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Title: Forensic study of skin postmortem changes as a supplementary test to determine postmortem interval (first 78 hours)
Author: Calderón Garcidueñas, Ana Laura
Melo Santiesteban, Guadalupe
Denis Rodríguez, Edmundo
Cerda Flores, Ricardo Martin
Denis Rodríguez, Patricia Beatriz
Keywords: autolysis; forensics; postmortem interval; skin biopsy
Description: Introduction. Determining the postmortem interval is usually based on macroscopic-morphological criteria (cadaveric phenomena); some other objective methods are often difficult to access in daily practice; therefore we analyze the usefulness of the histopathological examination of the skin as a supplementary method for determining the postmortem interval. Materials and methods.  23 patients and 92 skin biopsies were analyzed. All samples were taken in a maximum time of 6 h postmortem. Biopsies were classified into 4 groups according to the postmortem interval, with 23 biopsies in each group: 1 (1 to 6 h.); 2 (25 to 30 h.); 3 (49 to 54 h.); 4 (73 to 78 h); 21 histological criteria were analyzed with Fisher test and principal component analysis. Results.  Skin biopsies of 23 corpses (mean age 51.6 years, 15 males and 8 females) were studied. 21 histological criteria were analyzed by Fisher test; statistical significance (p <0.001) with a reliability of 94.61% was achieved in 15 parameters. With the 15 selected parameters, a principal component analysis established that there were differences among the 4 analyzed groups. Conclusions. The skin histological changes may be used as a supplementary parameter in the forensic evaluation of the early postmortem interval.
Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal y Ciencias Forenses
Appears in Collections:Revista Colombia Forense

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