Journal Cover Legal Medicine
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1344-6223
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3089 journals]
  • A capillary electrophoresis method for identifying forensically relevant
           body fluids using miRNAs
    • Authors: Carrie Mayes; Sarah Seashols-Williams; Sheree Hughes-Stamm
      Pages: 1 - 4
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Carrie Mayes, Sarah Seashols-Williams, Sheree Hughes-Stamm
      Body fluid identification (BFID) can provide crucial information during the course of an investigation. In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) have shown considerable body fluid specificity, are able to be co-extracted with DNA, and their small size (18–25 nucleotides) make them ideal for analyzing highly degraded forensic samples. In this study, we designed a preliminary 8-marker system for BFID including an endogenous reference gene (let-7g) to differentiate between venous blood (miR-451a and miR-142-3p), menstrual blood (miR-141-3p and miR-412-3p), semen (miR-891a and miR-10b), and saliva (miR-205) using a capillary electrophoresis approach. This panel uses a linear primer system in order to incorporate additional miRNA markers by forming a multiplex system. The miRNA system was able to distinguish between venous blood, menstrual blood, semen, and saliva using a rudimentary data interpretation strategy. All STR amplifications from co-extracted DNA yielded complete profiles from human identification purposes.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.013
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Death by self-mutilation after oral cannabis consumption
    • Authors: Clemence Delteil; Caroline Sastre; Marie-Dominique Piercecchi; Catherine Faget-Agius; Marc Deveaux; Pascal Kintz; Marc-Antoine Devooght; George Leonetti; Christophe Bartoli; Anne-Laure Pélissier-Alicot
      Pages: 5 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Clemence Delteil, Caroline Sastre, Marie-Dominique Piercecchi, Catherine Faget-Agius, Marc Deveaux, Pascal Kintz, Marc-Antoine Devooght, George Leonetti, Christophe Bartoli, Anne-Laure Pélissier-Alicot
      Major self-mutilation (amputation, castration, self-inflicted eye injuries) is frequently associated with psychiatric disorders and/or substance abuse. A 35-year-old man presented with behavioral disturbances of sudden onset after oral cannabis consumption and major self-mutilation (attempted amputation of the right arm, self-enucleation of both eyes and impalement) which resulted in death. During the enquiry, four fragments of a substance resembling cannabis resin were seized at the victim’s home. Autopsy confirmed that death was related to hemorrhage following the mutilations. Toxicological findings showed cannabinoids in femoral blood (tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 13.5 ng/mL, 11-hydroxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) 4.1 ng/mL, 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH) 14.7 ng/mL, cannabidiol (CBD) 1.3 ng/mL, cannabinol (CBN) 0.7 ng/mL). Cannabinoid concentrations in hair (1.5 cm brown hair strand/1 segment) were consistent with concentrations measured in chronic users (THC 137 pg/mg, 11-OH-THC 1 pg/mg, CBD 9 pg/mg, CBN 94 pg/mg). Analysis of the fragments seized confirmed that this was cannabis resin with high levels of THC (31–35%). We discuss the implications of oral consumption of cannabis with a very high THC content.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.010
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Null alleles and sequence variations at primer binding sites of STR loci
           within multiplex typing systems
    • Authors: Yining Yao; Qinrui Yang; Chengchen Shao; Baonian Liu; Yuxiang Zhou; Hongmei Xu; Yueqin Zhou; Qiqun Tang; Jianhui Xie
      Pages: 10 - 13
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Yining Yao, Qinrui Yang, Chengchen Shao, Baonian Liu, Yuxiang Zhou, Hongmei Xu, Yueqin Zhou, Qiqun Tang, Jianhui Xie
      Rare variants are widely observed in human genome and sequence variations at primer binding sites might impair the process of PCR amplification resulting in dropouts of alleles, named as null alleles. In this study, 5 cases from routine paternity testing using PowerPlex®21 System for STR genotyping were considered to harbor null alleles at TH01, FGA, D5S818, D8S1179, and D16S539, respectively. The dropout of alleles was confirmed by using alternative commercial kits AGCU Expressmarker 22 PCR amplification kit and AmpFℓSTR®. Identifiler® Plus Kit, and sequencing results revealed a single base variation at the primer binding site of each STR locus. Results from the collection of previous reports show that null alleles at D5S818 were frequently observed in population detected by two PowerPlex® typing systems and null alleles at D19S433 were mostly observed in Japanese population detected by two AmpFℓSTR™ typing systems. Furthermore, the most popular mutation type appeared the transition from C to T with G to A, which might have a potential relationship with DNA methylation. Altogether, these results can provide helpful information in forensic practice to the elimination of genotyping discrepancy and the development of primer sets.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.007
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • 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)
       
