Journal Cover Legal Medicine
  [SJR: 0.908]   [H-I: 32]   [355 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1344-6223
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3177 journals]
  • An autopsy case of nearly complete ossification of the stylohyoid chain:
           Eagle syndrome in forensic aspect
    • Authors: Hideaki Kato; Sanae Kanno; Jun Ohtaki; Yoshimi Nakamura; Katsumasa Kobayashi; Yasuhiro Aoki
      Pages: 19 - 22
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Hideaki Kato, Sanae Kanno, Jun Ohtaki, Yoshimi Nakamura, Katsumasa Kobayashi, Yasuhiro Aoki


      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.003
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Fatal varicella in immigrants from tropical countries: Case reports and
           forensic perspectives
    • Authors: Gianni Guadagnini; Simone Lo Baido; Francesca Poli; Annamaria Govi; Sveva Borin; Paolo Fais; Susi Pelotti
      Pages: 83 - 86
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Gianni Guadagnini, Simone Lo Baido, Francesca Poli, Annamaria Govi, Sveva Borin, Paolo Fais, Susi Pelotti
      The primary Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) infection results in varicella, a generally benign, self-limiting disease in immunocompetent children. Despite the usual course a possible fatal evolution of the primary infection is observed predominantly in immunocompromised subjects and in adults, especially emigrating from tropical regions. Two cases of fatal varicella have been investigated and discussed. Death occurred in two patients over 40 years of age, coming from South Asia and receiving chronic immunosuppressive therapy. The forensic expert must be cautious and consider all clinical records in managing fatal varicella cases, bearing in mind risk factors and pre-existing conditions such as age, geographical provenance and pathological comorbidity, which may lead to a bad prognosis irrespective of therapies. Based on the severe and fatal course observed in the reported cases, an extension of the immunization program appears advisable for immigrants from tropical countries, especially before scheduled immunotherapy.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.007
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Use of postmortem computed tomography to retrieve small metal fragments
           derived from a weapon in the bodies of victims in two homicide cases
    • Authors: Rie Sano; Yoichiro Takahashi; Akira Hayakawa; Masayuki Murayama; Rieko Kubo; Satoshi Hirasawa; Hiroyuki Tokue; Takehiro Shimada; Sachiko Awata; Hiroyuki Takei; Masahiro Yuasa; Shinji Uetake; Hisashi Akuzawa; Yoshihiko Kominato
      Pages: 87 - 89
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Rie Sano, Yoichiro Takahashi, Akira Hayakawa, Masayuki Murayama, Rieko Kubo, Satoshi Hirasawa, Hiroyuki Tokue, Takehiro Shimada, Sachiko Awata, Hiroyuki Takei, Masahiro Yuasa, Shinji Uetake, Hisashi Akuzawa, Yoshihiko Kominato
      Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) is becoming a commonly used modality in routine forensic investigation. Mechanical injuries including lacerations, incisions, stab wounds and gunshot wounds frequently contain foreign bodies that may have significant value as clues in criminal investigations. CT is a sensitive modality for detection of metal foreign bodies that may be associated with injuries to the victim in cases of homicide or traffic accidents. Here we report two cases in which PMCT was able to act as a guide to forensic pathologists for retrieval of metal fragments in the corpses of the victims, the retrieved fragments then being used to validate the confessions of the assailants through comparison with the knife and the crowbar, respectively, that had been used in the crimes. In these cases, the small metal fragments retrieved from the corpses of the victims with the aid of PMCT were decisive pieces of evidence confirming the circumstances of the crimes. These cases illustrate how PMCT can be used to complement the findings of classical autopsy for integrative investigation of corpses with injury.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.006
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Body packing and intra-vaginal body pushing of cocaine: A not-so-rare
           event
    • Authors: Simone Cappelletti; Daria Piacentino
      Pages: 90 - 91
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Simone Cappelletti, Daria Piacentino


      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.008
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Mutation analysis of 19 commonly used short tandem repeat loci in a
           Guangdong Han population
    • Authors: Cheng Xiao; Zhiyong Peng; Feilong Chen; Hui Yan; Bofeng Zhu; Yunchun Tai; Pingming Qiu; Chao Liu; Xuheng Song; Zihao Wu; Ling Chen
      Pages: 92 - 97
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Cheng Xiao, Zhiyong Peng, Feilong Chen, Hui Yan, Bofeng Zhu, Yunchun Tai, Pingming Qiu, Chao Liu, Xuheng Song, Zihao Wu, Ling Chen
      Short tandem repeats (STRs) are the most widely used genetic markers in current forensic practice. However, STR mutations have troubled paternity test all the time. To ensure the accuracy in parentage testing, it is important to obtain population mutation data and identify factors that affect STR mutation rates. In the present study, we performed a comprehensive analysis on 322 mutation events in 19 autosomal STR loci from 12,752 meiotic events in 9,626 parentage test cases. The average mutation rate for the 19 STR loci was estimated at 1.329‰ per meiosis. Most mutations were single-step and occurred in the male germline. Further, the mutation rates increased with the paternal age at child birth, but not the maternal age. Multidimensional scaling analysis showed differences in the profiles of the mutation rates of the 13 CODIS STR loci among several different worldwide populations. Our findings also showed that locus-specific mutation rates were correlated with heterozygosity, and longer alleles have higher mutation rates than shorter alleles do. The data from our study may provide useful information for parentage testing, kinship analysis, and population genetics.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.005
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Non-invasive prenatal paternity testing using cell-free fetal DNA from
           maternal plasma: DNA isolation and genetic marker studies
    • Authors: Shanshan Zhang; Shuyi Han; Maoxiu Zhang; Yunshan Wang
      Pages: 98 - 103
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Shanshan Zhang, Shuyi Han, Maoxiu Zhang, Yunshan Wang
      Invasive prenatal paternity tests can result in miscarriage and congenital malformations; therefore, a non-invasive method of testing is preferable. However, little progress could be made in this field until the introduction of cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in 2009. In this review, two aspects regarding the history and development of non-invasive prenatal paternity testing (NIPAT) are summarized: (1) extraction and enrichment of cffDNA and (2) genetic marker-based studies. Although column-based kits are used widely for NIPAT, some researchers have suggested that an automated method, such as magnetic extraction, generally has a higher cffDNA yield than that of manual column-based extraction; therefore, its popularity might increase in the near future. In addition, size- and methylation-based enrichment methods are expected to perform better than formaldehyde-based methods. On the other hand, single nucleotide polymorphism-based techniques have contributed to NIPAT, whereas the application of short tandem repeat testing has so far been restricted to pregnant women bearing male fetuses only. Additional methods and techniques are expected to be innovated to facilitate the forensic practice of NIPAT.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.009
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Forensic parameters for 15 autosomal STRs in Mestizo population from the
           state of Guerrero (South, Mexico)
    • Authors: G.J. Locia-Aguilar; B. López-Saucedo; S. Deheza-Bautista; O.V. Salado-Beltrán; V.M. Martínez-Sevilla; H. Rangel-Villalobos
      Pages: 104 - 106
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): G.J. Locia-Aguilar, B. López-Saucedo, S. Deheza-Bautista, O.V. Salado-Beltrán, V.M. Martínez-Sevilla, H. Rangel-Villalobos
      Allele distribution and forensic parameters were estimated for 15 STR loci (AmpFlSTR Identifiler kit) in 251 Mexican-Mestizos from the state of Guerrero (South, Mexico). Genotype distribution was in agreement with Hardy–Weinberg expectations for all 15 STRs. Similarly, linkage disequilibrium test demonstrated no association between pair of loci. The power of exclusion and power of discrimination values were 99.999634444% and >99.99999999%, respectively. Genetic relationship analysis regarding Mestizo populations from the main geographic regions of Mexico suggests that the Center and the present South regions conform one population cluster, separated from the Southeast and Northwest regions.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.002
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Strangulation of the heart presenting as sudden cardiac death: A deadly
           but forgotten complication of epicardial pacing device
    • Authors: Martin Janík; Petr Hejna; Ľubomír Straka; Jozef Krajčovič; František Novomeský
      Pages: 107 - 112
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Martin Janík, Petr Hejna, Ľubomír Straka, Jozef Krajčovič, František Novomeský
      Strangulation of the heart appears to be an exceedingly rare mechanical phenomenon that can develop with epicardial pacing wires in individuals undergoing somatic growth. Over the passage of time, owing to size mismatch between a fixed wire length and dynamically growing heart, the epicardial wire may embed around the heart resulting in the progressive over-pressurizing of involved cardiac structures. Depending on the location of the peak constriction pressures, cardiac strangulation may damagingly affect coronary circulation, heart valves function, or physiologic filling of the heart chambers, with risk of myocardial ischemia, decreased cardiac output, acute cardiac failure, ventricular arrhythmias and death. We report a case of a 29-year-old male with sudden cardiac death owing to cardiac strangulation with epicardial pacing wire that had been retained in place almost 30 years. At autopsy, an enlarged and abnormally contoured heart was found to be strangulated by an epicardial pacing wire; histopathologic examination confirmed hypertrophy of the myocardial fibers, myofiber disarrangement, and replacement-type fibrolipomatosis. In addition, this article consolidates the available literature on cardiac strangulation by an epicardial wire and highlight relevant clinical and medico-legal features for the forensic professionals.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.04.001
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • Effects of PCR inhibitors on mRNA expression for human blood
           identification
    • Authors: Shusaku Matsumura; Aya Matsusue; Brian Waters; Masayuki Kashiwagi; Kenji Hara; Shin-ichi Kubo
      Pages: 113 - 119
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 32
      Author(s): Shusaku Matsumura, Aya Matsusue, Brian Waters, Masayuki Kashiwagi, Kenji Hara, Shin-ichi Kubo
      Detection of body fluid-specific mRNAs, such as those specific for blood, using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a useful tool in forensic science. Blood stains often contain PCR inhibitors that may be co-extracted with RNA and adversely affect PCR. The effects of inhibitors on the detection of mRNA markers for blood identification, namely, hemoglobin beta (HBB) and actin beta, were examined herein. Inhibitors were added to a real-time PCR mix, reverse transcription mix, and blood samples before RNA extraction, and the following parameters: Ct, delta Ct (dCt), and melting temperature (Tm) values, were monitored. Hematin, humic acid, indigo carmine, and tannic acid were used as PCR inhibitors. The results showed that Ct values for HBB in samples containing inhibitors in their real-time PCR mix increased in a concentration-dependent manner, and were undetectable at higher concentrations. Moreover, Ct values for HBB in tannic acid-spiked samples reached a maximum once, and inhibition decreased at higher concentrations. dCt values increased in hematin-spiked samples, but decreased in tannic acid-spiked samples. Tm values decreased following the addition of each inhibitor. The reverse transcription reaction was scarcely inhibited at concentrations that markedly affected real-time PCR. The complete removal of inhibitors added to blood was difficult. However, the observed inhibitory effects were weaker than those when inhibitors were added to the PCR cocktail. PCR inhibition was effectively reduced by repurification of complimentary DNA with DNA extraction kits. These results will assist examiners in deducing contaminating inhibitors and selecting an appropriate method to remove them.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.04.002
      Issue No: Vol. 32 (2018)
       
