to the carrion ecosystem. The P.M.I. today is still largely based on the tables of faunal succession on human cadavers recognised by Mégin in 1894, with few changes proposed by Authors from other countries. In the last years, however, it happens more and more often, that the natural communities are subverted by the presence of allocton species, which can compete, predate or parasite the most common local sarcophagous insects, modifying, this way, the succession waves and the trophic nets. The immission in the environment of foreign species may be voluntary or casual, but in any case is due to anthropic activities. The voluntary immission happens when some species, employed in the biological struggle against pest or dangerous insects, for pollination of allocton plants, or for other commercial utilities, are beyond man's control and swarm onto the environment; the casual spread is due to the globalisation phenomenon, that distributes the "little

  2. Immunohistochemical detection of S100A1 in the postmortem diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sudden cardiac death resulting from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) constitutes a significant percentage of the caseload for forensic and clinical pathologists. When sudden death occurs at an early stage (<6 h), pathologists experience difficulty in the postmortem diagnosis of AMI. Because of the specific tissue distribution of S100A1 and its relationship with acute ischemic heart disease, this study aimed to evaluate the performance of S100A1 in the postmortem diagnosis of AMI. Methods We constructed a rat model of AMI through permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) to investigate the depletion of S100A1 from ischemic cardiomyocytes by immunohistochemistry and measuring S100A1 plasma concentrations by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at varying post-infarction intervals. In addition, immunohistochemical staining of S100A1 for definite infarction, suspected early infarction, and in normal human hearts, was also performed to test its practical feasibility for postmortem diagnosis of AMI at an early stage. Results As early as 15 min after ligation of the LAD, depletion of S100A1 was observed in ischemic cardiomyocytes, and S100A1 plasma concentration was also significantly higher than that of the sham-operated group (P < 0.001). With continuation of the occlusion time, the depleted areas of S100A1 further expanded and S100A1 plasma concentrations further increased. For autopsy material, all human cases of definite myocardial infarction and suspected early infarction showed well-defined areas without S100A1 staining. None of the normal human cases showed diffuse depletion of S100A1. Conclusion Our results suggest that immunohistochemical detection of S100A1 is useful for the postmortem diagnosis of AMI at an early stage. Virtual slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/4366650979519818 PMID:23683996

  3. Advanced urine toxicology testing.

    PubMed

    Tenore, Peter L

    2010-10-01

    Urine toxicology screening testing is an important standard of care in the addiction and pain treatment setting, offering a reproducible, unbiased, and accurate laboratory test to monitor patients and provide objective support for clinical observations. It has been shown that physicians do not have proficiency in the ordering or interpretation of these tests. This article is an attempt to respond to that need. Current antibody-based enzymatic immunoassays (EIAs) used for urine toxicology screening are useful to detect classes of drugs (ex., opiate) but cannot determine which specific drug (ex., morphine) is present. Gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy can determine exactly which drugs are present, allowing prescribed (or illicit) opiates and benzodiazepines to be identified. This article will discuss principles and details of opiate and benzodiazepine EIA and gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy urine toxicology testing. The approach to detecting patients attributing positive opiate EIAs to prescription opiates who are using heroin or other opioids will be reviewed. Cases of controlled prescription drugs that do not produce the expected positive urine tests (ex., oxycodone producing negative opiate screening tests) will be discussed. How to differentiate codeine from heroin and the role of poppy seeds in toxicology will be examined. The case of an anti-depressant drug that produces false-positive benzodiazepine results and antibiotics that cause positive opiate urine toxicology results will be reviewed. Common benzodiazepines (ex., clonazepam and lorazepam) that do not reliably produce positive benzodiazepine EIAs will be discussed. The approach to detection and management of all these types of toxicology cases will be reviewed, and it is hoped that the analyses presented will impart an adequate information base to medical providers and staff members of drug treatment and pain centers, enabling them to order and interpret these tests in the clinic more

  4. Estimation of postmortem interval in real cases based on experimentally obtained entomological evidence.

    PubMed

    Arnaldos, M I; García, M D; Romera, E; Presa, J J; Luna, A

    2005-04-20

    Using the entomological evidence obtained in several forensic cases analyzed in our laboratory for comparison, we evaluated the results of an experimental study carried out in a semiurban setting to determine the structure of the sarcosaprophagous fauna from a Mediterranean region of SE Spain. In all, 18 orders of arthropods were collected. The summarized experimental results refer to the most important taxa for estimating the postmortem interval. Thus, the seasonal character of certain Diptera species, such as Phaenicia sericata, Calliphora vicina, Chrysomya albiceps and Musca domestica, is cited. Among the Coleoptera, the role of Dermestidae as a necrophagous species, and of Staphylinidae and Histeridae as necrophilous, or Cleridae, Tenebrionidae and Nitidulidae as omnivorous, as well as their appearance on the corpse, is described. Among the Hymenoptera, Formicidae were as the most abundant group, acting as omnivores and not apparently related to any particular decomposition stage. The real cases are discussed using data from the literature and the experimentally obtained results. In every case, the most relevant factors for estimating PMI are briefly discussed, mentioning, when possible, the relation with the experimental results. We confirm the significance of the experimental results because they seem to be applicable to actual forensic cases, the details of which enlarge our very little knowledge on the subject in the Iberian Peninsula. The importance of regional faunistic studies of the sarcosaprophagous arthropod community, the results of which may be applied to forensic practice, is mentioned.

  5. Cyanide quantification in post-mortem biological matrices by headspace GC-MS.

    PubMed

    Desharnais, Brigitte; Huppé, Geneviève; Lamarche, Martine; Mireault, Pascal; Skinner, Cameron D

    2012-10-10

    Cyanide is a powerful chemical asphyxiant found in some forensic cases following voluntary (suicide) or involuntary ingestion (fire, accidental exposure). A quantification method for cyanide that is specifically suited to post-mortem forensic purposes was developed. Determination was performed by headspace gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry using a GS-GASPRO column on an HP-6890 gas chromatograph with an HP-5973N mass detector. The biological sample was treated with an internal standard, frozen, glacial acetic acid was added and the sample was then incubated at 60°C for 15 min. The headspace was sampled with a disposable syringe, and analyzed to quantify hydrogen cyanide. Isotopically labeled cyanide ((13)C(15)N) was used as the internal standard to minimize matrix effect and sampling error. The method produced an extended linear dynamic range (0.07-50 μg/mL), and a method detection limit of 0.02 μg/mL. Identical calibration curves were obtained when blood, gastric contents and aqueous solutions were used as the calibration standard matrix. This method was also successful in quantitating cyanide in gastric contents, one of the most variable biological fluids. The method has been validated and is being used for current forensic cases such as fire victims and suicides. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Jennifer M.; Erb, Racheal; Pechal, Jennifer L.; Wallace, John R.; McEwan, Ryan W.; Benbow, Mark Eric

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses) and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles) communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context. PMID:27681897

  7. The use of Leptodyctium riparium (Hedw.) Warnst in the estimation of minimum postmortem interval.

    PubMed

    Lancia, Massimo; Conforti, Federica; Aleffi, Michele; Caccianiga, Marco; Bacci, Mauro; Rossi, Riccardo

    2013-01-01

    The estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) is still one of the most challenging issues in forensic investigations, especially in cases in which advanced transformative phenomena have taken place. The dating of skeletal remains is even more difficult and sometimes only a rough determination of the PMI is possible. Recent studies suggest that plant analysis can provide a reliable estimation for skeletal remains dating, when traditional techniques are not applicable. Forensic Botany is a relatively recent discipline that includes many subdisciplines such as Palynology, Anatomy, Dendrochronology, Limnology, Systematic, Ecology, and Molecular Biology. In a recent study, Cardoso et al. (Int J Legal Med 2010;124:451) used botanical evidence for the first time to establish the PMI of human skeletal remains found in a forested area of northern Portugal from the growth rate of mosses and shrub roots. The present paper deals with a case in which the study of the growth rate of the bryophyte Leptodyctium riparium (Hedw.) Warnst, was used in estimating the PMI of some human skeletal remains that were found in a wooded area near Perugia, in Central Italy. © 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  8. Palatal rugae and their role in forensic odontology.

    PubMed

    Jain, Anoop; Chowdhary, Ramesh

    2014-08-01

    Establishing a person's identity can be a difficult task in cases of traffic accidents or in mass disaster situations. The records collected to identify a decedent should be accurate and totally inclusive of objective findings. When a victim has no teeth, information for use in personal identification based on methods available in forensic odontology is much more limited than in the case of dentate victims. Palatal rugae have been considered relevant for human identification due to its stability, which is equivalent to the fingerprint, in that it is unique for each ruga pattern. Palatal rugae appear to possess the features of an ideal forensic identification parameter, that is, uniqueness, postmortem resistance, and stability. The purpose of this article was to review the literature, in order to determine if there is enough evidence to establish the use of palatal rugae in dental identification. © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  9. Role of prosthodontist in forensic odontology. A literature review.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Sunil Kumar; Mahajan, Harsh; Sakorikar, Rupal; Jain, Anoop

    2014-09-01

    Dental identification assumes a primary role in the identification of remains when postmortem changes, traumatic tissue injury, or lack of a fingerprint record invalidate the use of visual or fingerprint methods. The most common role of the forensic dentist is the identification of deceased individuals. Forensic identification based on assessment of prosthodontic appliances is assuming greater significance, as labeling of dentures and other prosthetic appliance could provide vital clues for patient identification. Various recommendations have been made concerning the importance of denture identification. This paper presents a review of available literature highlighting the fact that how a prosthodontist can play a key role in identification of a deceased individual if trained to do so.

