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Double-chambered left ventricle – a “heart within a heart”
AbstractA 20-year-old previously well man drowned after performing a back-flip off a bridge into a river. At autopsy no significant injuries or organic illness were identified. An unusual incidental finding was a double chambered left ventricle, or so-called “heart within a heart”, with the left ventricle subdivided into two separate chambers by a muscular septum. Awareness of this entity in forensic casework is important as this anomaly, despite its dramatic appearance, is not associated with anomalous conduction tracts or arrhythmogenic conditions , and so is usually a completely incidental finding at autopsy...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - February 13, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Internal patterned injuries in trauma
We report the suicide of a 23-year-old man by jumping off a bridge. At autopsy, an unusual finding was “tramline” bruising of the right liver lobe. The “blunt objects” that inflicted the bruising were determined to be the right ribs which were pushed against the liver capsule as a consequence of the extensive thoracic and vertebral trauma after a fall from a height with intermediate impact. (Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - February 13, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Rapid and reliable detection of previous freezing of cerebral tissue by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging
AbstractDue to slowing or even inhibition of postmortem processes, freezing may make an estimation of the time-since-death very difficult. This is also true in previously frozen and subsequently thawed bodies. Knowledge of prior freezing is important, as it may lead to a different assessment of the time since death. Twelve pig heads were frozen at −20 °C, and 6 heads were either kept at room temperature (approximately 20 °C) or in a cooling cell (approximately 5 °C). The frozen brains and cadavers were thawed at either room temperature or in a cooling cell. All specimens underwent repeated ...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - February 12, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Pandora ’s box
AbstractSuitcases or other containers are occasionally involved in forensic investigations. If there is a suspicion that human remains are hidden inside such a container, medico-legal examinations are required. However, these containers are occasionally locked. Forced opening of a locked suitcase or container may cause damage to its contents. Additionally, the safety of the investigator has to be considered as such containers may be booby-trapped or contain other hazardous material. An overview of the contents before opening is desirable in order to avoid the possibility of encountering a Pandora ’s box. In forensic ...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - February 8, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

A homemade furnace. Influence of occupational skills in a fire-related planned complex suicide
AbstractThe term “planned complex suicide” means the combination of more than one method of suicide, planned to prevent failure of the first method to ensure a fatal outcome. Professional skills and tools are sometimes used to plan and perpetrate the suicide. A case of planned complex suicide of a mechanical eng ineer working with furnaces in a tube factory is herein reported. The suicide was committed in a rudimental furnace set up in the victim’s apartment using his professional skills, by assembling furniture, mattresses, books and flammable liquid present in the house. Three-dimensional models of the ...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - February 8, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Postmortem radiological case series of acetabular fractures after fatal aviation accidents
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to describe radiological fracture patterns of the acetabulum sustained after fatal small aircraft aviation accidents, aiming at facilitating a better understanding of trauma mechanisms in a forensic setting. Postmortem conventional radiographs or CT scans of 29 victims of 20 small aircraft aviation accidents were analyzed for skeletal acetabular trauma. Among the 29 fatalities (27 males and 2 females, median age 55  years (range: 21–76 years)), 20 victims had pelvic fractures (69%), of which 19 victims (66%) had one or more acetabular fractures. Bilateral acetabular fra...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - February 5, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