  • 3D-3D facial superimposition between monozygotic twins: A novel
           morphological approach to the assessment of differences due to
           environmental factors
    • Authors: Daniele Gibelli; Valentina Pucciarelli; Pasquale Poppa; Danilo De Angelis; Marco Cummaudo; Luca Pisoni; Marina Codari; Cristina Cattaneo; Chiarella Sforza
      Pages: 33 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31
      Author(s): Daniele Gibelli, Valentina Pucciarelli, Pasquale Poppa, Danilo De Angelis, Marco Cummaudo, Luca Pisoni, Marina Codari, Cristina Cattaneo, Chiarella Sforza
      Distinction of one twin with respect to the other, based on external appearance, is challenging; nevertheless, facial morphology may provide individualizing features that may help distinguish twin siblings. This study aims at exposing an innovative method for the facial assessment in monozygotic twins for personal identification, based on the registration and comparison of 3D models of faces. Ten couples of monozygotic twins aged between 25 and 69 years were acquired twice by a stereophotogrammetric system (VECTRA-3D® M3: Canfield Scientific, Inc., Fairfield, NJ); the 3D reconstruction of each person was then registered and superimposed onto the model belonging to the same person (self-matches), the corresponding sibling (twin-matches) and to unrelated participants from the other couples (miss-matches); RMS (root mean square) point-to-point distances were automatically calculated for all the 220 superimpositions. One-way ANOVA was used to evaluate the differences among miss-matches, twin-matches and self-matches (p < .05). RMS values for self-matches, twin-matches and miss-matches were respectively 1.0 mm (SD: 0.3 mm), 1.9 mm (0.5 mm) and 3.4 mm (0.70 mm). Statistically significant differences were found among the three groups (p < .01). Comparing RMS values in the three groups, mean facial variability in twin siblings was 55.9% of that assessed between unrelated persons and about twice higher than that observed between models belonging to the same individual. The present study proposed an innovative method for the facial assessment of twin siblings, based on 3D surface analysis, which may provide additional information concerning the relation between genes and environment.

      PubDate: 2018-01-03T19:36:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.011
      Issue No: Vol. 31 (2018)
       
  • Forensic parameters of the X-STR Decaplex system in Mexican populations
    • Authors: C. Mariscal Ramos; G Martínez-Cortes; B Ramos-González; H Rangel-Villalobos
      Pages: 38 - 41
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31
      Author(s): C. Mariscal Ramos, G Martínez-Cortes, B Ramos-González, H Rangel-Villalobos
      We studied the X-STR decaplex system in 529 DNA female samples of Mexican populations from five geographic regions. Allele frequencies and forensic parameters were estimated in each region and in the pooled Mexican population. Genotype distribution by locus was in agreement with Hardy-Weinberg expectations in each Mexican population sample. Similarly, linkage equilibrium was demonstrated between pair of loci. Pairwise comparisons and genetic distances between Mexican, Iberoamerican and one African populations were estimated and graphically represented. Interestingly, a non-significant interpopulation differentiation was detected (Fst = 0.0021; p = .74389), which allows using a global Mexican database for forensic interpretation of X-STR genotypes.

      PubDate: 2018-01-03T19:36:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.013
      Issue No: Vol. 31 (2018)
       
  • Gas embolism as a potential cause of death by helium poisoning –
           Postmortem computed tomography changes in two cases of suicidal helium
           inhalation
    • Authors: Aleksandra Borowska-Solonynko; Agnieszka Dąbkowska
      Pages: 59 - 65
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31
      Author(s): Aleksandra Borowska-Solonynko, Agnieszka Dąbkowska
      Evaluation of two suicidal helium inhalation cases is presented, comprising both conventional autopsy methods and postmortem computed tomography. Conventional postmortem examinations reveal no characteristic changes. Modern diagnostic techniques enabled to disclosethe presence of a very large amount of accumulated gas in all examined areas, including veins and arteries of the head, torso, lower extremities, heart chambers, and between muscle fibers in both cases. The changes due to possible putrefaction were taken into consideration – radiological alteration index was calculated. In forensic literature, the reported mechanism of death in helium poisoning is rapid asphyxiation due to oxygen deprivation. However, papers on clinical cases and animal studies with the use of helium report development of gas in body cavities and lethal gas embolism, comprehensible when we take into account the specific physical properties of helium: high permeability and very low solubility in blood. The results reported by the authors are consistent with massive gas embolism similar to changes presentedin cases of decompression illness. They suggest this as the cause of death in helium inhalation cases. Undoubtedly, this requiresconfirmation in further observations, taking into account differentiating diagnosis of air embolism versus oxygen deprivation.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.01.001
      Issue No: Vol. 31 (2018)
       