  • The importance of Saprinus semistriatus (Coleoptera: Histeridae) for
           estimating the minimum post-mortem interval
    • Authors: I. Szelecz; N. Feddern; C.V.W. Seppey; J. Amendt; E.A.D. Mitchell
      Pages: 21 - 27
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): I. Szelecz, N. Feddern, C.V.W. Seppey, J. Amendt, E.A.D. Mitchell
      In forensic science, the use of entomological evidence to estimate the minimum post-mortem interval can be crucial. However, not all cadaver-visiting insects are equally useful. Our focus is on the histerid beetle Saprinus semistriatus (Scriba 1790) (Histeridae; Coleoptera). Histeridae are common predators that feed mainly on dipteran larvae on carrion and dung. We review 23 publications mentioning this species and provide new experimental data on its temporal pattern beneath and on hanging pig cadavers. In a field experiment near Neuchâtel, Switzerland, we recorded the abundance of S. semistriatus on ten decomposing pig cadavers (Sus scrofa) over a 32-day period in summer 2013 (July, 01- August; 02). Five cadavers were placed on the ground and five cadavers were hung one metre above the ground. Insects were collected from pitfall traps and by manual sampling. The abundance of S. semistriatus was significantly higher during the active stage than during the fresh and the bloated stages of decomposition in both, ground and hanging pigs. However, S. semistriatus was more abundant on the ground than on the hanging cadavers. The literature and our new data show that S. semistriatus is present on cadavers during a relatively short period of time (approximately two weeks), mainly during the active decay stage, but it may also occasionally occur in the bloated stage. Identifying key indicators such as S. semistriatus can help optimise forensic research by focusing on the most informative taxa. A few key indicators for each decomposition stage may constitute an optimal toolbox for forensic entomologists.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.011
      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)
       
  • Tri-allelic patterns of STRs and partially homologous non-sister chromatid
           crossover observed in a parentage test
    • Authors: Huiyong Jiao; He Ren; Yaran Yang; Bin Ni; Haiyan Zhou; Wei Chen; Yunwang Cao; Chuguang Chen; Yanmei Huang; Jiangwei Yan
      Pages: 34 - 37
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Huiyong Jiao, He Ren, Yaran Yang, Bin Ni, Haiyan Zhou, Wei Chen, Yunwang Cao, Chuguang Chen, Yanmei Huang, Jiangwei Yan
      A maternity testing case is reported, in which the child showed tri-allelic patterns in two short tandem repeat (STR) loci. The genotypes of Penta D of the mother and the child were 9,13 and 9,10,13, respectively. Those of D21S11 were 32.2,35 and 29,35, respectively, but intensity ratio of alleles 29 and 35 of the child was 1:2. These results suggested the copy number variations (CNVs) or trisomy of chromosome 21. By further examination using STR-based chromosome aneuploidy detection kit, three alleles were detected in D21S1411, LFG21 and Penta D, and 2 alleles with intensity ratio of 1:2 were observed in D21S2502, D21S1435, D21S11 and D21S1246. Karyotype and whole-genome SNP array analyses showed that the child had a free trisomy 21. In addition, partially homologous non-sister chromatid crossover occurred at the region 19181770-39499178 on the long arm of chromosome 21.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.008
      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)
       
  • Utility of post mortem computed tomography in clivus fracture diagnosis.
           Case illustration and literature review
    • Authors: S. Zerbo; A. Di Piazza; G. Lo Re; G.L. Aronica; S. Salerno; R. Lagalla
      Pages: 42 - 45
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): S. Zerbo, A. Di Piazza, G. Lo Re, G.L. Aronica, S. Salerno, R. Lagalla
      Clivus fractures are usually associated with head blunt trauma due to traffic accident and falls. A 23 – year-old man died immediately after a smash-up while he was stopping on his motorcycle. Post-mortem Computed tomography (PMCT), performed before autopsy, revealed a complex basilar skull base fractures associated with brainstem and cranio-vertebral junction injuries, improving the diagnostic performance of conventional autopsy. Imaging data were re-assessable and PMCT offers the possibility to perform multiplanar and volume rendered reconstructions, increasing forensic medicine knowledge related to traumatic injuries.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.006
      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)
       
  • Assessing the FBI’s Native American STR database for random match
           probability calculations
    • Authors: Jillian Ng; Robert F. Oldt; Sreetharan Kanthaswamy
      Pages: 52 - 55
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Jillian Ng, Robert F. Oldt, Sreetharan Kanthaswamy
      In forensic statistics, the random match probability (RMP) is the probability that a “match” would occur by coincidence while the likelihood ratio (LR) describes the strength of DNA evidence. Using these statistics to assess the weight of DNA evidence requires an appropriate and well-characterized population-specific short tandem repeat (STR) database to reliably estimate allele frequencies. This study compared several Native American-specific STR datasets, including those not represented in the CODIS Native American database, and revealed that increasing the number of STR markers resulted in lower RMP values while a θ adjustment from 0.03 to 0.04 generated increases in RMP. To prevent biases that may arise from the underrepresentation of tribes in the current CODIS Native American database, data derived from tribes in different geographic regions and language families are necessary to ensure inclusive representation of the Native American population and generate more reliable statistical results.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.012
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Coronary artery tuberculosis: An unusual case of sudden death
    • Authors: Laura Peddle; Michael Otto
      Pages: 56 - 58
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Laura Peddle, Michael Otto