  10. Virtual anthropology and forensic identification using multidetector CT.

    PubMed

    Dedouit, F; Savall, F; Mokrane, F-Z; Rousseau, H; Crubézy, E; Rougé, D; Telmon, N

    2014-04-01

    Virtual anthropology is made possible by modern cross-sectional imaging. Multislice CT (MSCT) can be used for comparative bone and dental identification, reconstructive identification and lesion identification. Comparative identification, the comparison of ante- and post-mortem imaging data, can be performed on both teeth and bones. Reconstructive identification, a considerable challenge for the radiologist, identifies the deceased by determining sex, geographical origin, stature and age at death. Lesion identification combines virtual autopsy and virtual anthropology. MSCT can be useful in palaeopathology, seeking arthropathy, infection, oral pathology, trauma, tumours, haematological disorders, stress indicators or occupational stress in bones and teeth. We examine some of the possibilities offered by this new radiological subspeciality that adds a new dimension to the work of the forensic radiologist. A multidisciplinary approach is crucial and involves communication and data exchange between radiologists, forensic pathologists, anthropologists and radiographers.

  11. Virtual anthropology and forensic identification using multidetector CT

    PubMed Central

    Savall, F; Mokrane, F-Z; Rousseau, H; Crubézy, E; Rougé, D; Telmon, N

    2014-01-01

    Virtual anthropology is made possible by modern cross-sectional imaging. Multislice CT (MSCT) can be used for comparative bone and dental identification, reconstructive identification and lesion identification. Comparative identification, the comparison of ante- and post-mortem imaging data, can be performed on both teeth and bones. Reconstructive identification, a considerable challenge for the radiologist, identifies the deceased by determining sex, geographical origin, stature and age at death. Lesion identification combines virtual autopsy and virtual anthropology. MSCT can be useful in palaeopathology, seeking arthropathy, infection, oral pathology, trauma, tumours, haematological disorders, stress indicators or occupational stress in bones and teeth. We examine some of the possibilities offered by this new radiological subspeciality that adds a new dimension to the work of the forensic radiologist. A multidisciplinary approach is crucial and involves communication and data exchange between radiologists, forensic pathologists, anthropologists and radiographers. PMID:24234584

  12. The Chinese Nail Murders: forensic medicine in Imperial China.

    PubMed

    Summers, W C

    1999-01-01

    Robert van Gulik was a respected Dutch sinologist and author who first translated a collection of traditional Chinese detective stories into English and then created additional fictional stories based on the same characters and setting in the Tang dynasty. One of these stories, The Chinese Nail Murders, draws on van Gulik's professional interest in law and his knowledge of early Chinese works on forensic medicine. This novel develops a common theme in Chinese detective fiction, murder by a nail wound to the head. The difficulty in detection of this mode of violence posed a particular problem for the examining magistrate because postmortem examination was mostly limited to external observations. This essay compares the development of Chinese and Western forensic medicine in the context of the nail murder motif.

  13. Role of prosthodontist in forensic odontology. A literature review

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Sunil Kumar; Mahajan, Harsh; Sakorikar, Rupal; Jain, Anoop

    2014-01-01

    Dental identification assumes a primary role in the identification of remains when postmortem changes, traumatic tissue injury, or lack of a fingerprint record invalidate the use of visual or fingerprint methods. The most common role of the forensic dentist is the identification of deceased individuals. Forensic identification based on assessment of prosthodontic appliances is assuming greater significance, as labeling of dentures and other prosthetic appliance could provide vital clues for patient identification. Various recommendations have been made concerning the importance of denture identification. This paper presents a review of available literature highlighting the fact that how a prosthodontist can play a key role in identification of a deceased individual if trained to do so. PMID:25177136

  14. The Chinese Nail Murders: forensic medicine in Imperial China.

    PubMed Central

    Summers, W. C.

    1999-01-01

    Robert van Gulik was a respected Dutch sinologist and author who first translated a collection of traditional Chinese detective stories into English and then created additional fictional stories based on the same characters and setting in the Tang dynasty. One of these stories, The Chinese Nail Murders, draws on van Gulik's professional interest in law and his knowledge of early Chinese works on forensic medicine. This novel develops a common theme in Chinese detective fiction, murder by a nail wound to the head. The difficulty in detection of this mode of violence posed a particular problem for the examining magistrate because postmortem examination was mostly limited to external observations. This essay compares the development of Chinese and Western forensic medicine in the context of the nail murder motif. PMID:11138936

  15. Shuttle Lesson Learned - Toxicology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, John T.

    2010-01-01

    This is a script for a video about toxicology and the space shuttle. The first segment is deals with dust in the space vehicle. The next segment will be about archival samples. Then we'll look at real time on-board analyzers that give us a lot of capability in terms of monitoring for combustion products and the ability to monitor volatile organics on the station. Finally we will look at other issues that are about setting limits and dealing with ground based lessons that pertain to toxicology.

  16. Postmortem Diagnosis of Invasive Meningococcal Disease

    PubMed Central

    Halse, Tanya A.; Musser, Kimberlee A.; Wroblewski, Danielle; Paddock, Christopher D.; Shieh, Wun-Ju; Pasquale-Styles, Melissa; Scordi-Bello, Irini; Del Rosso, Paula E.; Weiss, Don

    2014-01-01

    We diagnosed invasive meningococcal disease by using immunohistochemical staining of embalmed tissue and PCR of vitreous humor from 2 men in New York City. Because vitreous humor is less subject than other body fluids to putrefaction, it is a good material for postmortem analysis. PMID:24565379

  17. Forensic Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, William D.; Jackson, Glen P.

    2015-07-01

    Developments in forensic mass spectrometry tend to follow, rather than lead, the developments in other disciplines. Examples of techniques having forensic potential born independently of forensic applications include ambient ionization, imaging mass spectrometry, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, portable mass spectrometers, and hyphenated chromatography-mass spectrometry instruments, to name a few. Forensic science has the potential to benefit enormously from developments that are funded by other means, if only the infrastructure and personnel existed to adopt, validate, and implement the new technologies into casework. Perhaps one unique area in which forensic science is at the cutting edge is in the area of chemometrics and the determination of likelihood ratios for the evaluation of the weight of evidence. Such statistical techniques have been developed most extensively for ignitable-liquid residue analyses and isotope ratio analysis. This review attempts to capture the trends, motivating forces, and likely impact of developing areas of forensic mass spectrometry, with the caveat that none of this research is likely to have any real impact in the forensic community unless: (a) The instruments developed are turned into robust black boxes with red and green lights for positives and negatives, respectively, or (b) there are PhD graduates in the workforce who can help adopt these sophisticated techniques.

  18. The forensic psychiatric report.

    PubMed

    Norko, Michael A; Buchanan, Mar Alec

    2015-01-01

    The construction of a written forensic report is a core component of forensic practice, demonstrating the evaluator's skill in conducting the evaluation and in communicating relevant information to the legal audience in an effective manner. Although communication skills and quality of written documentation are important in clinical psychiatry generally, they form the sine qua non of successful forensic work, which consists in telling complex stories in a coherent and compelling fashion. High quality forensic reports require careful preparation from the earliest stages of work on a case. They generally follow an expected structure, which permits the evaluator to provide all the data necessary to form a carefully reasoned opinion that addresses the legal questions posed. Formats and content of reports vary according to the type of case and the circumstances of the evaluation and so require flexibility within customary frameworks. The style and quality of writing are critical to the crafting of forensic reports. The effects on legal decision-makers of various approaches to the presentation of information in reports has not been studied empirically, but guidance from experienced forensic psychiatrists is available. There is a small body of research on quality improvement in forensic writing, and further empiric study is warranted.

  19. Forensic Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, William D; Jackson, Glen P

    2015-01-01

    Developments in forensic mass spectrometry tend to follow, rather than lead, the developments in other disciplines. Examples of techniques having forensic potential born independently of forensic applications include ambient ionization, imaging mass spectrometry, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, portable mass spectrometers, and hyphenated chromatography-mass spectrometry instruments, to name a few. Forensic science has the potential to benefit enormously from developments that are funded by other means, if only the infrastructure and personnel existed to adopt, validate, and implement the new technologies into casework. Perhaps one unique area in which forensic science is at the cutting edge is in the area of chemometrics and the determination of likelihood ratios for the evaluation of the weight of evidence. Such statistical techniques have been developed most extensively for ignitable-liquid residue analyses and isotope ratio analysis. This review attempts to capture the trends, motivating forces, and likely impact of developing areas of forensic mass spectrometry, with the caveat that none of this research is likely to have any real impact in the forensic community unless: (a) The instruments developed are turned into robust black boxes with red and green lights for positives and negatives, respectively, or (b) there are PhD graduates in the workforce who can help adopt these sophisticated techniques.