  • High-throughput determination of valproate in human samples by modified
           QuEChERS extraction and GC-MS/MS
    • Authors: Shun Mizuno; Xiao-Pen Lee; Masaya Fujishiro; Takaaki Matsuyama; Miho Yamada; Yuki Sakamoto; Maiko Kusano; Kei Zaitsu; Chika Hasegawa; Iwao Hasegawa; Takeshi Kumazawa; Akira Ishii; Keizo Sato
      Pages: 66 - 73
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31
      Author(s): Shun Mizuno, Xiao-Pen Lee, Masaya Fujishiro, Takaaki Matsuyama, Miho Yamada, Yuki Sakamoto, Maiko Kusano, Kei Zaitsu, Chika Hasegawa, Iwao Hasegawa, Takeshi Kumazawa, Akira Ishii, Keizo Sato
      A new high-throughput method was developed for analysis of valproate in human plasma samples by QuEChERS extraction and gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). Plasma samples (0.2 ml) spiked with valproate and secobarbital-d 5 (internal standard) were diluted with 1.3 ml of distilled water. Acetonitrile (1 ml) was added followed by 0.4 g MgSO4 and 0.1 g NaOAC. After a centrifugation step (2000 g for 10 min), 1 ml of the supernatant was transferred to a dispersive-solid phase extraction (dSPE) tube containing 150 mg MgSO4 and 50 mg C18. This mixture was vortexed and centrifuged at 3000 g for 5 min, and then the upper layer was evaporated to dryness under a stream of nitrogen. The residue was dissolved in 40 μl ethyl acetate, and a 1-μl aliquot was injected into the GC-MS/MS. The GC separation of the compounds was achieved on a fused-silica capillary column Rxi-5Sil MS (30 m × 0.25 mm i.d.; 0.25-µm film thickness) and detected by MS/MS operating in electron ionization ion source mode. The regression equations showed excellent linearity (r > 0.9997) from 50 to 5000 ng/ml for plasma, with limit of detection of 10 ng/ml. The extraction efficiency of valproate for plasma ranged between 71.2%–103.5%. The coefficient of variation was <18.5%. The method was successfully applied to actual analyses of an autopsy case. This method can be useful for simple and reliable measurements of valproate in clinical and toxicological analyses; it can be integrated in screening and simultaneous determination methods for multiple drugs and poisons in the further studies.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.01.002
      Issue No: Vol. 31 (2018)
       
  • A validation study of DNA methylation-based age prediction using semen in
           forensic casework samples
    • Authors: Jee Won Lee; Chong Min Choung; Ju Yeon Jung; Hwan Young Lee; Si-Keun Lim
      Pages: 74 - 77
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31
      Author(s): Jee Won Lee, Chong Min Choung, Ju Yeon Jung, Hwan Young Lee, Si-Keun Lim
      Previously, an age-predictive method based on DNA-methylation patterns in semen was developed, using three CpG sites (cg06304190 in the TTC7B gene, cg12837463, and cg06979108 in the NOX4 gene). Before considering the routine use of a new method in forensics, validation studies such as concordance and sensitivity tests are essential for obtaining expanded and more reliable forensic information. Here, we evaluated a previously described age-predictive method for semen for routine forensic use. Concordance testing showed a high correlation between the predicted and chronological age, with a mean absolute deviation from the chronological age of 4.8 years. Sensitivity testing suggested that age prediction with reliable accuracy and consistency was possible with >5 ng of bisulfite-converted DNA. We also confirmed the applicability of the age-predictive method in forensic casework, using forensic samples. Thus, the proposed method could serve as a very valuable forensics tool for accurate age prediction with semen samples.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.01.005
      Issue No: Vol. 31 (2018)
       
  • Retained surgical sponge: Medicolegal aspects
    • Authors: Patrizia Gualniera; Serena Scurria
      Pages: 78 - 81
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31
      Author(s): Patrizia Gualniera, Serena Scurria
      Retained surgical sponge events continue to occur despite the implementation of preventive surgical count policies, procedures, and adjunct technologies to manual counting. Such intraoperative mistakes can cause chronic nonspecific symptoms during the early postoperative period. When discovered years after surgery, they raise thorny medicolegal questions. We describe two cases from our practice that illustrate the need to identify the responsibility of the surgical team, as delineated in ministerial directives and the current legal framework, as well as the difficulty in evaluating clinical actions taken at different times and in different settings, with regard to the permanent health damage incurred by sponge retention. Finally, we discuss prevention actions operating room staff should take to reduce the risk of retained surgical sponges.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.01.003
      Issue No: Vol. 31 (2018)
       
  • Accuracy of the Demirjian and Willems methods of age estimation in a Black
           Southern African population
    • Authors: Temitope A. Esan; Lynne A. Schepartz
      Pages: 82 - 89
      Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31
      Author(s): Temitope A. Esan, Lynne A. Schepartz
      The accuracies of the original Demirjian, modified Demirjian and Willems dental age estimation methods were compared for a Black Southern African population to determine their usefulness for forensic and anthropological purposes. Data were collected using a community-based prospective study design. Panoramic radiographs of seven left mandibular teeth from 540 children aged 5–15.99 years were scored using the three methods. Obtained estimates were compared to the chronological ages and mean absolute errors were calculated. The original Demirjian method significantly overestimated ages (males 0.85 years, female 1.0 years; mean absolute errors of 1.1 years for both sexes), as did the modified Demirjian method (males 0.90 years, females 1.21 years; mean absolute errors of males 1.1 years, females 1.4 years). The Willems method was the most accurate for Black Southern Africans, with the lowest significant mean difference (males 0.2 years, females 0.3 years) between dental and chronological age, with the least mean absolute errors (males 0.70 years, females 0.68 years).

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.01.004
      Issue No: Vol. 31 (2018)
       
  • Editorial Board (Issue 1)
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 31


      PubDate: 2018-04-15T16:42:59Z
       
  • Tangential cranial ballistic impact: An illustration of the limitations of
           post-mortem CT scan'
    • Authors: Clémence Delteil; Pierre Gach; Noura Ben Nejma; Françoise Capasso; Pierre Perich; Pierre Massiani; Guillaume Gorincour; Marie-Dominique Piercecchi-Marti; Lucille Tuchtan
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Clémence Delteil, Pierre Gach, Noura Ben Nejma, Françoise Capasso, Pierre Perich, Pierre Massiani, Guillaume Gorincour, Marie-Dominique Piercecchi-Marti, Lucille Tuchtan
      Post-mortem imaging has become more frequently used in forensic procedures, notably in a ballistic context. Despite many advances in this field, the interpretation of computed tomography (CT) can be a very complex matter. Our case illustrates the difficulties of interpretation after quasi-tangential cranial ballistic impact and keyhole wounds. These wounds are difficult to visualize on CT and are among the factors complicating the precise determination of ballistics. These sources of error remind us that CT findings must be interpreted in close comparison with autopsy findings.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.004
       