      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.008
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Postmortem biochemical investigation results in situations of fatal
           mechanical compression of the neck region
    • Authors: Cristian Palmiere; Camilla Tettamanti; Maria Pia Scarpelli; Guillaume Rousseau; Coraline Egger; Massimo Bongiovanni
      Pages: 59 - 63
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 30
      Author(s): Cristian Palmiere, Camilla Tettamanti, Maria Pia Scarpelli, Guillaume Rousseau, Coraline Egger, Massimo Bongiovanni
      Biochemical investigations performed in cases of mechanical asphyxia have provided diverging information over time. The purpose of the study presented herein was threefold: to investigate the postmortem stability of a series of molecules (thyroglobulin, iodothyronines, calcitonin, and parathyroid hormone) in blood after death, to determine the same molecules in a series of cases of suicidal hangings for which antemortem serum samples were available, and to measure the same molecules in postmortem serum obtained from different sampling sites thereby evaluating the distribution of these molecules in the specific samples. Preliminary results indicated postmortem stability of thyroglobulin, calcitonin, and parathyroid hormone levels, decreasing total and free T4 levels, and increasing total and free T3 concentrations. Our findings also showed that antemortem mechanical force applied to the neck region (hanging cases) may be accompanied by increased thyroglobulin in peripheral (femoral) blood, though a certain number of cases with nonincreased thyroglobulin levels may be observed. Lastly, our results revealed that hanging, manual, and ligature strangulation cases may be accompanied by increased thyroglobulin, total T3, and free T3 values in postmortem serum specimens obtained from blood sampled at different sampling sites, even in the absence of microscopically identified thyroid gland tissue damage. Such increases are more constant and important in arterial and venous blood samples obtained from sampling sites located in close vicinity of the thyroid gland.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.002
      Issue No: Vol. 30 (2017)
       
  • Bone comparison identification method based on chest computed tomography
           imaging
    • Authors: Yusuke Matsunobu; Junji Morishita; Yosuke Usumoto; Miki Okumura; Noriaki Ikeda
      Pages: 1 - 5
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 29
      Author(s): Yusuke Matsunobu, Junji Morishita, Yosuke Usumoto, Miki Okumura, Noriaki Ikeda
      The aim of this study is to examine the usefulness of bone structure extracted data from chest computed tomography (CT) images for personal identification. Eighteen autopsied cases (12 male and 6 female) that had ante- and post-mortem (AM and PM) CT images were used in this study. The two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) bone images were extracted from the chest CT images via thresholding technique. The similarity between two thoracic bone images (consisting of vertebrae, ribs, and sternum) acquired from AMCT and PMCT images was calculated in terms of the normalized cross-correlation value (NCCV) in both 2D and 3D matchings. An AM case with the highest NCCV corresponding to a given PM case among all of the AM cases studied was regarded as same person. The accuracy of identification of the same person using our method was 100% (18/18) in both 2D and 3D matchings. The NCCVs for the same person tended to be significantly higher than the average of NCCVs for different people in both 2D and 3D matchings. The computation times of image similarity between the two images were less than one second and approximately 10min in 2D and 3D matching, respectively. Therefore, 2D matching especially for thoracic bones seems more advantageous than 3D matching with regard to computation time. We conclude that our proposed personal identification method using bone structure would be useful in forensic cases.

      PubDate: 2017-09-05T19:05:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.08.002
      Issue No: Vol. 29 (2017)
       
  • Sexual dimorphism and regional variation in human frontal bone inclination
           measured via digital 3D models
    • Authors: Anja Petaros; Heather M. Garvin; Sabrina B. Sholts; Stefan Schlager; Sebastian K.T.S. Wärmländer
      Pages: 53 - 61
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 29
      Author(s): Anja Petaros, Heather M. Garvin, Sabrina B. Sholts, Stefan Schlager, Sebastian K.T.S. Wärmländer
      The frontal bone is one of the most sexually dimorphic elements of the human skull, due to features such as the glabella, frontal eminences, and frontal inclination. While glabella is frequently evaluated in procedures to estimate sex in unknown human skeletal remains, frontal inclination has received less attention. In this study we present a straightforward, quick, and reproducible method for measuring frontal inclination angles from glabella and supraglabella. Using a sample of 413 human crania from four different populations (U.S. Whites, U.S. Blacks, Portuguese, and Chinese), we test the usefulness of the inclination angles for sex estimation and compare their performance to traditional methods of frontal inclination assessment. Accuracy rates in the range 75–81% were achieved for the U.S. White, U.S. Black, and Portuguese groups. For Chinese the overall accuracy was lower, i.e. 66%. Although some regional variation was observed, a cut-off value of 78.2° for glabellar inclination angles separates female and male crania from all studied populations with good accuracy. As inclination angles measured from glabella captures two sexually dimorphic features (i.e. glabellar prominence and frontal inclination) in a single measure, the observed clear male/female difference is not unexpected. Being continuous variables, inclination angles are suitable for use in statistical methods for sex estimations.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.001
      Issue No: Vol. 29 (2017)
       
  • Touch DNA sampling with SceneSafe Fast™ minitapes
    • Authors: Britta Stoop; Priscille Merciani Defaux; Silvia Utz; Martin Zieger
      Pages: 68 - 71
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 29
      Author(s): Britta Stoop, Priscille Merciani Defaux, Silvia Utz, Martin Zieger
      To achieve optimal results in the forensic analysis of trace DNA, choosing the right collection technique is crucial. Three common approaches are currently well-established for DNA retrieval from items of clothing, notably cutting, swabbing and tape-lifting. The latter two are non-destructive and therefore preferable on items of value. Even though the most recently established technique of DNA retrieval by adhesive tapes is widely used since quite some years now, little information has been published so far on how well it performs compared to other methods. Even more important, when it comes to choosing the right DNA extraction method for forensic lifting-tapes, the available information one can rely on as a forensic geneticist is quite scarce. In our study we compared the two widely used, commercially available and automation suitable magnetic bead-based extraction methods “iPrep Forensic Kit” and “PrepFiler Express BTA™ Kit” to conventional organic solvent extraction. The results demonstrate that DNA extraction from standardized saliva samples applied to SceneSafe Fast™ minitapes is most efficient with phenol–chloroform. We also provide evidence that SceneSafe Fast™ minitapes perform better than wet cotton swabs in the sampling of touch DNA from cotton fabric. Applying the tape only once in every spot on the tissue is thereby sufficient for a considerably better collection performance of the tapes compared to swabbing.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.006
      Issue No: Vol. 29 (2017)
       