  20. Tearing of the left iliac vessels in lumbar surgery revealed by multiphase post-mortem CT-angiography (MPMCTA).

    PubMed

    Vilariño Villaverde, Raquel; Bruguier, Christine; Zerlauth, Jean-Baptiste; De Froidmont, Sébastien; Grabherr, Silke

    2016-05-01

    Lumbar surgery is regularly applied in cases of discal hernia and acquired lumbar stenosis. In this report, we present a case of a laceration in the left common iliac artery and iliac vein during a lumbar surgery and discuss the literature concerning this kind of event. In the present case, the surgical procedure was followed by a sudden decrease in blood pressure, and the surgeon discovered an intra-abdominal haemorrhage that led to the patient's death. Postmortem investigation confirmed the intra-abdominal haemorrhage and revealed a laceration of the proximal portion of the left common iliac artery and left iliac vein. The source of bleeding could be detected especially thanks to multi-phase postmortem CT angiography (MPMCTA), which was performed prior to autopsy. We also found a haemorrhagic path through the intervertebral disc between the L4-L5 vertebrae, caused by the surgeon's instrument (pituitary rongeur). To date, a few cases have been described of iatrogenic death resulting from a tear in the iliac vessels during lumbar surgery, but not from the postmortem perspective. Such investigations have recently been modernized thanks to the introduction of forensic imaging. In particular, MPMCTA offers new possibilities in postmortem investigations and can be considered the new gold standard for investigating deaths related to medical intervention. Here we describe the first case of a death during lumbar surgery using this new method.

  1. An experimental evaluation of electrical skin conductivity changes in postmortem interval and its assessment for time of death estimation.

    PubMed

    Cantürk, İsmail; Karabiber, Fethullah; Çelik, Safa; Şahin, M Feyzi; Yağmur, Fatih; Kara, Sadık

    2016-02-01

    In forensic medicine, estimation of the time of death (ToD) is one of the most important and challenging medico-legal problems. Despite the partial accomplishments in ToD estimations to date, the error margin of ToD estimation is still too large. In this study, electrical conductivity changes were experimentally investigated in the postmortem interval in human cases. Electrical conductivity measurements give some promising clues about the postmortem interval. A living human has a natural electrical conductivity; in the postmortem interval, intracellular fluids gradually leak out of cells. These leaked fluids combine with extra-cellular fluids in tissues and since both fluids are electrolytic, intracellular fluids help increase conductivity. Thus, the level of electrical conductivity is expected to increase with increased time after death. In this study, electrical conductivity tests were applied for six hours. The electrical conductivity of the cases exponentially increased during the tested time period, indicating a positive relationship between electrical conductivity and the postmortem interval. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. UV–Vis and ATR–FTIR spectroscopic investigations of postmortem interval based on the changes in rabbit plasma

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qi; He, Haijun; Li, Bing; Lin, Hancheng; Zhang, Yinming; Zhang, Ji

    2017-01-01

    Estimating PMI is of great importance in forensic investigations. Although many methods are used to estimate the PMI, a few investigations focus on the postmortem redistribution. In this study, ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) measurement combined with visual inspection indicated a regular diffusion of hemoglobin into plasma after death showing the redistribution of postmortem components in blood. Thereafter, attenuated total reflection–Fourier transform infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectroscopy was used to confirm the variations caused by this phenomenon. First, full-spectrum partial least-squares (PLS) and genetic algorithm combined with PLS (GA-PLS) models were constructed to predict the PMI. The performance of GA-PLS model was better than that of full-spectrum PLS model based on its root mean square error (RMSE) of cross-validation of 3.46 h (R2 = 0.95) and the RMSE of prediction of 3.46 h (R2 = 0.94). The investigation on the similarity of spectra between blood plasma and formed elements also supported the role of redistribution of components in spectral changes in postmortem plasma. These results demonstrated that ATR-FTIR spectroscopy coupled with the advanced mathematical methods could serve as a convenient and reliable tool to study the redistribution of postmortem components and estimate the PMI. PMID:28753641

  3. [Medicolegal experiences in external post-mortem examinations before cremation--a retrospective analysis of the years 1998-2008].

    PubMed

    Eckstein, Philipp; Schyma, Christian; Madea, Burkhard

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents a retrospective analysis of 16,541 external post-mortem examinations carried out before cremation by the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the University of Bonn between 1998 and 2008 with regard to different variables (age, sex, place of death, cause of death etc.). In more than 50 % of cases, the individuals had died in a hospital followed by their apartment or a nursing home. The first post-mortem examination was mainly performed by hospital doctors followed by emergency doctors and office practitioners. As to the age distribution, the 6th to 8th decade of life was prevalent. In 99.8 %, a natural death was certified in the first external post-mortem and only in 0.2 % the manner of death was determined to be non-natural or unclear. In more than half of the cases, the non-natural deaths were determined by emergency doctors. Deaths wrongly classified in the first external post-mortem were mostly accidents and deaths associated with medical procedures. Although the second external examination before cremation is very useful in detecting previously overlooked signs of homicide, it is only of limited value in homicides with few external traces or for detecting underlying diseases and causes of death. In this respect, the second external examination before cremation can only check the plausibility of the cause of death given by the attending physician. The gold standard for a reliable certification of the manner and cause of death remains the autopsy.

  4. Quantitative determination of valproic acid in postmortem blood samples--evidence of strong matrix dependency and instability.

    PubMed

    Kiencke, Verena; Andresen-Streichert, Hilke; Müller, Alexander; Iwersen-Bergmann, Stefanie

    2013-11-01

    Most of the daily work of forensic toxicologists deals with fatal cases resulting from overdoses of licit and illicit drugs. However, another reason for fatalities in patients suffering from epilepsy can be undetectable or subtherapeutic levels of antiepileptic drugs. Some studies have shown a correlation between "sudden unexpected death in epilepsy" (SUDEP) and the ineffective treatment of epilepsy. Low levels of antiepileptic drugs may be a risk factor for SUDEP. The death of a psychiatric patient also suffering from epilepsy inspired the investigation. Subsequent to the death of the patient, the doctor was accused of providing inadequate therapy for epilepsy. The patient was to be treated with valproic acid. We developed and validated a simple method of determining valproic acid levels by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for serum, but a transfer of the method from serum to postmortem whole blood failed. The method had to be modified and revalidated for postmortem whole blood specimens. A stability study of valproic acid in postmortem blood was conducted, showing a decline of valproic acid levels by 85 % after storage at room temperature for 28 days. During the storage time, the blood samples showed changes in consistency. Depending on the stage of decomposition, it is necessary to perform a determination by standard addition with an equilibration time of 4 h before extraction to achieve reliable results. For a proper interpretation of quantitative results, it is necessary to keep the postmortem decline of valproic acid concentrations in mind.

  5. The black soldier fly Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) as a potential measure of human postmortem interval: observations and case histories.

    PubMed

    Lord, W D; Goff, M L; Adkins, T R; Haskell, N H

    1994-01-01

    The black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.), has been shown to be a ubiquitous inhabitant of both surface and buried human remains throughout the southern, central and western United States and Hawaii. Unlike most other species of forensically important Diptera, this species frequently dominates bodies in the dry/post decay stage of decomposition. Adults of the black soldier fly appear to initiate oviposition (egg laying) 20 to 30 days postmortem. Even at warm temperatures (27.8 degrees C), subsequent completion of the life cycle can require an additional 55 days. Life history data for H. illucens, when used in combination with data for other cohabiting arthropod species and viewed in the context of local environmental conditions, can provide medicolegal investigators with valuable parameters for estimating the postmortem intervals for badly decomposed remains.

  6. mRNA profiling in forensic genetics I: Possibilities and limitations.

    PubMed

    Vennemann, Marielle; Koppelkamm, Antje

    2010-12-15

    Molecular investigations gain increasing interest in forensic medicine. Examination of gene expression levels at the time point of death might have the power to become a complementing tool to the current methods for the determination of cause and circumstances of death. This includes pathophysiological conditions of disease and injury as well as the duration of agony or other premortem factors. Additionally, recent developments in forensic genetics revealed that tissue specific mRNAs can be used to determine the type of body fluid present in a crime scene stain. Although RNA is known to be rather instable, RNA could be extracted in adequate quality from tissue samples collected during medico-legal autopsy. Nevertheless, working with human postmortem tissue means to deal with highly variable RNA integrities. This review aims to give a brief overview of the possible advantages of postmortem mRNA profiling and to shed further light into the limitations of this method arising from reduced RNA integrities.

  7. Forensic DNA testing.

    PubMed

    Butler, John M

    2011-12-01

    Forensic DNA testing has a number of applications, including parentage testing, identifying human remains from natural or man-made disasters or terrorist attacks, and solving crimes. This article provides background information followed by an overview of the process of forensic DNA testing, including sample collection, DNA extraction, PCR amplification, short tandem repeat (STR) allele separation and sizing, typing and profile interpretation, statistical analysis, and quality assurance. The article concludes with discussions of possible problems with the data and other forensic DNA testing techniques.

  8. The imported forensic expert

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, C.P.

    1980-09-01

    A review of the experiences of one of the pioneer forensic pathologists in the United States offers an interesting insight into the possibilities of private forensic pathology in America. The author's experience includes serving as President of the National Boxing Association and the International Boxing Association, during which time he made many improvements in ring safety. His research into several areas of cases of product liability offer an insight to the wide scope of the potential of the forensic expert. This presentation reviews his activities in realms widely afield from medicine.

  9. The imported forensic expert.

    PubMed

    Larson, C P

    1980-09-01

    A review of the experiences of one of the pioneer forensic pathologists in the United States offers an interesting insight into the possibilities of private forensic pathology in America. The author's experience includes serving as President of the National Boxing Association and the International Boxing Association, during which time he made many improvements in ring safety. His research into several areas of cases of product liability offer an insight to the wide scope of the potential of the forensic expert. This presentation reviews his activities in realms widely afield from medicine.