  • sjTREC quantification using SYBR quantitative PCR for age estimation of
           bloodstains in a Japanese population
    • Authors: Eisuke Yamanoi; Saori Uchiyama; Makoto Sakurada; Yasuhiro Ueno
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Eisuke Yamanoi, Saori Uchiyama, Makoto Sakurada, Yasuhiro Ueno
      Individual age is a phenotypic trait that provides useful information in forensic investigations. Levels of signal joint T-cell receptor rearrangement excision circle (sjTREC) in human peripheral blood are known to decline with increasing age. The advantages of sjTREC quantification are the simple procedures and highly accurate age estimation results. Whereas TaqMan quantification PCR (qPCR) is widely used for sjTREC quantification, SYBR qPCR assay is not routinely used for evaluating ethnic data. Therefore, we focused on the advantages of the SYBR qPCR assay, which is cheaper and simpler to set up than the TaqMan probe assay. In this study, we developed a SYBR qPCR assay for sjTREC quantification from bloodstains from a Japanese population and evaluated the strength of correlation between sjTREC levels and actual age. The results were obtained from 194 individuals ranging from 18 to 81 years old, and showed a negative correlation between sjTREC level and individual age (r = −0.786). The equation for age estimation was Age = −6.27 dCt (Ct TBP − Ct sjTREC) − 25.841 with standard error ± 8.0 years. Furthermore, this formula for the SYBR assay can be applied to not only fresh bloodstains, but also whole blood and bloodstains up to 1 month old. These results indicate that SYBR qPCR is an effective method for age estimation from bloodstains, and its practicality and affordability make it an attractive sjTREC quantification technique.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.003
       
  • A case of transnasal intracranial penetrating injury with skull base
           fracture caused by a broken golf club shaft
    • Authors: Hideaki Kato; Sanae Kanno; Jun Ohtaki; Yoshimi Nakamura; Tetsuya Horita; Mamiko Fukuta; Kazuhito Eguchi; Mohamed Hassan Gaballa; Yasuhiro Aoki
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Hideaki Kato, Sanae Kanno, Jun Ohtaki, Yoshimi Nakamura, Tetsuya Horita, Mamiko Fukuta, Kazuhito Eguchi, Mohamed Hassan Gaballa, Yasuhiro Aoki
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.03.001
       
  • Concordance of mitochondrial DNA sequencing method on bloodstains using
           Ion PGMTM
    • Authors: Lan Yao; Zhen Xu; Hemiao Zhao; Zheng Tu; Zhifang Liu; Wanshui Li; Lan Hu; Lihua Wan
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Lan Yao, Zhen Xu, Hemiao Zhao, Zheng Tu, Zhifang Liu, Wanshui Li, Lan Hu, Lihua Wan
      In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome (mtGenome) of six samples from three forensic cases was sequenced using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM). The analyzed samples from forensic cases included bloodstains from several materials, such as gauze, Flinder’s Technology Associates (FTA) cards and swabs. The age of the samples ranged from two months to twelve years. The complete mtGenomes were amplified using the tiling sequencing strategy which divided the whole mtGenome into 162 amplicons. All amplicons were successfully recovered. A phylogenetic analysis was performed to determine the accuracy of the PGM data, and which were compared to partial Sanger-based sequencing data. The average coverage of the PGM data were above 4000× in all case samples, and 99.86% concordance was observed using both sequencing methods. In conclusion, we demonstrate the ability to recover the complete mtGenome from bloodstains with relatively poor DNA quality by PGM. Moreover, the results are concordant with Sanger sequencing data. This new method has potential use in forensic practice.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.005
       
  • Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry detection of benzalkonium
           chloride (BZK) in a forensic autopsy case with survival for 18 days post
           BZK ingestion
    • Authors: Satoko Mishima-Kimura; Kosei Yonemitsu; Yuki Ohtsu; Ako Sasao; Hiroshi Tsutsumi; Shota Furukawa; Yoko Nishitani
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Satoko Mishima-Kimura, Kosei Yonemitsu, Yuki Ohtsu, Ako Sasao, Hiroshi Tsutsumi, Shota Furukawa, Yoko Nishitani
      We report a forensic autopsy case of an elderly man who ingested unknown amount of germicidal disinfectant containing 50% benzalkonium chloride (BZK). He survived for 18 days after BZK ingestion and then died because of pneumonia. A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was used to detect three BZK compounds (C12-BZK, C14-BZK and C16-BZK) in the blood. Extraction of BZK was carried out according to a modified QuEChERS method. Chromatographic separation was achieved on an ODS column and detection was performed in selected reaction monitoring mode. The accuracy and the precision were acceptable for quantitative analysis in the concentration range of 10 to 200 ng/mL for the three BZK compounds. BZK was detected in heart and femoral vein blood samples even 18 days after BZK ingestion. Taking into consideration clinical information during 18 days hospitalization and the autopsy findings, the cause of death was attributed to BZK poisoning. Several toxico-kinetic factors regarding absorption and excretion of BZK in the body were also discussed to elucidate the detection of BZK such a long time after ingestion.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.006
       
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage in a Japanese cocaine abuser: Cocaine-related
           sudden death
    • Authors: Mio Takayama; Brian Waters; Hiroshi Fujii; Kenji Hara; Masayuki Kashiwagi; Aya Matsusue; Natsuki Ikematsu; Shin-ichi Kubo
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Mio Takayama, Brian Waters, Hiroshi Fujii, Kenji Hara, Masayuki Kashiwagi, Aya Matsusue, Natsuki Ikematsu, Shin-ichi Kubo
      Based on a prospective case-control study of forensic autopsies, the causes of cocaine (COC)-related sudden death (SD) are cardiovascular events in 62.0% of cases, cerebrovascular events in 14.0%, and others. A forensic autopsy of a male in his early forties revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) at the base of the brain. A cerebral arterial aneurysm was not detected even though hemorrhage was clearly observed in the anterior cerebral artery (ACA) bifurcation area. The brain weighed 1488 g and was edematous. We histopathologically examined the left-ACA, right-ACA, and anterior communicating artery (Acom). Thickening of the internal vessel wall was observed as a pathological change. The internal elastic lamina of the right-ACA, near the peripheral part of Acom, was meandered with a jagged appearance. A toxicology examination detected COC and its metabolites, particularly benzoylecgonine, in blood and urine samples. Therefore, the present case was regarded as a non-fatal intoxication case, but also a COC-related death. Ethanol was also detected, indicating that COC was taken in combination with alcohol. The cause of COC-related death in the present case was SAH. COC use is known to induce aneurysmal SAH; however, whether an aneurysm had formed in the present case was unclear. Meander, extension, and degeneration of the internal elastic lamina of the right-ACA were observed near the bifurcation from the Acom. This area corresponded macroscopically with that considered to be the bleeding point from the blood vessel. Therefore, the present case was diagnosed as COC-related SD. (241/250 words)
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.008
       
  • Suicidal shot in the mouth with rubber bullets
    • Authors: Malou Guérant; Marie-Aude Vaz; Michel Peoc'h; Yvan Gaillard; Baptiste Boyer
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 March 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Malou Guérant, Marie-Aude Vaz, Michel Peoc'h, Yvan Gaillard, Baptiste Boyer
      Rubber bullets weapons can have tragic consequences when used at short range and on vulnerable body areas. A man in his forties was found deceased at his house, covered in blood. A “non-lethal” firearm was found near the bed: the «SAPL GC27». This is a single shot handgun with mini Gomm Cogne ammunition: 12 rubber spherical pellets, 7.4 mm in diameter. The findings were consistent with an intra buccal shot, and an ingestion-inhalation of blood and projectiles. Cause of the death was linked to both the hemorrhage due to mouth and aero digestive crossroad trauma, responsible of a mechanical asphyxia, and blood absorption in lungs. This case insists on the deadly potential of this weapon if misused. Fortunately, the term “non-lethal” has been progressively replaced, but sometimes still can be seen, especially in gunsmith and webstores. It should be deleted to avoid confusion among inexperienced people, and at best, this weapon should be restricted to certain professions.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.009
       