  • Establishment of an alternative efficiently genotyping strategy for human
           ABO gene
    • Authors: Enzhu Jiang; Peifu Yu; Siyi Zhang; Chunmei Li; Mei Ding; Baojie Wang; Hao Pang
      Pages: 72 - 76
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 29
      Author(s): Enzhu Jiang, Peifu Yu, Siyi Zhang, Chunmei Li, Mei Ding, Baojie Wang, Hao Pang
      ABO genotyping is used in several disciplines, including transfusion, transplantation, human evolution, and forensic medicine. Detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on a locus is a common way to identify different genotypes. In this study we developed a strategy for ABO genotyping, which can rapidly and efficiently detect SNPs. DNA fragments containing 4 SNPs in the ABO gene (c.261delG, c.297A > G, c.1009A > G, and c.1061delC) were amplified using individually and multiplexed polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods and subsequently genotyped by high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis. Human blood ABO genotypes from 92 samples were successfully determined by HRM analysis. A total of 14 genotypes (A/A, A/O01, A/O02, A201/O01, A205/O01, B/B, B/O01, B/O02, A/B, A201/B, A205/B, O01/O01, O02/O02, O01/O02) were identified by analysis of the 4 SNPs of interest in this study. The results suggest that the present HRM assay is a reliable and rapid method for ABO blood type genotyping and it may offer an alternative to traditional genotyping methods.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.015
      Issue No: Vol. 29 (2017)
       
  • Estimating normal lung weight measurement using postmortem CT in forensic
           cases
    • Authors: Kotaro Matoba; Hideki Hyodoh; Manabu Murakami; Atsuko Saito; Tomoko Matoba; Lisa Ishida; Emi Fujita; Mayumi Yamase; Shigeki Jin
      Pages: 77 - 81
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 29
      Author(s): Kotaro Matoba, Hideki Hyodoh, Manabu Murakami, Atsuko Saito, Tomoko Matoba, Lisa Ishida, Emi Fujita, Mayumi Yamase, Shigeki Jin
      Purpose The aim of this study is to estimate the lung weight using postmortem CT in well aerated lung autopsy cases. The correlation coefficients to the lung weight were also evaluated for the cadavers’ height, weight, whole body surface area (WBSA), body mass index, and estimated lung volume. Materials and methods From October 2015 to July 2016, 31 cadavers (male 12, female 19, age 20–98 (mean 66.9) y.o., postmortem interval 0.3–75.0 (5.7) days) were compared as regards body weight, height, whole body surface area (WBSA), body mass index (BMI), lung volume on CT, and total lung volume classified into several CT number categories, with their lung weight in autopsy. Results The lung weight (mean ± SE) was 284.9 ± 14.8 g in right lung and 249.3 ± 12.9 g in left lung. The %ALV was 79.9 ± 0.9 HU (mean ± standard error (SE)) in both lungs, 80.3 ± 1.3 HU in right lung, and 77.6 ± 2.0 HU in left lung. Using a simple linear regression test, there was no statistically significant correlation between the lung weight and the categories (R2: body height 0.234, weight 0.224, WBSA 0.309, BMI 0.046, lung volume 0.059). The volume for each individual CT density category showed no significant correlation, but the stepwise regression test yielded an excellent correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.840). Conclusion The well aerated lung weight was 284.9 ± 14.8 g in right lung and 249.3 ± 12.9 g in left lung, and the postmortem CT could estimate the lung weight with high correlation coefficient.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.014
      Issue No: Vol. 29 (2017)
       
  • Postmortem diagnosis of sepsis: A preliminary immunohistochemical study
           with an anti-procalcitonin antibody
    • Authors: Aniello Maiese; Franca Del Nonno; Marco Dell'Aquila; Mario Moauro; Andrea Baiocchini; Antonio Mastracchio; Giorgio Bolino
      Pages: 1 - 5
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 28
      Author(s): Aniello Maiese, Franca Del Nonno, Marco Dell'Aquila, Mario Moauro, Andrea Baiocchini, Antonio Mastracchio, Giorgio Bolino


      PubDate: 2017-07-19T17:59:38Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.002
      Issue No: Vol. 28 (2017)
       
  • Sudden perinatal death due to rupture of congenital cardiac diverticulum.
           Pathological findings and medico-legal investigations in malpractice
           charge
    • Authors: Matteo Marchesi; Michele Boracchi; Guendalina Gentile; Francesca Maghin; Riccardo Zoja
      Pages: 6 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 28
      Author(s): Matteo Marchesi, Michele Boracchi, Guendalina Gentile, Francesca Maghin, Riccardo Zoja
      Congenital diverticula of the left ventricle, very rare malformations, are determined by an abnormal embryonic development of the ventricular wall and can be isolated or associated to other cardiac anomalies. In most of the cases, these pathologies are not symptomatic and in some patients can be associated to ventricular arrhythmia, cardiac rupture with tamponade and sudden death.
      Authors are presenting the case of a sudden death in an 8-weeks-old newborn due to rupture of a cardiac congenital diverticulum of the left ventricle, discovered only at the moment of the autopsic examination. The parents of the victim pressed charges against the medical staff that was appointed to the cares, blaming them with malpractice. The missed diagnosis of a cardiac congenital diverticulum of the left ventricle, a rare pathology, reflects the trickiness of the medical management that can lead to medico-legal controversies and, even though such rare conditions must be always taken into consideration when investigating possible dysfunction causing the death, diagnostic difficulties, in the case in exam, justify the missed diagnosis intra-vitam of cardiac ventricular diverticulum.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-07-19T17:59:38Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.003
      Issue No: Vol. 28 (2017)
       