  10. Endogenous concentrations of GHB in postmortem blood from deaths unrelated to GHB use.

    PubMed

    Korb, Ann-Sophie; Cooper, Gail

    2014-10-01

    Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is an endogenous compound, but its presence in postmortem blood presents a challenge when interpreting elevated levels as GHB is misused as a recreational drug and is also produced postmortem. A total of 387 postmortem cases (273 male and 114 female) submitted to the toxicology laboratory between 2010 and 2012 specifically requested the analysis of the ketoacidosis biomarker, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). No reference to GHB use was identified in any of the case files; however, BHB and GHB are measured simultaneously using deuterated GHB as the internal standard (GHB-d6) within a calibration range of 5-500 mg/L. GHB was not detected or <10 mg/L in 18% of the cases (n = 68), between 10 and 50 mg/L in 73% of the cases (n = 283) and between 51 and 193 mg/L in 9% of the cases (n = 36). The manner of death was classified as accidental (n = 11), alcohol-related (n = 237), drug-related (n = 23), homicide (n = 1), natural (n = 91), suicide (n = 9), medical-related (n = 1) and undetermined (n = 14). Six cases had GHB concentrations in excess of 100 mg/L with advanced decomposition changes noted in five of these cases. Moderate-to-advanced decomposition was also noted in 50% (n = 15) of the cases with GHB concentrations in excess of 50 mg/L but <100 mg/L. Approximately one-third of the blood samples tested contained a preservative and although a higher proportion of these samples had GHB concentrations <10 mg/L or not detected (∼30% preserved versus 11% unpreserved), there were still cases with GHB concentrations >51 mg/L (∼6% preserved versus 11% unpreserved). This study highlights the danger of only using a cutoff to establish endogenous levels compared with exogenous use of GHB in postmortem blood.

  11. The forensic radiographer: a new member in the medicolegal team.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Benjamin; Chevallier, Christine; Dominguez, Alejandro; Bruguier, Christine; Elandoy, Cristèle; Mangin, Patrice; Grabherr, Silke

    2012-03-01

    Multidetector computed tomography is becoming more widespread in forensic medicine. In most services, autopsy assistants perform the radiological examination. We introduced professional radiographers into the legal medicine service and hypothesized they would also be able to take over duties currently reserved for other specialists. The aims of this study were to evaluate if radiographers could be trained as "forensic radiographers" by (1) integrating graduated medical radiographers into the legal medicine service, (2) investigating the advantages of this collaboration, and (3) defining the duties of the forensic radiographers.The study was performed prospectively on a group of 8 recruited radiographers who underwent a testing period with special training. They learned the basics of medicolegal case treatment, the autonomous execution of postmortem computed tomography angiography, and postprocessing of data. Seven of 8 radiographers finished the training and were integrated into our service. Although all radiographers were able to fulfill the duties demanded after the training period, some radiographers could not enter or complete the program because they were unable to work with dead bodies.Our study presents the advantages of integrating radiographers into the medicolegal team and proposes how to train the forensic radiographers. In addition, the duties and responsibilities of these new specialists are defined.

  12. Forensic radiology and personal identification of unidentified bodies: a review.

    PubMed

    Ciaffi, R; Gibelli, D; Cattaneo, C

    2011-09-01

    Personal identification of unidentified bodies is crucial for ethical, juridical and civil reasons and is performed through comparison between biological data obtained from the cadaver and antemortem material from one or more missing persons to whom the body may have belonged in life. The increasing applications of forensic radiology and the wide use of conventional radiography and computed tomography (CT) in routine clinical practice demonstrate the potential of these technologies as tools for verifying the correspondence between an unidentified body and an identity suspect. This paper reviews the literature concerning the application of forensic radiology to the difficult issue of personal identification. Despite the increasing importance of the comparison between radiographic and CT findings, numerous limitations still need to be overcome, including the fact that few forensic centres have access to sophisticated X-ray technologies and that the reliability of those technologies for detecting specific morphological traits and bone lesions is a matter of intense debate. In addition, as with other morphological methods for identification, comparisons between antemortem and postmortem data require standardisation and statistical analysis, especially in Europe where there are very few indications concerning the admission in court of evidence obtained by anthropological and radiological methods. In the future, with developments in radiographic technologies and increasing numbers of studies on their application to the forensic setting, radiology will become one of the most useful tools in the field of personal identification.

  13. Diagnosis of anaphylactic death in forensics: Review and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Cecchi, Rossana

    2016-09-01

    The diagnosis of anaphylaxis in a pre- or post-mortal phase involves the formulation of problems not yet solved by the international scientific literature, due to the complexity of pathogenic factors and pathophysiological processes that characterizes it. For forensic autopsies, further problems of differential diagnosis arise and often leave the forensic pathologist unable to express an opinion of certainty, as a result of lack of case history, circumstantial and autoptical-histopathological data. Nevertheless, in routine cases the postmortem diagnosis of anaphylactic death continues to be based on exclusion and circumstantial evidence. The author, after an extensive review of the literature relating to deaths from anaphylaxis of forensic pathological interest, and a discussion of the microscopical and biochemical findings, proposes a diagnostic protocol for forensic purposes and evaluates the diagnostic perspectives enabled by the newly available analytic techniques and markers. Maybe, the application of omics methodologies could help in the future for anaphylaxis diagnosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The role of spatial aggregation in forensic entomology.

    PubMed

    Fiene, Justin G; Sword, Gregory A; Van Laerhoven, Sherah L; Tarone, Aaron M

    2014-01-01

    A central concept in forensic entomology is that arthropod succession on carrion is predictable and can be used to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) of human remains. However, most studies have reported significant variation in successional patterns, particularly among replicate carcasses, which has complicated estimates of PMIs. Several forensic entomology researchers have proposed that further integration of ecological and evolutionary theory in forensic entomology could help advance the application of succession data for producing PMI estimates. The purpose of this essay is to draw attention to the role of spatial aggregation of arthropods among carrion resources as a potentially important aspect to consider for understanding and predicting the assembly of arthropods on carrion over time. We review ecological literature related to spatial aggregation of arthropods among patchy and ephemeral resources, such as carrion, and when possible integrate these results with published forensic literature. We show that spatial aggregation of arthropods across resources is commonly reported and has been used to provide fundamental insight for understanding regional and local patterns of arthropod diversity and coexistence. Moreover, two suggestions are made for conducting future research. First, because intraspecific aggregation affects species frequency distributions across carcasses, data from replicate carcasses should not be combined, but rather statistically quantified to generate occurrence probabilities. Second, we identify a need for studies that tease apart the degree to which community assembly on carrion is spatially versus temporally structured, which will aid in developing mechanistic hypotheses on the ecological factors shaping community assembly on carcasses.

  15. Mobile markerless augmented reality and its application in forensic medicine.

    PubMed

    Kilgus, Thomas; Heim, Eric; Haase, Sven; Prüfer, Sabine; Müller, Michael; Seitel, Alexander; Fangerau, Markus; Wiebe, Tamara; Iszatt, Justin; Schlemmer, Heinz-Peter; Hornegger, Joachim; Yen, Kathrin; Maier-Hein, Lena

    2015-05-01

    During autopsy, forensic pathologists today mostly rely on visible indication, tactile perception and experience to determine the cause of death. Although computed tomography (CT) data is often available for the bodies under examination, these data are rarely used due to the lack of radiological workstations in the pathological suite. The data may prevent the forensic pathologist from damaging evidence by allowing him to associate, for example, external wounds to internal injuries. To facilitate this, we propose a new multimodal approach for intuitive visualization of forensic data and evaluate its feasibility. A range camera is mounted on a tablet computer and positioned in a way such that the camera simultaneously captures depth and color information of the body. A server estimates the camera pose based on surface registration of CT and depth data to allow for augmented reality visualization of the internal anatomy directly on the tablet. Additionally, projection of color information onto the CT surface is implemented. We validated the system in a postmortem pilot study using fiducials attached to the skin for quantification of a mean target registration error of [Formula: see text] mm. The system is mobile, markerless, intuitive and real-time capable with sufficient accuracy. It can support the forensic pathologist during autopsy with augmented reality and textured surfaces. Furthermore, the system enables multimodal documentation for presentation in court. Despite its preliminary prototype status, it has high potential due to its low price and simplicity.

  16. Behavioral Screening for Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Screening for behavioral toxicity, or neurotoxicity, has been in use for decades; however, only in the past 20 years has this become a standard practice in toxicology. Current screening batteries, such as the functional observational battery (FOB), are derived from protocols use...

  17. Toxicology and Chemical Safety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Stephen K.

    1983-01-01

    Topics addressed in this discussion of toxicology and chemical safety include routes of exposure, dose/response relationships, action of toxic substances, and effects of exposure to chemicals. Specific examples are used to illustrate the principles discussed. Suggests prudence in handling any chemicals, whether or not toxicity is known. (JN)

  18. Behavioral Screening for Toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Screening for behavioral toxicity, or neurotoxicity, has been in use for decades; however, only in the past 20 years has this become a standard practice in toxicology. Current screening batteries, such as the functional observational battery (FOB), are derived from protocols use...