  • Comparative Sensitivity and Inhibitor Tolerance of GlobalFiler® PCR
           Amplification and Investigator® 24plex QS Kits for Challenging Samples
    • Authors: Kyleen Elwick; Carrie Mayes; Sheree Hughes-Stamm
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Kyleen Elwick, Carrie Mayes, Sheree Hughes-Stamm
      In cases such as mass disasters or missing persons, human remains are challenging to identify as they may be fragmented, burnt, been buried, decomposed, and/or contain inhibitory substances. This study compares the performance of a relatively new STR kit in the US market (Investigator® 24plex QS kit; Qiagen) with the GlobalFiler® PCR Amplification kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific) when genotyping highly inhibited and low level DNA samples. In this study, DNA samples (N = 3 in triplicate) ranging from 1 ng to 7.8 pg were amplified to define the sensitivity of two systems. In addition, DNA (1 ng and 0.1 ng input amounts) was spiked with various concentrations of five inhibitors common to human remains (humic acid, melanin, hematin, collagen, calcium). Furthermore, bone (N = 5) and tissue samples from decomposed human remains (N= 6) were used as mock casework samples for comparative analysis with both STR kits. The data suggests that the GlobalFiler® kit may be slightly more sensitive than the Investigator® kit. On average STR profiles appeared to be more balanced and average peak heights were higher when using the GlobalFiler® kit. However, the data also shows that the Investigator® kit may be more tolerant to PCR inhibitors. While both STR kits showed a decrease in alleles as the inhibitor concentration increased, more complete profiles were obtained when the Investigator® kit was used. Of the 11 bone and decomposed tissue samples tested, 8 resulted in more complete and balanced STR profiles when amplified with the GlobalFiler® kit.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.01.006
       
  • Infant fatality case with excessive chylous ascites
    • Authors: Nozomi Idota; Mami Nakamura; Misa Tojo; Hiroaki Ichioka; Kaori Shintani-Ishida; Hiroshi Ikegaya
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Nozomi Idota, Mami Nakamura, Misa Tojo, Hiroaki Ichioka, Kaori Shintani-Ishida, Hiroshi Ikegaya
      An 11-month-old boy with marked abdominal distension was found dead in the prone position at home. Since there were many bruises in the non-protruding regions of the head, face, and abdomen, a medicolegal autopsy was performed the following day. The boy was smaller than average (height: 68.5 cm; weight: 7.8 kg); his extremities were thin; and his abdomen was remarkably bulging. Chylous ascites (1,600 mL) was observed in the peritoneal cavity and chylous pleural effusion (left: 5 mL; right: 10 mL) in the thoracic cavity. A fibrous induration, approximately 2.0 × 1.5 cm in size, was observed in the root of the small bowel mesentery. Congenital chylothorax and chylous ascites were suspected. However, the remarkably withered thymus and an old injury in the superior labial frenulum suggested that the chylous ascites may have been further deteriorated by injuries sustained during physical abuse. Examination suggested that the death was sudden. Thus, we inferred that the cause of death was circulatory and respiratory failure due to excessive chylous ascites. Among the reported cases of chylous ascites in pediatric patients, some patients experiencing abuse were identified on the basis of their chief complaints of vomiting or abdominal distension. Medical and child welfare staff should be made aware of this information.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.004
       
  • A simple method for calculating the likelihood ratio in a kinship test
           using X-chromosomal markers incorporating linkage, linkage disequilibrium,
           and mutation
    • Authors: Mamiko Fukuta; Mohammed Hassan Gaballah; Hideaki Kato; Yasuhiro Aoki
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 February 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Mamiko Fukuta, Mohammed Hassan Gaballah, Hideaki Kato, Yasuhiro Aoki
      X-chromosomal short tandem repeats (X-STRs) are useful for personal identification and kinship tests. However, it has not yet been fully established how to incorporate linkage and linkage disequilibrium (LD) into the calculation of the likelihood ratio (LR). In this paper, we describe a simple calculation method of LR for X-STRs that incorporated linkage, LD, and mutations. Initially, Japanese population data of 27 X-STRs (DXS6807, DXS9902, DXS6795, DXS6810, DXS10076, DXS10077, DXS10078, DXS10162, DXS10163, DXS10164, DXS7132, DXS981, DXS6800, DXS6803, DXS6809, DXS6789, DXS6799, DXS7424, DXS101, DXS7133, GATA172D05, DXS10103, HPRTB, GATA31E08, DXS8377, DXS10147, and DXS7423) were collected from 748 unrelated individuals to estimate the influence of LD. Significant LD was observed on six pairs of loci. Subsequently, using the population data, a simulation study was performed to evaluate the validity of the present calculation method for LR in cases of father-daughter, full-sisters, paternal half-sisters, maternal half-sisters, and unrelated pairs of females (FD, FS, PHS, MHS, and UR, respectively). As a result, the distribution of LR among FD was completely separated from that among UR. In the sibship test, 98.6% of FS and 98.0% of PHS surpassed the maximum value of UR in combined LR. Even in the FS versus MHS setting, 60.5% of FS had a higher LR than any MHS. We conclude that the present model is powerful in discriminating the relationship and is able to obtain a reasonable LR with fewer computations.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.002
       
  • Determining the number of contributors to high-order mixtures in the
           low-template regime: Exploring the impacts of sampling and detection
           effects
    • Authors: Sarah Norsworthy; Desmond S. Lun; Catherine M. Grgicak
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 February 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Sarah Norsworthy, Desmond S. Lun, Catherine M. Grgicak
      The interpretation of DNA evidence may rely upon the assumption that the forensic short tandem repeat (STR) profile is composed of multiple genotypes, or partial genotypes, originating from n contributors. In cases where the number of contributors (NOC) is in dispute, it may be justifiable to compute likelihood ratios that utilize different NOC parameters in the numerator and denominator, or present different likelihoods separately. Therefore, in this work, we evaluate the impact of allele dropout on estimating the NOC for simulated mixtures with up to six contributors in the presence or absence of a major contributor. These simulations demonstrate that in the presence of dropout, or with the application of an AT, estimating the NOC using counting methods was unreliable for mixtures containing one or more minor contributors present at low levels. The number of misidentifications was only slightly reduced when we expand the number of STR loci from 16 to 21. In many of the simulations tested herein, the minimum and actual NOC differed by more than two, suggesting that low-template, high-order mixtures with allele counts fewer than six may be originating from as many as four-, five-, or six-persons. Thus, there is justification for the use of differing or multiple assumptions on the NOC when computing the weight of DNA evidence for low-template mixtures, particularly when the peak heights are in the vicinity of the signal threshold or allele counting methods are the mechanism by which the NOC is assessed.

      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.02.001
       
  • Editorial Board (Issue 1)
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30


      PubDate: 2018-03-19T13:58:34Z
       
  • The genetic diversity and applicability assessment of autosomal STRs among
           Chinese populations by a novel fixation index and Nei's index
    • Authors: Caiyong Yin; Chuwei Deng; Xiaoqin Qian; Huijie Huang; Yanfang Yu; Li Hu; Peng Chen; Feng Chen
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Caiyong Yin, Chuwei Deng, Xiaoqin Qian, Huijie Huang, Yanfang Yu, Li Hu, Peng Chen, Feng Chen
      The population-specific FST in STR loci of Chinese populations has not been focused on. Here, we genotyped 19 STRs in 530 unrelated healthy individuals of Xuzhou Han population, and collected data of 30,308 samples from 32 Hans and 50 minorities nationwide. The population-specific βi and locus-specific βil were calculated to evaluate the applicable value of STRs. Next, we generated the genetic structure of various ethnic populations by Neighbor-Joining tree and Multidimensional Scaling plot based on pairwise Neis distances. We found TH01 and TPOX possessed high ability in discriminating populations and may related to the mutation rate of these STRs. Additionally, our data indicated that Chinese Han was homogenous and the population-specific βis of northern Hans were generally smaller than southern Hans. We concluded that population-specific FST for autosomal STR loci could be used to reveal the unique genetic characteristics and thus uncover the genetic relationship in Chinese populations.