  • Changes in illicit, licit and stimulant designer drug use patterns in
           South-East Hungary between 2008 and 2015
    • Authors: Zsófia Árok; Tamás Csesztregi; Éva Sija; Tibor Varga; Éva M. Kereszty; Réka Anita Tóth; László Institóris
      Pages: 37 - 44
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine, Volume 28
      Author(s): Zsófia Árok, Tamás Csesztregi, Éva Sija, Tibor Varga, Éva M. Kereszty, Réka Anita Tóth, László Institóris
      The aim of this work is to present the changes in classical illicit and licit drug, as well as stimulant designer drug (SDD) consumption of suspected drug users in South-East Hungary between 2008 and 2015. Urine and/or blood samples of 2976 subjects were analyzed for these groups of substances of which 1777 (59.7%) were tested positive. THC was the most frequent (32.2%) substance, followed by classical stimulants (amphetamine, metamphetamine, MDMA, cocain) (21.4%), SDDs (17.0%), benzodiazepines (15.5%), medical opiates (codeine without morphine, methadone, tramadol) (4.03%), and morphine with or without 6-acethyl-morphine (1.98%). The annual rate of cannabis consumption continuously decreased after 2010. The use of classical stimulants was constant, except for a significant increase in 2015. Benzodiazepine incidence increased and remained steady after 2011. Medical opiate and morphine frequency was variable. SDDs were found in the highest number in 2012–13, exceeding the frequency of classical stimulants. The most prevalent SDDs were as follows: 2010 – mephedrone, 2011 – 4-MEC, methylone, MDPV, 4-FMC, and 4-FA, and 2012–2015 – pentedrone. Beside pentedrone, 3-MMC, αPVP, αPHP, and 4-CMC were detected with a notable number in this period. Multi-drug use was found in 30–43% of suspects tested positive between 2008 and 2014, which elevated to 52% in 2015. The frequency of substances in the biological samples corresponded to their seizure rate. When SDDs were included on the NPS list, their frequency in biological samples and in seized materials slightly decreased or did not change. However, a marked decrease was observed following classification as illicit drugs.

      PubDate: 2017-10-13T22:32:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.001
      Issue No: Vol. 28 (2017)
       
  • 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
       
  • Development of a simultaneous identification method for 13 animal species
           using two multiplex real-time PCR assays and melting curve analysis
    • Authors: Natsumi Ishida; Makoto Sakurada; Hiroshi Kusunoki; Yasuhiro Ueno
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 November 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Natsumi Ishida, Makoto Sakurada, Hiroshi Kusunoki, Yasuhiro Ueno
      We developed a simple and rapid method for animal species identification in the forensic science field based on mitochondrial DNA using two multiplex real-time PCRs and analysis of the resultant SYBR Green I melting curves. This method was designed to identify nine domestic animals simultaneously (dog, cat, rabbit, cattle, pig, chicken, goat, sheep and horse) and four wild animals (deer, raccoon-dog, monkey and bear) by comparing the different melting temperatures of the amplicons produced from samples originating from each species. For this analysis, we targeted various mitochondrial genes, including those encoding cytochrome b (cytb), NADH dehydrogenase 5 (ND5), cytochrome c oxidase 3 (COX3), tRNA-ND5, and tRNA-ATP synthase 8 (ATP8). For practical applications, this study presents a validation of this assay including its specificity, sensitivity and robustness. The limits of detection in the multiplex reactions were 10 pg for eight of the nine animals, excluding horse (1 pg for horse). The method was able to correctly identify the animal species from artificial forensic samples including blood stains, saliva, hair and bone, and samples digested in artificial gastric fluid, and for 17 forensic casework samples. The data from the multiplex real-time PCR assays are obtainable only 30 minutes after DNA extraction of the samples, making the assays useful for screening samples containing DNA from unknown animal origin in the forensic field.

      PubDate: 2017-12-01T06:06:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.11.007
       
  • 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
       
  • Planned and unplanned complex suicides: casuistry of the Institute of
           Legal Medicine of Parma (Italy)
    • Authors: Antonio Banchini; Maria Laura Schirripa; Luca Anzillotti; Rossana Cecchi
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 October 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Antonio Banchini, Maria Laura Schirripa, Luca Anzillotti, Rossana Cecchi
      Complex suicide is performed using more harmful methods, simultaneously or consecutively. In these cases, the distinction between suicide and homicide represents a challenge for forensic pathologists. In literature, complex suicide is divided in two subgroups: “planned complex suicide” or “unplanned complex suicide” depending from forensic features and often related to psychiatric variables. Aim of this study was to show the casuistry of complex suicide in Parma’s Forensic service analyzing, for each case, the forensic medical problems (type and site of lesions on the body), and the supplementary data [Police’s inspection report, toxicological analysis and psychiatric anamnesis (when available)], trying, through a multidisciplinary approach, to determine a possible correlation between the victim’s mood and suicide’s method chosen, whether planned or unplanned. Our results showed the importance of all the elements collected on the crime scene to distinguish suicide from homicide, and the correlation between bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia with unplanned complex suicide (because of the impulsiveness), and major depression disorder and anxiety disorder with planned complex suicide. Being able to understand the causes behind this extreme gesture may become important not only for forensic pathologists and judicial authority, but also, and above all, for the family as well.