  19. Forensic odontology, historical perspective.

    PubMed

    Sansare, K

    1995-01-01

    According to the old testament Adam was convinced by eve to put a "Bite Mark" on the apple. Interest in Forensic Odontology was heightened in the latter part of 19th Century. The first formal instructional programme was given at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, U.S. Since then the number of cases reported has played a significant role in expanding the role of Forensic Odontology. The earliest reported case was of Lollia Paulina in the year 49 A. D. One of the early reported case is also found in India in the year 1193. In the last few decades, the basic pattern of Forensic Odontology has changed quite a lot. Advances in dental material and laboratory techniques, with improvements in scientific and photographic technology, have made the proof of presentation much to forensic science.

  20. Forensic Science: Hair Identification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keller, Elhannan L.

    1980-01-01

    Presented is an activity in which students use a microscope to do a forensic hair comparative study and a medullary classification. Mounting methods, medulla types, hair photographs, and activities are described. (DS)

  1. Physics and forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Wilkinson, T.J.; Perry, D.L.; Martin, M.C.; McKinney, W.R.

    2001-12-15

    This popular article in Physics World reviews the application of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectromicroscopy to Forensics, and predicts further applications due to the high inherent signal to noise available for FTIR microscopy at synchrotron sources.

  2. Forensic Science: Hair Identification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keller, Elhannan L.

    1980-01-01

    Presented is an activity in which students use a microscope to do a forensic hair comparative study and a medullary classification. Mounting methods, medulla types, hair photographs, and activities are described. (DS)

  3. Professionalism in Computer Forensics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irons, Alastair D.; Konstadopoulou, Anastasia

    The paper seeks to address the need to consider issues regarding professionalism in computer forensics in order to allow the discipline to develop and to ensure the credibility of the discipline from the differing perspectives of practitioners, the criminal justice system and in the eyes of the public. There is a need to examine and develop professionalism in computer forensics in order to promote the discipline and maintain the credibility of the discipline.

  4. Emerging Approaches in Predictive Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Luoping; McHale, Cliona M.; Greene, Nigel; Snyder, Ronald D.; Rich, Ivan N.; Aardema, Marilyn J.; Roy, Shambhu; Pfuhler, Stefan; Venkatactahalam, Sundaresan

    2016-01-01

    Predictive toxicology plays an important role in the assessment of toxicity of chemicals and the drug development process. While there are several well-established in vitro and in vivo assays that are suitable for predictive toxicology, recent advances in high-throughput analytical technologies and model systems are expected to have a major impact on the field of predictive toxicology. This commentary provides an overview of the state of the current science and a brief discussion on future perspectives for the field of predictive toxicology for human toxicity. Computational models for predictive toxicology, needs for further refinement and obstacles to expand computational models to include additional classes of chemical compounds are highlighted. Functional and comparative genomics approaches in predictive toxicology are discussed with an emphasis on successful utilization of recently developed model systems for high-throughput analysis. The advantages of three-dimensional model systems and stem cells and their use in predictive toxicology testing are also described. PMID:25044351

  5. Internet and forensic science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamakura, Reddy P.

    1997-02-01

    The Internet is a very powerful and inexpensive tool that was created for the free distribution of knowledge and information. The Internet is a learning tool, a research tool, a virtual library without borders and membership requirements, a journal with instant publication, a help desk, and a newspaper/journal with current information. Very soon, when live audio and video transmission is perfected, the Internet also will be a live classroom and everyday conference. Forensic scientists, laboratories and colleges should make use of information already available on the Internet. They also should actively participate and contribute. Very few forensic scientists and laboratories have made their presence felt by setting up their home pages/web pages. But, there is tremendous growth during the past year. Immense benefits from Internet to forensic community are discussed along with the author's personal experience. Creating on-line searchable data bases in all specialties of forensic science is an urgent need. Leading forensic journals should take a lead and create on-line searchable indexes with abstracts. On line electronic publishing, collaborative research/paper publishing or editing is easy, fast, economical and convenient through the use of the Internet. Creation of Internet repositories of unpublished papers is an idea worth looking into. Internet also can be used to give training, re-training or advanced training to students/forensic scientists.

  6. The ethics of postmortem examinations in contemporary Islam.

    PubMed

    Rispler-Chaim, V

    1993-09-01

    Postmortem examinations have recently become common practice in Western medicine: they are used to verify the cause of death and to obtain additional scientific information on certain diseases, as well as to train medical students. For religious people of the monotheistic faiths postmortems present several ethical questions even though the advantages attributed to postmortems in the West are also acknowledged by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Islamic way of dealing with such questions will be surveyed via contemporary fatawa (legal opinions) issued primarily by Egyptian scholars; Islamic law, which was formulated in the eighth to ninth centuries, did not speak of postmortems. I will therefore depict the means whereby contemporary scholars approach postmortems in the absence of clear legal reference. The difficulties that postmortems create for Muslims at present will be weighed against some shar i instructions which may help circumvent them. While the ethical and religious debate continues, postmortems seem to be accepted but not, however, without certain reservations.

  7. Postmortem Blood Sugar and Blood Urea Nitrogen Determinations

    PubMed Central

    Fekete, John F.; Kerenyi, Norbert A.

    1965-01-01

    Glucose and urea nitrogen determinations were made on blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples collected during 160 postmortem examinations in order to determine the usefulness of such tests in diagnosing diabetes and uremia at the time of autopsy. The results indicated that: (1) Blood is unsuitable for postmortem glucose determination, and no postmortem normal can be established. (2) Cerebrospinal fluid gave more uniform but very low glucose values. (3) Diabetics as a group had very high postmortem glucose levels but showed a marked overlap with non-diabetics. (4) Infants less than 3 months of age showed high postmortem glucose values. (5) Postmortem blood urea nitrogen and cerebrospinal fluid urea nitrogen levels were within normal limits in previously healthy persons who died suddenly from accidental causes. (6) Hospital autopsy cases had high urea nitrogen levels. (7) Postmortem urea nitrogen levels higher than 100 mg.% were indicative of uremia. PMID:14285288

  8. Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology.

    PubMed

    2013-01-01

    In the past 50 years forensic psychological practice has expanded dramatically. Because the practice of forensic psychology differs in important ways from more traditional practice areas (Monahan, 1980) the "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists" were developed and published in 1991 (Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists, 1991). These Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology were developed by the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association [APA]) and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. They were adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on August 3, 2011.

  9. Postmortem audit in a paediatric cardiology unit.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, G A; Berry, P J

    1989-01-01

    Postmortem examinations performed on 76 children with a clinical diagnosis of congenital heart disease were reviewed retrospectively and compared with the findings before death. Both operated and unoperated cases were studied over a three year period. Despite intensive investigation during life, there was a high rate of unsuspected abnormalities at necropsy (80%): 29 cases had undiagnosed additional cardiac anomalies or surgical flaws, which contributed to death in 13 cases. Defects in surgery were uncommon but permitted modification in surgical technique to avoid recurrence. Myocardial necrosis and pulmonary foreign body embolism were common findings, the importance of which is uncertain and requires further study for their prevention. Even in the most thoroughly investigated cases postmortem examination has a high yield of clinically important pathology which is undetected during life. Images PMID:2794078

  10. Historical evidences on medicolegal autopsy and toxicological descriptions in Kautilya's Arthaśăstra.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Goli Penchala; Babu, G; Swamy, G K

    2006-01-01

    Kautilya's Arthaśăstra deals mainly the art of government, duties of Kings, ministers, officials and methods of diplomacy. It also deals with branches of internal and foreign policies, civil, military, commercial, fiscal, judicial etc. By name and popularity of the book, scholars believe this as seed of political science and Economics. Surprisingly, it also has the descriptions of many Ayurvĕda herbs, metals, herbomineral preparations and poisonous substances. This book also deals with medico legal autopsy and Toxicology. The main aim of this article is to highlight the descriptions of forensic medicines and toxicology.

  11. The Formation of Ethanol in Postmortem Tissues

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-02-01

    for ethanol analysis. The postmortem tissue specimens received by our laboratory have generally been subjected to severe trauma and may have been...Furthermore, the tissue specimens received by our laboratory typically have been subjected to trauma as a result of the violent nature of avia- tion...uoride, t-butanol, acetaldehyde , methanol, 2-propanol, acetone, n-propanol, isobutanol, n-butanol, sec-butanol and ethanol were purchased from Sigma

  12. A gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detection method for helium detection in postmortem blood and tissue specimens.

    PubMed

    Schaff, Jason E; Karas, Roman P; Marinetti, Laureen

    2012-03-01

    In cases of death by inert gas asphyxiation, it can be difficult to obtain toxicological evidence supporting assignment of a cause of death. Because of its low mass and high diffusivity, and its common use as a carrier gas, helium presents a particular challenge in this respect. We describe a rapid and simple gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detection method to qualitatively screen a variety of postmortem biological specimens for the presence of helium. Application of this method is demonstrated with three case examples, encompassing an array of different biological matrices.