The autopsy and diagnosis of pulmonary thrombo-embolism
AbstractPulmonary thrombo-embolism (PTE) is a common cause of death but is frequently undetected by clinicians in spite of advanced diagnostic techniques. The autopsy has traditionally been used to identify the rate of PTE in hospital patients, but the decline in autopsy rates – especially in hospitals – has led to insufficient recent data from which to comment with confidence on the true rate of death from latent PTE. Widespread prophylactic anticoagulation regimens against venous thrombosis may induce complacency amongst clinicians. PTE continues to occur and to kil l, and autopsies should be performed more f...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - February 5, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Regarding “Lethal hypothermia – a sometimes elusive diagnosis”
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - January 23, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Point-of-care hemoglobin testing for postmortem diagnosis of anemia
AbstractAn autopsy involves examination of a body using invasive methods such as dissection, and includes various tests using samples procured during dissection. During medicolegal autopsies, the blood carboxyhemoglobin concentration is commonly measured using the AVOXimeter ® 4000 as a point-of-care test. When evaluating the body following hypovolemic shock, characteristics such as reduced livor mortis or an anemic appearance of the viscera can be identified, but these observations arequite subjective. Thus, a more objective test is required for the postmortem diagnos is of anemia. In the present study, the AVOXimeter...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - January 22, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Singleplex quantitative real-time PCR for the assessment of human mitochondrial DNA quantity and quality
AbstractMitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can provide a means for forensic identity testing when genotyping of nuclear DNA (nuDNA) targets is not possible due to degradation or lack of template. For degraded samples, an indication of the quantity and quality of mtDNA is essential to allow selection of appropriately sized targets for hypervariable region (HVR) analysis, which may conserve sample and resources. Three human-specific mtDNA targets of increasing length (86, 190 and 452 base pairs) were amplified by singleplex quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), capable of providing an index of mtDNA degradation from fragment length info...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - January 20, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Species diversity and tissue specific dispersal of necrophagous Diptera on human bodies
AbstractIn forensic entomology, many studies analyze fly activity and succession on dead bodies by using pig cadavers and a variety of small baited traps. Data on real human bodies are very rare. To address this shortcoming, we analyzed the fly fauna of 51 human bodies in Germany. Sex, age, place of discovery, and presumed time of death were noted. Larvae were sampled during autopsy according to body region or tissue. For every infested region, the total number of fly larvae were estimated and classified into categories of 1 –10, 11–50, and 50+. All samples were identified to the species level. Besides a descri...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - January 18, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Bystin (BYSL) as a possible marker of severe hypoxic-ischemic changes in neuropathological examination of forensic cases
AbstractBystin (BYSL) is a 306-amino acid protein encoded in humans by the BYSL gene located on the 6p21.1 chromosome. It is conserved across a wide range of eukaryotes. BYSL was reported to be a sensitive marker for the reactive astrocytes induced by ischemia/reperfusion and chemical hypoxia in vitro and is considered to be one of the common characteristics of astrogliosis. In our study we examined whether BYSL could be used as a marker for hypoxic-ischemic changes in forensic cases. Groups suspected of acute hypoxic-ischemic changes presented strong BYSL expression in the cytoplasm of neocortical neurons especially in la...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - January 18, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Regarding Vadyshinghe AN, Sivasubramanium M, Jayasooriay RP (2017): A tree branch instead of a ligature: an unusual accidental hanging. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 13: 441 –443
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - January 9, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Differentiation of antemortem pulmonary thromboembolism and postmortem clot with unenhanced MRI: a case report
We report a case of a 39-year-old woman who died of fulminant pulmonary thromboembolism (PE). Autopsy showed classical findings of fulminant PE with occlusion of the bilateral main stem pulmonary arteries. Ancillary testing revealed inherited thrombophilia (Prothrombin 20,210  G >  A and MTHFR 677 C >  T mutation). Pre-autopsy postmortem computed tomography was used to test whether virtual imaging studies alone (virtual autopsy) would be sufficient to detect PE. Our studies show that computed tomography (CT) can differentiate antemortem clots from a postmortem clot in certain cases, p...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - January 4, 2018 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Double suicidal gunshot wounds to the heart
AbstractA case of double gunshot wounds to the heart is reported, where police investigations determined the manner of death to be suicide. In addition, the autopsy findings supported this conclusion. The localization, appearance, and mutual relations of the inflicted wounds, as well as the direction of the bullet trajectories, helped to determine the most probable sequence of events. The victim had been able to act after the first shot and inflict the second shot as the conduction system of the heart was at least partially preserved. Even when the circumstances indicate the most probable manner of death, multiple gunshot ...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - December 18, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Why is a prone sleeping position dangerous for certain infants?
AbstractThe prone (face down) sleeping position is known to be associated with a significantly increased risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy (sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS), however, the reasons for this are unclear. Suggested mechanisms have involved suffocation from occlusion of the external airways by soft bedding/pillows or from flattening of the nose with backward displacement of the tongue, rebreathing of carbon dioxide, blunting of arousal responses with decreased cardiac responses to auditory stimulation, diaphragmatic splinting or fatigue, lowering of vasomotor tone with tachycardia, nasopharynge...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - December 14, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Injury potential of thrown sharp kitchen and household utensils
We examined the possibility of inflicting serious injuries with sharp objects in an experimental setting by throwing four sharp objects from different distances and with different throwing techniques. Using an overarm-handle (OA/H), overarm-blade (OA/B), underarm-handle (UA/H), underarm-blade (UA/B) and thrust (T/H) throwing technique, 10 adults (sex ratio 1:1) threw a chef ’s knife, a skinning knife, a paring knife and office scissors from 4 m and 2 m distance at synthetic abdomen models made of 10% gelatin covered with synthetic skin. The amount of hits and penetrations of the target and their penetration...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - December 2, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