      PubDate: 2017-10-13T22:32:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.005
       
  • A Healed Incomplete Rupture of a Small Artery Jutting to the Lateral
           Ventricle: A Possible Cause of Primary Intraventricular Hemorrhage
    • Authors: Aya Takada; Kazuyuki Saito; Yoshie Hayashizaki; Naotaka Nozawa; Izumi Funakoshi; Shinjiro Mori
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 October 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Aya Takada, Kazuyuki Saito, Yoshie Hayashizaki, Naotaka Nozawa, Izumi Funakoshi, Shinjiro Mori


      PubDate: 2017-10-13T22:32:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.10.004
       
  • Accuracy, precision and inter-rater reliability of micro-CT analysis of
           false starts on bones. A preliminary validation study.
    • Authors: Guido Pelletti; Giovanni Cecchetto Alessia Viero Paolo Fais Michael Weber
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 October 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Guido Pelletti, Giovanni Cecchetto, Alessia Viero, Paolo Fais, Michael Weber, Diego Miotto, Massimo Montisci, Guido Viel, Chiara Giraudo
      Micro computed tomography (micro-CT) has already been proposed as a useful technique for the qualitative analysis of false starts (FS) produced on human bones, although the reliability and the error rate of this technique have not been tested yet, neither for qualitative nor for quantitative assessments. The aim of the present study was to test the morphological agreement, accuracy, precision and inter-rater reliability of micro-CT analysis of FS on bones. The morphological agreement was assessed through the degree of concordance among the 3 independent blind raters in the identification of the shape of 24 FS manually produced on bones by 3 different saws (8 FS for each saw). The accuracy was calculated through the percentage of error in the automatic and manual measurement of the diameter of a reference object. The precision was calculated as CV% of multiple measurements performed by 3 independent blind raters on the reference object and one bone sample acquired 20 times. The inter-rater reliability was assessed as intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) among measurements performed by 3 independent blind raters, assessing 24 FS produced using 3 different saws. The results demonstrated that both qualitative and quantitative analysis were reproducible and robust. Micro-CT analysis showed a 100% morphological agreement, a high level of accuracy (percentage error<0,5%), precision (CV%<5%) and inter-rater reliability (ICC>0.995), when FS were analyzed by forensic pathologists and/or radiologists with adequate expertise. Obviously, further validation studies are needed, including a higher number of samples produced by a wider variety of saws and multiple operators.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-10-07T21:37:46Z
       
  • Postmortem distribution of chlorpyrifos-methyl, fenitrothion, and their
           metabolites in body fluids and organ tissues of an intoxication case
    • Authors: Tatsunori Takayasu; Hiroki Yamamoto Yuko Ishida Mizuho Nosaka Mariko Kawaguchi
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 October 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Tatsunori Takayasu, Hiroki Yamamoto, Yuko Ishida, Mizuho Nosaka, Mariko Kawaguchi, Yumi Kuninaka, Akihiko Kimura, Toshikazu Kondo
      We herein report a fatal intoxication case caused by the ingestion of the insecticides chlorpyrifos-methyl (CPFM) and fenitrothion (MEP). A 70-year-old man was found dead in his house and a cup containing a small amount of agricultural chemicals was on the table near his body. External and internal examinations revealed no injuries. In a gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) screening test, CPFM, MEP, and their metabolites, 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPY) and 3-methyl- 4-nitrophenol (3MNP), respectively, were qualitatively detected in his stomach contents. The concentrations (µg/g) of CPFM, TCPY, MEP, and 3MNP in the extracts of each body fluid and organ tissue were assessed by GC-MS and were as follows: 27.8, 56.2, 17.2, and 2.82 (heart blood); 6.60, 42.9, 1.80, and 2.59 (peripheral blood); 0.0821, 45.9, 2,09, and 102 (urine); 21.4, 26.6, 76.2, and 3.83 (brain (frontal portion)); 16.1, 101, 9.67, and 1.26 (liver); 7.45, 101, 21.4, and 26.1 (right kidney); and 73,500, 9,750, 232,000, and 1,880 (stomach contents), respectively. Based on these results and autopsy findings, the cause of death was acute fatal intoxication by CPFM and MEP.