  13. Freshwater drowning in a child: A case study demonstrating the role of post-mortem computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Filograna, Laura; Tartaglione, Tommaso; Vetrugno, Giuseppe; Guerra, Claudio; Fileni, Adriano; Bonomo, Lorenzo

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, modern imaging techniques have gained ground in forensics. A crucial question is whether virtual autopsy is capable of replacing traditional autopsy. Forensic diagnosis of freshwater drowning (FWD) is based on the evidence of findings from external inspection (e.g. frothy fluid exuding from the mouth and nostrils), internal examination (e.g. pulmonary congestion, enlargement of heart chambers) and biochemical analysis (haemodilution), findings which are non-specific. The detection of diatoms in organs of the systemic circulation may be of some assistance, but this analysis is rarely performed and is of debatable validity. An 18-month-old child was found dead at home in a swimming pool. Considering the family's wishes to avoid autopsy, the district attorney authorised a whole-body post-mortem computed tomography scan (PMCT). The main imaging findings were frothy fluid in the upper airways, fluid in the trachea and main bronchi, many pulmonary nodular ground glass opacities (GGO) in non-dependent regions and haemodilution. CT imaging did not show any other forensically relevant abnormality.A high concordance was found between the CT findings reported in the literature in cases of FWD and the imaging results. Thus, after the exclusion of other causes of death, advised by the forensic pathologist, the district attorney closed the case and the death was attributed to FWD. This case report demonstrates that PMCT imaging in cases of suspected FWD can provide some important findings for the diagnosis of FWD as the cause of death.

  14. Veterinary Forensics: Firearms and Investigation of Projectile Injury.

    PubMed

    Bradley-Siemens, N; Brower, A I

    2016-09-01

    Projectile injury represents an estimated 14% of reported animal cruelty cases in the United States. Cases involving projectiles are complicated by gross similarities to other common types of injury, including bite wounds and motor vehicle injuries, by weapons and ammunition not commonly recognized or understood by veterinary medical professionals, and by required expertise beyond that employed in routine postmortem examination. This review describes the common types of projectile injuries encountered within the United States, as well as firearms and ammunition associated with this form of injury. The 3 stages of ballistics-internal, external, and terminal-and wounding capacity are discussed. A general understanding of firearms, ammunition, and ballistics is necessary before pursuing forensic projectile cases. The forensic necropsy is described, including gunshot wound examination, projectile trajectories, different imaging procedures, collection and storage of projectile evidence, and potential advanced techniques for gunpowder analysis. This review presents aspects of projectile injury investigation that must be considered in tandem with standard postmortem practices and procedures to ensure reliable conclusions are reached for medicolegal as well as diagnostic purposes. © The Author(s) 2016.

  15. Progress in nickel toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, S.S.; Sunderman, F.W.

    1985-01-01

    The Third International Conference on Nickel Metabolism and Toxicology was held at the PLM St Jacques Hotel in Paris in September 1984, under the joint sponsorship of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the Association of Clinical Scientists, and the Nickel Producers Environmental Research Association (NiPERA). The Paris Conference was attended by 150 participants from 19 countries, including many of the world's authorities on nickel in the areas of trace analysis, biochemistry, radiochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, pathology, immunology, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, occupational health and clinical medicine. The text of the Richard T. Barton memorial lecture and synopses of the scientific papers that were presented at the Conference are published in this volume.

  16. [Toxicology of the hydrosphere].

    PubMed

    Tolokontsev, N A

    1991-01-01

    The data are available on a superexponential growth in the production of chemicals the penetration of which into the earth surface water essentially deteriorates its quality. In addition to anthropogenic substances (biogens and xenobiotics alien to biosphere), hydrosphere is contaminated with algotoxin products of hydrobionts. The paper focuses on two important problems of hydrospheric toxicology--toxicological aspects of progressively growing process of anthropogenic eutrophia of the earth surface water and toxic damage to photosynthesis primary products. It is concluded that predominant ideas of the leading role of phosphorus in eutrophia and relevant theories as well as water quality standards based on trophism of water basin require correction. When assessed by trophism, water may appear oligotrophic but unsafe for population being contaminated with toxic substances and thus unfit for drinking, household and recreation purposes.

  17. Metabolic and Toxicological Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    sequence from clone DKEYP-1H4 6I15 Zebra Fish DNA sequence from clone DKEYP-46C9 4G9 Zebra Fish DNA sequence from clone RP71-61H23 Lipid Metabolism ...Respiration PPARαL-FABP Lipid metabolism Apolipoproteins O2 Transferrin Hemoglobin Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase Fe Fatty Acids Cholesterol Fe... Metabolic and toxicological networks Dr. Ed Perkins Environmental Genomics and Genetics Team Environmental Laboratory US Army Engineer Research and

  18. Clinical or Postmortem? The Importance of the Autopsy; a Retrospective Study

    PubMed Central

    COSTACHE, Mariana; LAZAROIU, Anca Mihaela; CONTOLENCO, Andreea; COSTACHE, Diana; GEORGE, Simion; SAJIN, Maria; PATRASCU, Oana Maria

    2014-01-01

    Medicine is continually evolving; the new technologies of diagnosis and treatment continue to improve the life expectancy and lead to new information concerning various pathologies. The autopsy is viewed more and more as an ultimate branch of medicine and used only in extreme cases or for forensic purposes. Nevertheless, many studies, including this one, prove the utility and indispensability of the autopsies, without which a complete and accurate diagnosis cannot be made. Finally, the autopsy followed by histopathological examination of the tissues remains the ultimate and most important step for the apprehension of the diseases and for further evolution of medicine. This study reveals the correspondence rate between the clinical and the postmortem diagnosis, as well as between macroscopic and histopathological diagnosis. PMID:25705288

  19. Determination of the postmortem interval by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy using swine skeletal muscles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marín-Roldan, A.; Manzoor, S.; Moncayo, S.; Navarro-Villoslada, F.; Izquierdo-Hornillos, R. C.; Caceres, J. O.

    2013-10-01

    Skin and muscle samples are useful to discriminate individuals as well as their postmortem interval (PMI) in crime scenes and natural or caused disasters. In this study, a simple and fast method based on Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) has been developed to estimate PMI using swine skeletal muscle samples. Environmental conditions (moisture, temperature, fauna, etc.) having strong influence on the PMI determination were considered. Time-dependent changes in the emission intensity ratio for Mg, Na, Hα and K were observed, as a result of the variations in their concentration due to chemical reactions in tissues and were correlated with PMI. This relationship, which has not been reported previously in the forensic literature, offers a simple and potentially valuable means of estimating the PMI.

  20. Estimating the postmortem interval of human skeletal remains by analyzing their optical behavior.

    PubMed

    Sterzik, V; Jung, T; Jellinghaus, K; Bohnert, M

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to figure out a new practically applicable method to distinguish between historical and recent human skeletal remains. Therefore, the optical behavior of bone cross sections was investigated using the combination of two methods: a modification of an already established test (UV-induced fluorescence) and a new method (490 nm-induced fluorescence). We evaluated the areal extent of fluorescence of 30 bone cross sections with known postmortem interval (PMI) using ultraviolet light and 490 nm light. For analysis, the areal extend of fluorescent surface was determined using photos of the samples and an image editing software. The results prove that there is a correlation between PMI and the areal extent of fluorescent surface in both tests. Furthermore, the combination of both methods is a good indicator to distinguish within the forensic relevant post mortem interval between PMI < 30 years and PMI > 30 years.

  1. Evaluation of post-mortem oxymetry with reference to the causes of death.

    PubMed

    Maeda, H; Fukita, K; Oritani, S; Ishida, K; Zhu, B L

    1997-06-23

    We examined blood samples of 214 forensic autopsy cases, excluding fire victims, on a CO-oximeter system in order to evaluate post-mortem oxymetric profiles with reference to the causes of death. Oxyhemoglobin (O2-Hb) levels in the left and right heart blood, respectively, ranged from 0 to 97.7% and from 0 to 92.1%, showing no apparent correlation with the post-mortem intervals or rectal temperatures. In nearly 60% of the cases, O2-Hb was lower than 10%. A high O2-Hb level (over 50%) in the left heart blood was most frequently observed in death from cold exposure and occasionally in fatalities from blunt injuries and stab/incised wounds with or without medical care. O2-Hb in the heart blood was usually very low (under 10%) in fatalities from asphyxiation, drowning, poisoning and natural diseases. A greatest oxymetric variation was observed in death from injuries, probably due to varied causal mechanisms of death. In most cases, the differences between blood O2-Hb levels in the heart and iliac vessels were within 15%; whereas O2-Hb in the cerebral venous blood was usually evidently higher than that in the right heart blood. An inverse relation of O2-Hb levels to total hemoglobin contents was observed slightly for the blood in the heart and iliac vessels, and more obviously for the cerebral venous blood. The above post-mortem oxymetric profiles were considered to at least partially reflect the final balance of oxygen uptake and consumption in dying process, possibly also affected by the circulatory status, giving an objective index to the color of cadaveric blood (hypostasis), although it should be assessed in consideration of post-mortem interference and total hemoglobin contents. In any case, however, post-mortem oxymetry seemed to have a limited value owing to severe systemic hypoxia which would be a common final state before death from various fatal traumas and diseases, maybe except for those with extremely short agony.

  2. The impact of Māori cultural values on forensic science practice in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Maui L; Allan, Christine A; Bedford, Keith R; Buckleton, John S; Stuart, Keriata

    2008-03-01

    Forensic science aims to serve society by advancing justice. It is accepted that some actions taken by the state in the interests of advancing justice, such as postmortem examinations, may impinge on values held by members of groups within society. Such actions have the potential to cause cultural offense. It is important that forensic scientists are aware of these issues and that as a profession we should take actions, where possible, to reduce any potential offense and consequently reduce unnecessary distress. This paper examines the impact of these issues on forensic practice in New Zealand, and, in particular, in relation to the cultural values of Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Interviews and workshops were used to identify forensic practices involving a risk of cultural offense. Particular issues were identified in regard to crime scene attendance and examination, postmortem attendance and sample storage, disposal, and return. This paper describes the response developed by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) to address these issues, including a cultural awareness training package and reference brochure.