A heart of stone: an autopsy case of massive myocardial calcification
AbstractA case of massive calcification of the myocardium is presented that was diagnosed by postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) and confirmed by conventional autopsy. There are two types of pathologic calcification, dystrophic and metastatic. Massive calcification of the myocardium is associated with variable clinical outcomes, including sudden unexpected death. A 53-year-old man was found after he collapsed beside a walkway. He was transferred to hospital and died approximately two months later. To investigate the cause of death, PMCT and conventional autopsy were performed, which revealed massive calcification of the ...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - December 2, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Automatic detection of hemorrhagic pericardial effusion on PMCT using deep learning - a feasibility study
AbstractPost mortem computed tomography (PMCT) can be used as a triage tool to better identify cases with a possibly non-natural cause of death, especially when high caseloads make it impossible to perform autopsies on all cases. Substantial data can be generated by modern medical scanners, especially in a forensic setting where the entire body is documented at high resolution. A solution for the resulting issues could be the use of deep learning techniques for automatic analysis of radiological images. In this article, we wanted to test the feasibility of such methods for forensic imaging by hypothesizing that deep learni...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - November 15, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Nanoparticles in explosives detection – the state-of-the-art and future directions
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - November 15, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Sudden death due to malignant hyperthermia with a mutation of RYR1: autopsy, morphology and genetic analysis
AbstractMalignant hyperthermia (MH) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by abnormal calcium homeostasis in skeletal muscles in response to triggering agents. Autopsy, morphology, and genetic analysis were performed on a 19-year-old man who died rapidly after exposure to sevoflurane during maxillofacial surgery. Muscle spasm around the operation area and limb rigidity occurred and renal tubules full of myoglobin casts were observed by microscopy. Ultrastructural changes in the skeletal muscles and the myocardium were detected by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Genetic analysis disclosed a ryanodine recep...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - November 4, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Epicardial adipose tissue volume estimation by postmortem computed tomography of eviscerated hearts
AbstractEpicardial adipose tissue (EAT) may play a role in the development of coronary artery disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a method based on postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) for the estimation of EAT volume. We PMCT-scanned the eviscerated hearts of 144 deceased individuals, who underwent a medicolegal autopsy. Using Mimics ® we performed segmentation of the images and obtained the volumes of EAT and myocardium. Total heart volume was calculated by adding the volumes of EAT and myocardium. Total heart weight, including EAT, myocardium and attached vessels, was measured during autopsy. Inter-o...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - November 2, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

The death of Ben Hall
AbstractBen Hall was a nineteenth-century Australian bushranger (outlaw) who was shot and killed by colonial police on May 5 1865. Popular belief is that Hall was shot while sleeping in his camp bedding. This contrasts with the official police version of Hall being shot while attempting to escape by running away. To evaluate this divergence of opinion a study of the gun belt allegedly worn by Hall at the time of his fatal shooting was undertaken. This revealed a nineteenth-century belt with a defect corresponding to an oblique bullet hole. The shelving was in keeping with the shooter being located to the rear and left of t...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 30, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Fatal acute retropharyngeal hemorrhage in neurofibromatosis type 1
We report the sudden death of a woman with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The decedent developed acute respiratory distress and died rapidly despite an emergent cricothyroidotomy. An autopsy with postmortem CT scan was performed to determine the cause of the fatal respiratory collapse and to determine if death was related to neurofibromatosis. Postmortem examination revealed the classical external hallmarks of neurofibromatosis, including innumerable cutaneous neurofibromas. In addition, there was a massive retropharyngeal hematoma with fatal extrinsic compression of the airway. On macroscopic examination A localized 3 &n...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 28, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Body farms
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 26, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

A case of sudden death due to spontaneous right subclavian artery dissection
We report the autopsy case of a 29-year-old female who died suddenly following a spontaneous dissection of the right subclavian artery. (Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 23, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Tension pneumopericardium following suicidal stab wounds to the chest
In this report, we present a case with suicidal, penetrating stab wounds to the chest resulting in a TPPC with lethal air tamponade documented by PMCT. (Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 23, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Copper-beaten skull appearance in the setting of Marfan syndrome
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 23, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Line of fire – what happened at the Wantabadgery seige?
AbstractA gunfight between police and a gang of men led by the self-styled “Captain Moonlite”, a.k.a. George Scott, occurred on 16th November 1879 at a farmhouse near Wantabadgery Station in the colony of New South Wales. The skirmish resulted in the deaths of two bushrangers and one police officer. As a result, Captain Moonlite and Thomas Rogan were hung in Sydney’s Darlinghurst Gaol on 20 January 1880 for the murder of Constable Edward Webb-Bowen. Culpability for firing the fatal shot, however, has remained a source of controversy. Information obtained from an analysis of historical records was used to ...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 23, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Post-mortem human cadaver scavenging by marine crustaceans (Isopoda: Cirolanidae) in tropical waters
This report documents post-mortem scavenging by two identified species of marine crustaceans (Crustacea: Isopoda: Cirolanidae) on a human cadaver from the vicinity of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. (Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 12, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