      PubDate: 2017-10-07T21:37:46Z
       
  • Detection of butane gas inhalation at 16 days after hypoxic
           encephalopathy: A case report
    • Authors: Takako Sato; Hiroshi Nishioka; Kento Tsuboi; Munehiro Katagi; Akihiro Miki; Takashi Saito; Shuntaro Abe; Masakatsu Nomura; Misa Kitagawa; Hitoshi Tsuchihashi; Koichi Suzuki
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 October 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Takako Sato, Hiroshi Nishioka, Kento Tsuboi, Munehiro Katagi, Akihiro Miki, Takashi Saito, Shuntaro Abe, Masakatsu Nomura, Misa Kitagawa, Hitoshi Tsuchihashi, Koichi Suzuki
      In Japan, there are increasing reports of death by poisoning following butane abuse. To determine the specific cause of death in such cases, it is important to confirm the presence of fuel gas components in the body, although careful analysis is required because of their volatile properties. In most reported cases, the subject died suddenly during or immediately after butane aspiration. Thus, the butane concentration in the samples from the deceased should be relatively high. Herein, we present a case of an 18-year-old man found with cardiopulmonary arrest, who then exhibited hypoxic encephalopathy for 16 days in a hospital. At autopsy, we detected hypoxic encephalopathy, pneumonia, and ischemia-reperfusion injury of the myocardium, while the cause of cardiac arrest remained unclear. Toxicological analysis was then performed for fuel gas components in several specimens collected at autopsy. Results showed that n-butane and isobutane were detected in the adipose tissue at 16 days after inhalation, indicating a role of butane gas inhalation as the cause of death. These data suggest that adipose tissue may be the most appropriate analysis sample to be collected at postmortem in cases where involvement of volatile and fat-soluble gas inhalation is suspected.

      PubDate: 2017-10-07T21:37:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.09.005
       
  • Dose-dependent mortality involving convulsions due to subarachnoid
           Urografin® injection in rats
    • Authors: Ryo Shimada; Jiro Ezaki; Kazuhiko Kibayashi
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 September 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Ryo Shimada, Jiro Ezaki, Kazuhiko Kibayashi
      An ionically hypertonic contrast medium Urografin® was inadvertently administered into the subarachnoid space of an individual and this resulted in convulsions and acute respiratory failure. We examined the effects of subarachnoid Urografin® injections on the rat central nervous system. The onset and frequency of the convulsions, as well as fatality, were dependent on the amount of Urografin® administered. No convulsions were observed in rats receiving injections of hypertonic NaCl solution or saline. The results confirmed that subarachnoid injections of Urografin® cause convulsions and death, as previously reported in human cases, and our study ascertained the causal relationship between the above malpractice and fatal outcomes.

      PubDate: 2017-10-07T21:37:46Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.09.004
       
  • Death Due to Non-Traumatic Hemoperitoneum in Milan 2002-2016, With Focus
           on two Cases Of Abdominal Apoplexya (Idiopathic Spontaneous
           Hemoperitoneum) And Review of the Literature
    • Authors: Alessio Battistini; Matteo Marchesi; Alberto Amadasi; Alessandra Rancati; Guendalina Gentile; Riccardo Zoja
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 September 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Alessio Battistini, Matteo Marchesi, Alberto Amadasi, Alessandra Rancati, Guendalina Gentile, Riccardo Zoja
      Abdominal apoplexy, also known as idiopathic spontaneous hemoperitoneum, is a rare event related to sudden death, whose diagnosis and treatment is extremely challenging and whose pathologic mechanisms are still mainly unknown. It is frequently associated with vascular disorders (alterations in the vascular structures) and mainly linked to liver cirrhosis. However, the presence of hemoperitoneum may in such cases pose many challenges to forensic post-mortem examinations since the source of bleeding remains often unknown even after a careful and thorough dissection. The
      Authors present two cases of sudden death related to massive hemoperitoneum (4,650 ml in case 1 and 5,100 ml in case 2) occurred in two cirrhotic males aged 49 and 51: no traumatic injuries were detected and the source of bleeding was not identified although a careful dissection of organs and vascular structures was performed. Rare cases have been already described in the literature, only as case reports, and no systematic studies have been performed on this issue. Nevertheless, this event ought to be taken into account as a cause of sudden death in people with advanced liver disease. A general glimpse is provided among the different causal mechanisms and the challenges within forensic pathology.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T19:42:02Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.09.003
       
  • Post mortem CT of intrahepatic gas distribution in twenty-seven victims of
           a flood: patterns and timing.
    • Authors: Daniela Sapienza; Antonio Bottari; Patrizia Gualniera; Alessio Asmundo; Fabrizio Perri; Michele Gaeta
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Daniela Sapienza, Antonio Bottari, Patrizia Gualniera, Alessio Asmundo, Fabrizio Perri, Michele Gaeta
      We reported the results of post mortem computed tomography of the liver in 27 subjects dead simultaneously during a flood. The aim of our work was to identify the different patterns of post mortem intrahepatic gas distribution and the timing of its appearance. Although post mortem CT is the method of choice for the evaluation of gas distribution, controversies exist about the first site of appearance of intrahepatic gas (portal veins versus hepatic veins) as well as the timing and steps of intrahepatic gas spreading. In each subject we performed thin slice CT scanner (Somatom Definition, Siemens) and post processing of native CT images with Minimum Intensity Projection technique. Our results show that the first site of appearance of intrahepatic gas is portal veins. Gas in hepatic veins was never seen without the presence of the gas in portal vein. Gaseous cysts in hepatic parenchyma represent a further and usually more tardive pattern of intrahepatic gas distribution. In addition, we demonstrated that differences in timing of gas spreading was statistically significative for exclusive presence of portal veins gas before 48 hours as well as for complete substitution of hepatic parenchyma by cysts 64 hours after death. In conclusion, our work shows that the CT study of postmortem intrahepatic gas distribution could be a useful complementary tool both in demonstrating the mechanism of intrahepatic gas spreading and in estimating post mortem interval.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T19:42:02Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.09.002
       