  3. Digital Forensics in the Cloud

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-01

    Birmingham Abstract. Today’s cloud computing architectures often lack support for computer forensic investigations. Besides this, the existing digital... forensics tools cannot cope with the dynamic nature of the cloud. This paper explores the challenges of digital forensics in the cloud, possible...attacks on cloud-evidence, and mitigation strategies against those challenges. Digital Forensics in the Cloud To identify the actual attacker in the

  4. Pitfalls in post-mortem CT-angiography--intravascular contrast induces post-mortem pericardial effusion.

    PubMed

    Berger, Nicole; Martinez, Rosita; Winklhofer, Sebastian; Flach, Patricia M; Ross, Steffen; Ampanozi, Garyfalia; Gascho, Dominic; Thali, Michael J; Ruder, Thomas D

    2013-11-01

    We present a case where multi-phase post-mortem computed tomography angiography (PMCTA) induced a hemorrhagic pericardial effusion during the venous phase of angiography. Post-mortem non-contrast CT (PMCT) suggested the presence of a ruptured aortic dissection. This diagnosis was confirmed by PMCTA after pressure controlled arterial injection of contrast. During the second phase of multi-phase PMCTA the presence of contrast leakage from the inferior cava vein into the pericardial sac was noted. Autopsy confirmed the post-mortem nature of this vascular tear. This case teaches us an important lesson: it underlines the necessity to critically analyze PMCT and PMCTA images in order to distinguish between artifacts, true pathologies and iatrogenic findings. In cases with ambiguous findings such as the case reported here, correlation of imaging findings with autopsy is elementary.

  5. Forensic psychiatry in Singapore.

    PubMed

    Chan, Lai Gwen; Tomita, Todd

    2013-12-01

    Singapore is a geographically small nation-state that has transformed itself from a third-world country to a developed nation after attaining political independence 46 years ago. The pace of change has been tremendous and mental health care is no exception. This paper provides an overview of mental health care and a review of key mental health legislation, including a National Mental Health Blueprint that was rolled out in 2007. On this background, the paper focuses on a description of forensic psychiatric services in Singapore. The role of the Department of Forensic Psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health, which is the only forensic psychiatry department in the country, will be highlighted. Civil commitment and the treatment of unfit accused persons and insanity acquittees is reviewed. The role of forensic psychiatric assessments in the Singapore courts is examined. The application of the insanity and diminished responsibility defenses are reviewed. A trend is identified in the Singapore courts towards a more rehabilitation-focused sentencing approach and the role that forensic psychiatric assessments play in cases involving mentally disordered offenders is highlighted. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  6. Eponyms in forensic pathology.

    PubMed

    Nečas, Pavel; Hejna, Petr

    2012-12-01

    The phenomenon of eponymous terms in forensic pathology is described in this paper. The authors analyzed representative textbooks (monographs) dealing with forensic pathology in both English and German and identified several eponymous terms. The paper aims to present to the reader the most important eponymous terms in forensic pathology. Included in the paper are the following terms: Beckwith's Sign, Casper's Rule, Krönlein's Shot, Lichtenberg's Figures, Nysten's Law, Paltauf's Spots, Puppe's Rule, Sehrt's Sign, Simon's Sign, Sveshnikov's Sign, Tardieu's Spots, Wischnewski Spots, Wydler's Sign. The spread of eponymous terms throughout various languages is mentioned. The linguistic basis of such terms as well as their advantages and disadvantages in specialist fields, and indeed in even wider circles, is discussed. The authors state that the main function of these terms is to facilitate the open flow of unambiguous information among scholars. Eponymous terms in forensic pathology are characteristic for the German speaking countries and for all countries influenced by the German school of forensic pathology. Their usage in the Anglo-Saxon world is much less widespread, meaning they do not occur very often in English monographs and textbooks.

  7. Mediators of Inflammation in Asthma: A Forensic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Schirripa, Maria Laura; Scarpelli, Maria Pia; Palmiere, Cristian

    2017-03-08

    In the clinical setting, the role of systemic inflammation in patients with asthma has attracted increased attention, and some authors showed that increased IL-6 and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein characterized a group of asthmatic patients. In the realm of forensic pathology, a postmortem diagnosis of asthmatic death can be extremely challenging. The aim of this study was to determine the postmortem serum levels of C-reactive protein, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor α in a series of severe acute bronchial asthma deaths that underwent medicolegal investigations. A total of 35 autopsy cases were retrospectively selected and included deaths in asthmatic subjects (related and unrelated to severe acute bronchial asthma, in situations characterized or not by systemic inflammation) as well as deaths in nonasthmatic individuals (in situations characterized or not by systemic inflammation). Our findings suggest that IL-6 is selectively increased in the systemic circulation of individuals with asthma, irrespective of whether the cause of death depends on a fatal asthma attack, compared with other biomarkers. Accordingly, postmortem serum IL-6 values in cases of death during severe acute bronchial asthma can be measured and considered of diagnostic relevance to estimate the magnitude of the systemic inflammation responses characterizing the disease.

  8. Toxicological Benchmarks for Wildlife

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.E. Opresko, D.M. Suter, G.W.

    1993-01-01

    Ecological risks of environmental contaminants are evaluated by using a two-tiered process. In the first tier, a screening assessment is performed where concentrations of contaminants in the environment are compared to no observed adverse effects level (NOAEL)-based toxicological benchmarks. These benchmarks represent concentrations of chemicals (i.e., concentrations presumed to be nonhazardous to the biota) in environmental media (water, sediment, soil, food, etc.). While exceedance of these benchmarks does not indicate any particular level or type of risk, concentrations below the benchmarks should not result in significant effects. In practice, when contaminant concentrations in food or water resources are less than these toxicological benchmarks, the contaminants may be excluded from further consideration. However, if the concentration of a contaminant exceeds a benchmark, that contaminant should be retained as a contaminant of potential concern (COPC) and investigated further. The second tier in ecological risk assessment, the baseline ecological risk assessment, may use toxicological benchmarks as part of a weight-of-evidence approach (Suter 1993). Under this approach, based toxicological benchmarks are one of several lines of evidence used to support or refute the presence of ecological effects. Other sources of evidence include media toxicity tests, surveys of biota (abundance and diversity), measures of contaminant body burdens, and biomarkers. This report presents NOAEL- and lowest observed adverse effects level (LOAEL)-based toxicological benchmarks for assessment of effects of 85 chemicals on 9 representative mammalian wildlife species (short-tailed shrew, little brown bat, meadow vole, white-footed mouse, cottontail rabbit, mink, red fox, and whitetail deer) or 11 avian wildlife species (American robin, rough-winged swallow, American woodcock, wild turkey, belted kingfisher, great blue heron, barred owl, barn owl, Cooper's hawk, and red-tailed hawk

  9. Can postmortem MRI be used to assess trajectories in gunshot victims?

    PubMed

    Luijten, M; Haest, I I H; van Kan, R A T; van Lohuizen, W; Kroll, J; Schnerr, R S; Hermsen, R; Hofman, P A M

    2016-03-01

    Multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) has proven to be of value for the reconstruction of trajectories of projectiles and the assessment of the injuries in deceased gunshot victim. For the depiction of soft tissue injury, MRI is superior to MDCT and MRI may be of value to assess trajectories. In a clinical setting, there are guidelines for the application of MRI in patients with projectiles or projectile fragments and with precautions MRI is safe for these patients. However, this has not been studied for the postmortem application of MRI from a forensic point of view. To assess the behaviour of projectiles, two ferromagnetic and one non-ferromagnetic projectile were exposed to the magnetic field of a 1.5- and 3-T MRI. Projectiles were placed in six phantoms with the characteristics of human muscle tissue, with and without a simulated trajectory in the gel. Before and after exposure to the magnetic field, the gelatine phantoms were imaged with MDCT to assess the position of the projectiles. The ferromagnetic projectiles rotate to a position where their long axis is parallel to the z-axis of the magnetic field and five out of the six projectiles moved through, either through the simulated trajectory or through a new trajectory. This was observed in both the 1.5- and 3-T systems. Ferromagnetic projectiles can rotate and migrate in a gelatine phantom. It is very likely that these projectiles will also migrate in a human body in a MRI system. Therefore, from a forensic point of view, postmortem MR will make a reconstruction of the trajectories in the body and of the reconstruction of the incident as a whole less reliable.