A case of fatal perimyocarditis due to a rare disease
We report the case of a 51-year-old man who died several months after being diagnosed with asthma by his general practitioner. This diagnosis had been confirmed by a pulmonologist approximately 6  weeks before the man’s death. To rule out the possibility of medical malpractice the prosecuting authority ordered a forensic autopsy. At autopsy macroscopic indicators for perimyocarditis and pneumonia were found. Microbiological and histological examination of tissue samples confirmed a diagno sis of Churg-Strauss syndrome, also known as Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA). The cause of death was det...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 11, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Regarding ligature induced blister formation in hanging – the “pinch” effect
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 5, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Sodium fluoroacetate toxicity: a case report of malicious poisoning in dogs across a Phoenix, Arizona neighborhood
AbstractIn May 2016, thirteen dogs housed in backyards within a single neighborhood were reported to have developed convulsions and died within a 24  h period. An investigation of the scene by law enforcement resulted in submission of eight dogs for postmortem examination. It was suspected that a rapid acting toxin was the cause of death. A gas chromatography-mass spectrophotometry (GC-MS) protocol combined with thin-layer chromatography that a llows screening for common convulsants failed to identify a toxin in either pooled gastric content or liver samples from select cases. After consultation with a veterinary toxi...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 3, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Body farms
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - October 2, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

The potential forensic significance of convict archives from Van Diemen ’s Land, 1820–1877
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - September 8, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Body farms – characteristics and contributions
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - September 7, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Suicide in children and adolescents: a Tunisian perspective from 2009 to 2015
This study presents the characteristics of child and adolescent suicides which occurred in Kairouan, Tunisia. Data were collected from autopsy records of the Forensic Department of the University Hospital Ibn El Jazzar of Kairouan. General characteristics of suicides among children and adolescents (under the age of 18) between 2009 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 49 cases, with a female predominance (61.2%) and a mean age of 15.4  ± 2.1, were registered. Most of the victims were from rural areas (93.1%). In most cases, suicide occurred in the victim’s home or the surrounding area (...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - September 7, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Lethal hypothermia – a sometimes elusive diagnosis
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - September 5, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

PMCT images of a motorcycle helmet-associated fracture
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - September 5, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Self-inflicted explosive death by intra-oral detonation of a firecracker: a case report
AbstractSelf-inflicted explosive deaths due to detonation of fireworks are rare. In this case report, a peculiar case of an elderly male who discharged a firecracker inside his mouth, resulting in fatal blast induced craniofacial injuries, is described. There is paucity of published data describing fireworks-related suicidal and/or non-suicidal deaths. Even scantier data is present specifically describing fireworks-related blast induced neurotrauma and the mechanism(s) of injury involved in such cases. This case report emphasizes the severe damage that a commercially available explosive, the so-called “Gorilla Bomb&r...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - September 5, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Antemortem identification by fusion of MR and CT of the paranasal sinuses
AbstractRadiologic forensic identification is usually performed by comparing antemortem and postmortem radiographs. While computed tomography (CT) has become a valuable addition to radiologic identification, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has only rarely been used for this purpose. In our case, identification was accomplished using fused MR- and CT images in a survivor of a gunshot injury to the head. This case supports and highlights the possibility to perform intermodality radiologic identification comparing preexisting MR imaging to subsequently aquired CT data in living (or deceased) humans as long as manual modificat...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - August 11, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Cutaneous manifestations of lightning strike – variability in Lichtenberg figures
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - August 11, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Anaphylaxis at autopsy
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - August 11, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

HRM and SNaPshot as alternative forensic SNP genotyping methods
This study compares HRM and SNaPshot®. HRM produced reproducible and concordant genotypes at 500 pg, however, difficulties were encountered when genotyping SNPs with high GC content in flanking regions and differentiating variants of symmetrical SNPs. SNaPshot® was reproducibl e at 100 pg and is less dependent on SNP choice. HRM has a shorter processing time in comparison to SNaPshot®, avoids post PCR contamination risk and has potential as a screening tool for many forensic applications. (Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - August 11, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Molecular pathology of cerebral TNF- α, IL-1β, iNOS and Nrf2 in forensic autopsy cases with special regard to deaths due to environmental hazards and intoxication
AbstractDeaths involved with environmental hazards and intoxication might present with minimal or nonspecific morphological features, which are insufficient to establish a diagnosis. The present study investigated the postmortem brain mRNA and immunohistochemical expressions of tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) in forensic cases. Relative mRNA quantification using Taqman real-time PCR assay demonstrated higher expression of IL-1β, TNF-α and iNOS, and lower expression of Nrf ...
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - August 3, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

Ongoing issues with the diagnosis of excited delirium
(Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - August 3, 2017 Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research