      PubDate: 2018-01-03T19:36:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.012
       
  • Estimation of early postmortem interval in rats by GC-MS-based
           metabolomics
    • Authors: Zhigui Xiang; Fan Chen Xinhua Dai Youyi Yan Linchuan Liao
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Zhigui Wu, Xiang Lu, Fan Chen, Xinhua Dai, Yi Ye, Youyi Yan, Linchuan Liao
      Accurately predicting the early postmortem interval (PMI) is of great significance in forensic practice. This study aimed to establish a novel method for estimating the early PMI by analyzing endogenous substances in the cardiac blood of male and female rats and compare different model for estimating early PMI using these data. Adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats (50% male) were sacrificed by suffocation. Then, cardiac blood was collected at various time intervals (0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h) after death, and the collected samples were analyzed by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The data were analyzed by multivariate statistical analysis. An orthogonal signal correction-partial least squares (OSC-PLS) regression model was constructed with whole endogenous metabolites to validate the PMI. The OSC-PLS regression model successfully predicted the PMI of the forecast set and no significant differences was observed between male and female rats. This is the first study to establish an OSC-PLS regression model for predicting PMI with the metabolome, which provides a new technical method and platform for estimating PMI through metabolomics.

      PubDate: 2018-01-03T19:36:49Z
       
  • Highly sensitive determination of alendronate in human plasma and
           dialysate using metal-free HPLC-MS/MS
    • Authors: Miho Yamada; Xiao-Pen Lee; Masaya Fujishiro; Ken Iseri; Makoto Watanabe; Hiroshi Sakamaki; Naoki Uchida; Takaaki Matsuyama; Takeshi Kumazawa; Haruo Takahashi; Akira Ishii; Keizo Sato
      Pages: 14 - 20
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Miho Yamada, Xiao-Pen Lee, Masaya Fujishiro, Ken Iseri, Makoto Watanabe, Hiroshi Sakamaki, Naoki Uchida, Takaaki Matsuyama, Takeshi Kumazawa, Haruo Takahashi, Akira Ishii, Keizo Sato
      A highly sensitive method was developed for the analysis of alendronate in human plasma and dialysate using MonoSpin™ SAX® extraction and metal-free high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) following methylation with trimethylsilyldiazomethane. The chromatographic separation of the derivatives for alendronate and alendronate-d 6 was achieved on an L-column2 ODS metal-free column (50 mm  ×  2 mm i.d., particle size 3 µm) with a linear gradient elution system composed of 10 mM ammonium acetate (pH 6.8) and acetonitrile at a flow rate of 0.3 ml/min. Quantification was performed by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) with positive-ion electrospray ionization (ESI). Distinct peaks were observed for alendronate and for the internal standard on each channel within 1 min. The regression equations showed good linearity within the ranges of 2.0–100 ng/0.5 ml for the plasma and 1.0–100 ng/0.5 ml for the dialysate, with the limits of detection at 1.0 ng/0.5 ml for the plasma and 0.5 ng/0.5 ml for the dialysate. Extraction efficiencies for alendronate for the plasma and dialysate were 41.1–51.2% and 63.6–73.4%, respectively. The coefficient of variation (CV) was ≤8.5%. The method was successfully applied to the analyses of real plasma and dialysate samples derived after intravenous administration of alendronate.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.003
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Association of SNPs in genes encoding zinc transporters on blood zinc
           levels in humans
    • Authors: Junko Fujihara; Toshihiro Yasuda; Kaori Kimura-Kataoka; Yoshikazu Takinami; Masataka Nagao; Haruo Takeshita
      Pages: 28 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Junko Fujihara, Toshihiro Yasuda, Kaori Kimura-Kataoka, Yoshikazu Takinami, Masataka Nagao, Haruo Takeshita
      Zinc homeostasis in cells depends on zinc transporters, which are divided into 2 families: ZnT (SLC30A) and ZIP (SLC39A). In this study, we examined the effect of 20 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 10 genes encoding zinc transporters on blood zinc concentration in Japanese subjects (n = 102). Blood zinc levels were determined by microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, and SNPs were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Among the 20 SNPs examined, 3 SNPs (SLC30A3 rs11126936, SLC39A8 rs233804, and SLC39A14 rs4872479) were significantly associated with blood zinc concentration. Individuals with genotype TT and TG in rs11126936 showed significantly higher blood zinc concentrations than those with GG. As for rs233804, individuals harboring the A allele had significantly higher blood zinc concentrations than those without this allele. Furthermore, the genotype TT and TG in rs4872479 had significantly higher blood zinc concentrations than those with GG. Among these three SNPs, combination of SLC30A3 rs11126936 and SLC39A8 rs233804 may strongly affect blood zinc levels. This study is the first comprehensive investigation of the effect of SNPs in genes encoding zinc transporters on blood zinc concentration. Adverse effects of zinc deficiency are reported and above 3 SNPs may be related to genetic susceptibility to zinc deficiency.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.009
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Forensic evaluation of STR typing reliability in lung cancer
    • Authors: Peng Zhang; Ying Zhu; Yongguo Li; Shisheng Zhu; Ruoxiang Ma; Minzhu Zhao; Jianbo Li
      Pages: 38 - 41
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Peng Zhang, Ying Zhu, Yongguo Li, Shisheng Zhu, Ruoxiang Ma, Minzhu Zhao, Jianbo Li
      Short tandem repeats (STR) analysis is the gold standard method in the forensics field for personal identification and paternity testing. In cancerous tissues, STR markers are gaining attention, with some studies showing increased instability. Lung cancer, which is one of the most commonmalignancies, has become the most lethal among all cancers. In certain situations, lung cancer tissues may be the only resource available for forensic analysis. Therefore, evaluating the reliability of STR markers in lung cancer tissues is required to avoid false exclusions. In this study, 75 lung cancer tissue samples were examined to evaluate the reliability of various STR markers. Out of the 75 examined samples, 24 of the cancerous samples (32%) showed genetic alterations on at least one STR loci, totaling 55 times. The most common type of STR variation was a partial loss of heterozygosity, with the D5S818 loci having the highest variation frequency and no alterations detected on the D2S441 and Penta E loci. Moreover, STR variation frequencies were shown to increase with an increased patient age and increased clinical and pathological characteristics, thus an older patient with an advanced stage of progression exhibited a higher variation frequency. Overall, this study provides forensic scientists with further insight into STR analysis relating to lung cancer tissue.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.004
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Usefulness of coronary postmortem computed tomography angiography to
           detect lesions in the coronary artery and myocardium in cases of sudden
           death
    • Authors: Hiroyuki Takei; Rie Sano; Yoichiro Takahashi; Keiko Takahashi; Yoshihiko Kominato; Hiroyuki Tokue; Takehiro Shimada; Sachiko Awata; Satoshi Hirasawa; Naoya Ohta
      Pages: 46 - 51
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Hiroyuki Takei, Rie Sano, Yoichiro Takahashi, Keiko Takahashi, Yoshihiko Kominato, Hiroyuki Tokue, Takehiro Shimada, Sachiko Awata, Satoshi Hirasawa, Naoya Ohta
      Coronary postmortem computed tomography angiography (coronary PMCTA) has been introduced as a routine examination procedure for autopsy at our department. Here, we reviewed eight autopsy cases in which apparent histopathological changes including acute myocardial infarction (AMI), anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA), hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) and acute myocarditis were involved in the cause of death. For investigation of the coronary artery and shape of the heart, coronary PMCTA was valuable in detecting narrowing or obstruction of coronary artery in AMI, indicating an anomalous aortic origin of the left coronary artery in AAOCA, and demonstrating septal hypertrophy and intracavitary obstruction in HOCM. However, it was debatable whether the hypervascularity demonstrated by coronary PMCTA in the case of acute myocarditis was more prominent than the vascular images obtained in other cases without inflammation. Thus, coronary PMCTA appeared to be useful not only for detection of coronary artery stenosis, but also for indicating other distinctive changes involved in AAOCA and HOCM.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.005
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Postmortem interval estimation using the animal model of postmortem gas
           volume changes
    • Authors: Chika Iwamoto; Kenoki Ohuchida; Miki Okumura; Yosuke Usumoto; Junji Kishimoto; Masaharu Murata; Noriaki Ikeda; Makoto Hashizume
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Chika Iwamoto, Kenoki Ohuchida, Miki Okumura, Yosuke Usumoto, Junji Kishimoto, Masaharu Murata, Noriaki Ikeda, Makoto Hashizume
      It is important to estimate the postmortem interval in forensic autopsy. Many methods to estimate the postmortem interval have been reported, and are typically associated with internal examination. However, there are issues such as rejection of autopsy by the family and a lack of forensic doctor in internal examination. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new methods, such as autopsy imaging, that can substitute for internal examination. Here, we first evaluated whether gas volume in the body increased with postmortem interval. Time-dependent X-ray CT imaging of euthanized Crl:CD (SD) rats (n = 3) was performed immediately after euthanasia and at seven subsequent time points up to 168 hours (7 days) at 24-hour intervals. The data revealed that gas volume in the body increased in a time-dependent manner. Next, we reconstructed 3D images of isolated gas and calculated the gas volume using Amira software. In all cases, the volume of both portal venous gas and intestinal gas increased in a time-dependent manner. The volume of portal venous gas increased exponentially, while the volume of intestinal gas increased in a linearly with time. These data might be suggested that the postmortem gas volume change is one of indicators for estimating the postmortem interval. In addition, it would be possible to estimate more accurate postmortem interval by combining not only gas volume changes at the above two sites but also gas volume changes of the other sites such as heart cavities, kidney parenchyma, or abdominal aorta.