  10. RNA degradation as described by a mathematical model for postmortem interval determination.

    PubMed

    Lv, Ye-Hui; Ma, Jian-Long; Pan, Hui; Zhang, Heng; Li, Wen-Can; Xue, Ai-Min; Wang, Hui-Jun; Ma, Kai-Jun; Chen, Long

    2016-11-01

    Precisely determining the postmortem interval (PMI) is crucial to civil, criminal and forensic cases. A technique to exploit the postmortem RNA transcript level was developed to increase the accuracy and practicality of PMI estimation. For this purpose, lung tissues and muscle tissues were removed at twelve time points (0-144 h) from rat corpses that had been stored at three different temperatures (10, 20 and 30 °C). Human tissues were collected at autopsy from twelve real cases with known PMI values and other parameters. After the RNA was extracted from all these samples, the transcript levels of nine biomarkers were analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). With the assistance of geNorm, miR-195, miR-200c, 5S, U6 and RPS29 were selected as reference biomarkers for lung specimens; miR-1, miR-206, 5S and RPS29 were chosen as control markers for muscle tissues. On the contrary, ACTB and GAPDH were significantly correlated with the PMI. The mathematical models using these target biomarkers were constructed to describe the characteristic relationship between △Ct values (normalized to reference biomarkers) and the observed PMI for each temperature group. Following validation, the relatively low error rates (7.4% and 12.5% for rat and human samples, respectively) demonstrated the accuracy and reliability of the mathematical model. We believe these results indicate that the multi-parametric mathematical model can become a practical tool for PMI estimation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  11. DNA and RNA profiling of excavated human remains with varying postmortem intervals.

    PubMed

    van den Berge, M; Wiskerke, D; Gerretsen, R R R; Tabak, J; Sijen, T

    2016-11-01

    When postmortem intervals (PMIs) increase such as with longer burial times, human remains suffer increasingly from the taphonomic effects of decomposition processes such as autolysis and putrefaction. In this study, various DNA analysis techniques and a messenger RNA (mRNA) profiling method were applied to examine for trends in nucleic acid degradation and the postmortem interval. The DNA analysis techniques include highly sensitive DNA quantitation (with and without degradation index), standard and low template STR profiling, insertion and null alleles (INNUL) of retrotransposable elements typing and mitochondrial DNA profiling. The used mRNA profiling system targets genes with tissue specific expression for seven human organs as reported by Lindenbergh et al. (Int J Legal Med 127:891-900, 27) and has been applied to forensic evidentiary traces but not to excavated tissues. The techniques were applied to a total of 81 brain, lung, liver, skeletal muscle, heart, kidney and skin samples obtained from 19 excavated graves with burial times ranging from 4 to 42 years. Results show that brain and heart are the organs in which both DNA and RNA remain remarkably stable, notwithstanding long PMIs. The other organ tissues either show poor overall profiling results or vary for DNA and RNA profiling success, with sometimes DNA and other times RNA profiling being more successful. No straightforward relations were observed between nucleic acid profiling results and the PMI. This study shows that not only DNA but also RNA molecules can be remarkably stable and used for profiling of long-buried human remains, which corroborate forensic applications. The insight that the brain and heart tissues tend to provide the best profiling results may change sampling policies in identification cases of degrading cadavers.

  12. Integrating the Forensic Sciences in Wildlife Case Investigations: A Case Report of Pentobarbital and Phenytoin Toxicosis in a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

    PubMed

    Viner, T C; Hamlin, B C; McClure, P J; Yates, B C

    2016-09-01

    The application of medical knowledge to the purpose of law is the foundation of forensic pathology. A forensic postmortem examination often involves the expertise of multiple scientific disciplines to reconstruct the full story surrounding the death of an animal. Wildlife poses additional challenges in forensic investigations due to little or no associated history, and the disruptive effects of decomposition. To illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of wildlife forensic medicine, the authors outline a case of secondary pentobarbital/phenytoin toxicosis in a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The eagle was the single fatality in a group of 8 birds that fed on euthanized domestic cat remains that had been improperly disposed of in a landfill. Cooperation between responding law enforcement officers, pathologists, and other forensic scientists led to the successful diagnosis and resolution of the case. © The Author(s) 2016.

  13. Forensics on a Shoestring Budget

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greco, Joseph A.

    2005-01-01

    In recent years, forensic science has gained popularity thanks in part to high-profile court cases and television programs. Although the cost of forensic equipment and supplies may initially seem too expensive for the typical high school classroom, the author developed an activity that incorporates forensics into her 10th-grade biology curriculum…

  14. Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Psychologist, 2013

    2013-01-01

    In the past 50 years forensic psychological practice has expanded dramatically. Because the practice of forensic psychology differs in important ways from more traditional practice areas (Monahan, 1980) the "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists" were developed and published in 1991 (Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic…

  15. Forensics on a Shoestring Budget

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greco, Joseph A.

    2005-01-01

    In recent years, forensic science has gained popularity thanks in part to high-profile court cases and television programs. Although the cost of forensic equipment and supplies may initially seem too expensive for the typical high school classroom, the author developed an activity that incorporates forensics into her 10th-grade biology curriculum…

  16. Forensic applications of DNA profiling.

    PubMed

    Chow, S T; Ng, T L; Chao, T C

    1996-01-01

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profiling is a powerful forensic tool to identify and individualise biological evidence recovered at crime scenes. Its discriminating power and evidential value are exemplified by many actual forensic cases. Development of new DNA typing techniques, such as the amplification of fluorescently tagged short tandem repeats, would further enhance this capability in forensic investigation.

  17. Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Psychologist, 2013

    2013-01-01

    In the past 50 years forensic psychological practice has expanded dramatically. Because the practice of forensic psychology differs in important ways from more traditional practice areas (Monahan, 1980) the "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists" were developed and published in 1991 (Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic…

  18. Postmortem Brain and Blood Reference Concentrations of Alprazolam, Bromazepam, Chlordiazepoxide, Diazepam, and their Metabolites and a Review of the Literature.

    PubMed

    Skov, Louise; Holm, Karen Marie Dollerup; Johansen, Sys Stybe; Linnet, Kristian

    2016-09-01

    To interpret postmortem toxicology results, reference concentrations for non-toxic and toxic levels are needed. Usually, measurements are performed in blood, but because of postmortem redistribution phenomena this may not be optimal. Rather, measurement in the target organ of psychoactive drugs, the brain, might be considered. Here we present reference concentrations of femoral blood and brain tissue of selected benzodiazepines (BZDs). Using LC-MS/MS, we quantified alprazolam, bromazepam, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, and the metabolites desmethyldiazepam, oxazepam and temazepam in postmortem femoral blood and brain tissue in 104 cases. BZDs were judged to be unrelated to the cause of death in 88 cases and contributing to death in 16 cases. No cases were found with cause of death solely attributed to BZD poisoning. All BZDs investigated tended to have higher concentrations in brain than in blood with median brain-blood ratios ranging from 1.1 to 2.3. A positive correlation between brain and blood concentrations was found with R(2) values from 0.51 to 0.95. Our reported femoral blood concentrations concur with literature values, but sparse information on brain concentration was available. Drug-metabolite ratios were similar in brain and blood for most compounds. Duplicate measurements of brain samples showed that the pre-analytical variation in brain (5.9%) was relatively low, supporting the notion that brain tissue is a suitable postmortem specimen. The reported concentrations in both brain and blood can be used as reference values when evaluating postmortem cases. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Practical use of ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate in postmortem cases as markers of antemortem alcohol ingestion.

    PubMed

    Høiseth, Gudrun; Karinen, Ritva; Christophersen, Asbjørg; Mørland, Jørg

    2010-03-01

    In postmortem toxicology, it could be difficult to determine whether a positive blood ethanol concentration reflects antemortem ingestion or postmortem synthesis of alcohol. Measurement of the nonoxidative ethanol metabolite ethyl glucuronide (EtG) has been suggested as a marker of antemortem ingestion of alcohol, but EtG might degrade postmortem which could make interpretation difficult. So far, the published articles concern EtG only. Another nonoxidative metabolite, ethyl sulfate (EtS), which is more stable, has therefore been included in this study. We present a material of 36 deaths where postmortem formation of ethanol was suspected and where both EtG and EtS were measured in blood and urine to assist the interpretation. In 19 cases, EtG and EtS were positive in the body fluids analyzed. The median concentration of EtG and EtS in blood was 0.4 (range 0.1-23.2) and 0.9 mg/L (range 0.04-7.9), respectively. The median concentration of EtG and EtS in urine was 35.9 (range 1.0-182) and 8.5 mg/L (range 0.3-99), respectively. In another 16 cases, there was no trace of EtG or EtS in the specimens analyzed. In one case, there was inconsistency between the results of EtG and EtS; they were both positive in urine, while only EtS was positive in blood. This study showed that, out of 36 cases, antemortem ingestion of alcohol was very likely in 19 and unlikely in 16, according to EtG and EtS results. In the last case, the interpretation was more difficult. One possible explanation would be postmortem degradation of EtG in blood.

  20. Diversity of forensic rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) associated with decaying pig carcass in a forest biotope.

    PubMed

    Dekeirsschieter, Jessica; Frederick, Christine; Verheggen, Francois J; Drugmand, Didier; Haubruge, Eric

    2013-07-01

    Most forensic studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization while neglecting Coleoptera succession. So far, little information is available on the postmortem colonization by beetles and the decomposition process they initiate under temperate biogeoclimatic countries. These beetles have, however, been referred to as being part of the entomofaunal colonization of a dead body. Forensic entomologists need increased databases detailing the distribution, ecology, and phenology of necrophagous insects, including staphylinids (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). While pig carcasses are commonly used in forensic entomology studies to surrogate human decomposition and to investigate the entomofaunal succession, very few works have been conducted in Europe on large carcasses. Our work reports the monitoring of the presence of adult rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) on decaying pig carcasses in a forest biotope during four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter). A total of 23 genera comprising 60 species of rove beetles were collected from pig carcasses.