      PubDate: 2017-12-22T07:36:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.010
       
  • Allele Frequencies of 15 STR loci (Identifiler™ kit) in
           Basque-Americans
    • Authors: Jason Besecker; Gianluca Peri Michael Davis Josu Zubizarreta Greg Hampikian
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Jason Besecker, Gianluca Peri, Michael Davis, Josu Zubizarreta, Greg Hampikian
      Individuals with Basque ancestry form a historically and culturally important minority of the population of the western United States. Allele frequencies for the 15 autosomal STRs in the AmpFlSTR® Identifiler® PCR Amplification Kit (Applied Biosystems) from 156 unrelated self-identified Basque individuals born in the United States are presented. Allele frequencies were used to calculate parameters commonly used in genetics and forensics including power of discrimination (PD), power of exclusion (PE), polymorphic information content (PIC), and expected heterozygosity (He). The sample population was also compared with the European Basque population and the major American ethnicities.

      PubDate: 2017-12-22T07:36:45Z
       
  • The “Social-Mobile Autopsy”: The Evolution of Psychological Autopsy
           with New Technologies in Forensic Investigations on Suicide
    • Authors: I. Aquila; M.A. Sacco; S. Gratteri; M. Sirianni; P. De Fazio; P. Ricci
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): I. Aquila, M.A. Sacco, S. Gratteri, M. Sirianni, P. De Fazio, P. Ricci
      Suicide is a huge deal in general public health, representing the second cause of mortality in young people worldwide. The suicidal setting analysis is usually performed through psychological autopsy, a method of investigation commonly used to study what leads to suicide. Psychological autopsy, though, requires the involvement of family and friends, or the finding of a diary or a suicide note. Nowadays, this is not always possible, especially during adolescence, the more if we consider new categories of people that are more used to live in a web dimension, than in a real one. So, with the advent of a new kind of social system including the web, psychological autopsy, as we know it, is not enough to determine the setting of an event. We here report the case of a 17-year old girl who committed suicide by hanging down from her house, leaving no suicide note. We propose a new investigation method developed through the analysis of phone messages and Facebook profile in order to better reconstruct the event. Although the standing difficulties in reconsidering the intimate motivations leading to such a decision, psychological autopsy nowadays needs to consider also social networks in order to prevent similar situations and even reconstruct the psychological dimension of the fact. We propose a model of Social-Mobile Autopsy.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.008
       
  • Genetic polymorphism of 21 non-CODIS STR loci in Chengdu Han Population
           and its interpopulation analysis between 25 populations in China
    • Authors: Ye Li; Hepei Li; Guanglin He; Weibo Liang; Haibo Luo; Miao Liao; Ji Zhang; Jing Yan; Yingbi Li; Yiping Hou; Jin Wu
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Ye Li, Hepei Li, Guanglin He, Weibo Liang, Haibo Luo, Miao Liao, Ji Zhang, Jing Yan, Yingbi Li, Yiping Hou, Jin Wu
      AGCU 21+1 STR kit contains 21 non-combined DNA index system (non-CODIS) short tandem repeats (STR) loci and a sex-determining locus amelogenin. In this study, we evaluated the genetic diversity and forensically relevant population statistics of 21 non-CODIS loci in 210 Chinese Han individuals from Chengdu city, Sichuan province, Southwest China. No significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were observed within the 21 non-CODIS STR loci. The combined power of discrimination (CPD) and combined power of exclusion (CPE) were 0.99999999999999999994278, 0.999999355 respectively. To reveal interpopulation differentiations of mainland population of China, a neighbor-joining (N-J) phylogenetic tree was constructed based on Nei’s genetic distances among Chengdu Han and 25 published populations. The phylogenetic analyses indicated that Chengdu Han population keeps a close genetic relationship with other Han populations.

      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.007
       
  • Comments on Death due to non-traumatic hemoperitoneum in Milan
           2002–2016, with focus on two cases of abdominal apoplexy (idiopathic
           spontaneous hemoperitoneum) and review of the literature
    • Authors: Dalibor Kovařík; doc. Petr Hejna
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Dalibor Kovařík, doc. Petr Hejna


      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.006
       
  • Circulating miRNAs expression profiling in drug-resistant epilepsy:
           up-regulation of miR-301a-3p in a case of sudden unexpected death
    • Authors: Maria De Matteis; Giovanni Cecchetto; Giada Munari; Laura Balsamo; Marina Paola Gardiman; Renzo Giordano; Guido Viel; Matteo Fassan
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Maria De Matteis, Giovanni Cecchetto, Giada Munari, Laura Balsamo, Marina Paola Gardiman, Renzo Giordano, Guido Viel, Matteo Fassan
      Sudden and unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) represents one of the most challenging fields for clinical, forensic and preventative pathology. Several authors have emphasized the search of innovative biomarkers related to drug-resistance for an appropriate risk stratification in these patients. However, no reliable biomarker has been implemented into clinical practice, so far. Herein, we present a case of SUDEP due to drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) in which we performed miRNA expression profiling (miR-301a-3p, miR-194-5p, miR-30b-5p, mIR-342-5p, and miR-4446-3p) from both the plasma and the temporal lobe in comparison to ten autopsies for traumatic or asphyxia deaths. A significant up-regulation of miR-301a-3p in both the plasma (2.3 increase vs. controls) and the hippocampus (3.2 fold increase vs. controls) was evidenced, whereas the other tested miRNAs showed no significant expression differences between case and controls. Even preliminary, our results support miRNAs as an innovative class of biomarkers compatible with an adequate analysis of biospecimens obtained from forensic autopsies.

      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.003
       
  • Comparison of histological findings and the results of energy-dispersive
           X-ray spectrometry analysis in experimental electrical injury
    • Authors: Naoko Tanaka; Ayaka Takakura; Nobuyuki Miyatake; Mostofa Jamal; Asuka Ito; Mitsuru Kumihashi; Kunihiko Tsutsui; Kiyoshi Ameno; Hiroshi Kinoshita
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Naoko Tanaka, Ayaka Takakura, Nobuyuki Miyatake, Mostofa Jamal, Asuka Ito, Mitsuru Kumihashi, Kunihiko Tsutsui, Kiyoshi Ameno, Hiroshi Kinoshita
      The findings of histological examination and the results of energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) analysis were compared to identify skin metallization in experimental electrical injury. Rats were divided into three experimental groups (n = 5, each group): control, current exposure for five seconds, and current exposure for ten seconds. A relatively high peak of copper, which was used as an electrical conductor, was detected in formalin-fixed skin samples of the two current exposure groups by EDX. There was a significant increase of the specific X-ray intensity in the two current exposure groups compared to the control group. On histological examination, epidermal nuclear elongation was observed in all samples of the two current exposure groups. However, deposition of metal was observed in two samples of each current exposure group. Metallization is an important finding for the diagnosis of electrocution. The present results suggest that EDX analysis is useful for the proof of metallization in electrocution, even where it is not identified on morphological examination.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.005
       
  • Intimate partner violence against women, circumstances of aggressions and
           oral-maxillofacial traumas: a medical-legal and forensic approach
    • Authors: Ítalo de Macedo Bernardino; Luzia Michelle Santos; Alysson Vinicius Porto Ferreira; Tomás Lucio Marques de Almeida Lima; Lorena Marques da Nóbrega; Sérgio d'Avila
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Ítalo de Macedo Bernardino, Luzia Michelle Santos, Alysson Vinicius Porto Ferreira, Tomás Lucio Marques de Almeida Lima, Lorena Marques da Nóbrega, Sérgio d'Avila
      Introduction Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health problem that frequently results in oral-maxillofacial traumas, generating high social and economic costs. The aim of this study was to describe the profile of women victims of IPV and determine the pattern of oral-maxillofacial traumas, according to a medical-legal and forensic perspective. An exploratory study of 1361 suspected cases of women victims of IPV was carried out based on database of an Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Dentistry of Northeastern Brazil during a period of 4 years. Medico-legal and social records of victims were searched for information related to sociodemographic data, circumstances of aggressions and trauma patterns. Descriptive and multivariate statistics and Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) were performed. Main results Almost half of victims exhibited some oral-maxillofacial trauma resulting from IPV (45.8%). Lesions affecting more than one third of the face (41.3%), especially in soft tissues (96.1%) were the most common. Based on the MCA results, two distinct victimization profiles (P1 and P2) have been identified. P1 was mainly characterized by women aged less than 28 years, living in the urban area, with higher education and working. They were assaulted using physical force in community settings perpetrated by former partner or ex-boyfriend during the night and weekends, resulting in oral-maxillofacial traumas. P2 was mainly composed of women aged over 28 years, living in the suburban or rural areas, with low schooling and who did not work. They were assaulted by firearm or weapon in their own home, perpetrated by their partner or boyfriend during the day and weekdays, resulting in trauma to other body parts. Conclusions Oral and maxillofacial traumas are very common among women victims of IPV who searched for medical-legal service. In this context, forensic dentists can play a key role during the diagnostic process and should always work together with medical, biochemical and toxicological experts. The findings of this study may contribute to the formulation of evidence-based policies.

      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.001
       
  • Sex and age at death estimation from the sternal end of the fourth rib.
           does íşcan’s method really work'
    • Authors: Alexandra Muñoz; Nuvia Maestro; María Benito; José Antonio Sánchez; Nicholas Márquez-Grant; Daniel Trejo; Luis Ríos
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Alexandra Muñoz, Nuvia Maestro, María Benito, José Antonio Sánchez, Nicholas Márquez-Grant, Daniel Trejo, Luis Ríos
      The fourth rib has been used commonly in order to estimate age at death and even sex in skeletal remains but many often, Iscan’s estimates do not adjust to the real age of the individual. Population specific references for sex and age-at-death estimation from the sternal end of the fourth rib are presented for a contemporary Mexican sample. A total of 504 ribs with known sex and age from a morgue sample were studied (444 males, 60 females, 17 to 92 years old). The height and breadth of the sternal end of the rib were sexually dimorphic (p=0.000), and allowed a correct sex assignment in 73.3% to 84% of the cases from univariate and multivariate discriminant functions. With regard to age-at-death estimation, the morphological changes summarized by the phases of the sternal end of the fourth rib are correlated with known age in this sample (Spearman's Rho, p=0.000). However, the original age intervals tend to underestimate age at death and inaccuracy increases with phase scored in males. Descriptive statistics for rib phase are provided for males and females, and new age-at-death estimates based on transition analysis and Bayesian statistics are provided for the male sample. The test of universally applied methods and the development of population specific references is an important task for forensic anthropology around the world.

      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.002
       
  • Body packing and intra-vaginal body pushing of Cocaine: A case report.
    • Authors: Vishwajit Kishor Wankhade; B.G. Chikhalkar
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 December 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Vishwajit Kishor Wankhade, B.G. Chikhalkar
      Drug trafficking is an international problem. The prevalence of drug trafficking and newer concealing methods has been ever increasing. Body packing is described as using the abdominal or pelviccavity for concealing illegal drugs. Body pushers smuggle illicit drugs by inserting them into rectum or vagina. These cases are either presented to the emergency departments as Body Packer Syndrome or as asymptomatic cases for observation, detained for alleged possession of contraband substances. We report a unique case of an asymptomatic white female who was detained at Mumbai International Airport under suspicion and brought to hospital for observation. X ray and CT scan examination revealed 7 wrapped packets in gastrointestinal track and 1 large packet in vagina. A case of female body packer using multiple modalities of concealment especially in vagina is rare in India so it is becomes imperative to present this case in the light of body packing and body pushing of contraband substances.

      PubDate: 2017-12-12T06:55:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.12.004
       
  • Chained nuclei and python pattern in skeletal muscle cells as histological
           markers for electrical injury
    • Authors: Hiroki Tanaka; Katsuhiro Okuda; Seiji Ohtani; Masaru Asari; Kie Horioka; Shotaro Isozaki; Akira Hayakawa; Katsuhiro Ogawa; Shiono Hiroshi; Keiko Shimizu
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 November 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Hiroki Tanaka, Katsuhiro Okuda, Seiji Ohtani, Masaru Asari, Kie Horioka, Shotaro Isozaki, Akira Hayakawa, Katsuhiro Ogawa, Shiono Hiroshi, Keiko Shimizu
      Electrical injury is damage caused by an electrical current passing through the body. We have previously reported that irregular stripes crossing skeletal muscle fibers (python pattern) and multiple small nuclei arranged in the longitudinal direction of the muscle fibers (chained nuclear change) are uniquely observed by histopathological analysis in the skeletal muscle tissues of patients with electrical injury. However, it remains unclear whether these phenomena are caused by the electrical current itself or by the joule heat generated by the electric current passing through the body. To clarify the causes underlying these changes, we applied electric and heat injury to the exteriorized rat soleus muscle in situ. Although both the python pattern and chained nuclear change were induced by electric injury, only the python pattern was induced by heat injury. Furthermore, a chained nuclear change was induced in the soleus muscle cells by electric current flow in physiological saline at 40 °C ex vivo, but a python pattern was not observed. When the skeletal muscle was exposed to electrical injury in cardiac-arrested rats, a python pattern was induced within 5 hours after cardiac arrest, but no chained nuclear change was observed. Therefore, a chained nuclear change is induced by an electrical current alone in tissues in vital condition, whereas a python pattern is caused by joule heat, which may occur shortly after death. The degree and distribution of these skeletal muscle changes may be useful histological markers for analyzing cases of electrical injury in forensic medicine.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.001
       
 
 
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