  • Genetic polymorphisms for 19 X-STR loci of Sichuan Han ethnicity and its
           comparison with Chinese populations
    • Authors: Guanglin He; Ye Li; Xing Zou; Mengge Wang; Pengyu Chen; Miao Liao; Jin Wu
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 September 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Guanglin He, Ye Li, Xing Zou, Mengge Wang, Pengyu Chen, Miao Liao, Jin Wu
      X-chromosomal short tandem repeats (X-STRs) can be serviced as a complementary tool in forensic deficiency cases and other complicated kinship identification. To investigate the genetic variation of the western Chinese Han population, genetic polymorphisms of 19 X-STR loci (DXS8378, DXS7423, DXS10148, DXS10159, DXS10134, DXS7424, DXS10164, DXS10162, DXS7132, DXS10079, DXS6789, DXS101, DXS10103, DXS10101, HPRTB, DXS6809, DXS10075, DXS10074 and DXS10135) included in the AGCU X19 PCR amplification kit were obtained from 201 Chinese Han individuals (108 females and 93 males) residing in Sichuan province, western China. A total of 211 alleles were found from the 19 X-STR loci, and 4-22 alleles were found for each locus with the corresponding allele frequencies spanned from 0.0034 to 0.6395. The combined PDF and PDM were 0.9999999999999999999992 and 0.9999999999997, respectively. The combined MECKrüger, MECKishida, MECDesmarais as well as MECDesmarais Duo were 0.999999958110254, 0.999999999996533, 0.999999999996695 and 0.999999992428394, respectively. The number of haplotypes observed in the seven linkage groups varied from 27 to 97 for 108 male individuals with the corresponding haplotype diversities spanned from 0.9424 (DXS7424-DXS101) to 0.9979 (DXS7132-DXS10079-DXS10075-DXS10074). The above-mentioned results indicated that the 19 X-STR loci and the seven linkage groups are highly polymorphic and informative in the Sichuan Han population. Results from population comparisons and phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that genetic heterogeneity widely existed between the Sichuan Han population and Xinjiang minority ethnic groups (Uyghur and Kazakh) and genetic affinity was identified in populations which possessed the same ethno-origin or close geographic origin.

      PubDate: 2017-09-17T19:14:41Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.09.001
       
  • Temperature estimations of heated bone: a questionnaire-based study of
           accuracy and precision of interpretation of bone colour by forensic and
           physical anthropologists
    • Authors: Tristan Krap; Frank van de Goot; Roelof-Jan Oostra; Wilma Duijst; Andrea Waters-Rist
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 August 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Tristan Krap, Frank van de Goot, Roelof-Jan Oostra, Wilma Duijst, Andrea Waters-Rist


      PubDate: 2017-08-15T18:49:55Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.08.001
       
  • Reducing of salivary α-amylase inhibition by using bovine serum albumin
           and calcium chloride for forensic saliva screening
    • Authors: Jun Ohta; Masako Ohmura
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 July 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Jun Ohta, Masako Ohmura
      Inhibiting salivary α-amylase is a critical issue of forensic saliva identification using the catalytic method. This study aims to identify human α-amylase inhibitors in forensic saliva screening by using a blue starch amylase test and to measure the extent of enzyme inhibition. Thus, in order to demonstrate the presence of inhibitors, we prepared positively charged metal ion sources or chelators that were mixed into the saliva stains. The results of this study show that ferric chloride (FeCl3), magnesium chloride, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, and citric acid significantly decrease the α-amylase activity of saliva stains. We also verified this approach using blood, a magnesium-containing liquid supplement, and two citric acid-containing soft drinks that were contaminated with saliva stains as forensic mock samples; these samples also showed a significant reduction in salivary α-amylase activity. To establish an inhibitor-resistant blue starch amylase test, we applied bovine serum albumin (BSA) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) to the reaction system. The results show that salivary α-amylase inhibition of the forensic mock samples occurred under normal test conditions (i.e., 300 ng/µL BSA, 0 mM CaCl2), and that inhibition was significantly relieved under the BSA + CaCl2 conditions (i.e., 1,000 ng/µL BSA, 5 mM CaCl2). Therefore, the results of this study demonstrate that both BSA and CaCl2 can be utilized as reaction stabilizers in forensic saliva screening.

      PubDate: 2017-07-26T18:33:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.008
       
  • Modified method of dental age estimation of Malay juveniles
    • Authors: Safar Sumit Bunyarit; Jayakumar Jayaraman; Murali K. Naidu; Rozaida Poh Yuen Ying; Mahmoud Danaee; Phrabhakaran Nambiar
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 July 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Safar Sumit Bunyarit, Jayakumar Jayaraman, Murali K. Naidu, Rozaida Poh Yuen Ying, Mahmoud Danaee, Phrabhakaran Nambiar


      PubDate: 2017-07-26T18:33:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.009
       
  • The importance of laboratory re-evaluation in cases of suspected child
           abuse – A case report
    • Authors: L. Woydt; C. König; M.K. Bernhard; P. Nickel; J. Dreßler; B. Ondruschka
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 July 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): L. Woydt, C. König, M.K. Bernhard, P. Nickel, J. Dreßler, B. Ondruschka
      In order to accurately diagnose child abuse or neglect, a physician needs to be familiar with diseases and medical conditions that can simulate maltreatment. Unrecognized cases of abuse may lead to insufficient child protection, whereas, on the other hand, over-diagnosis could be the cause of various problems for the family and their potentially accused members. Regarding child abuse, numerous cases of false diagnoses with undetected causes of bleeding are described in the scientific literature, but, specifically concerning leukemia in childhood, only very few case reports exist. Here, for the first time, we report a case of a 2-year-old boy who got hospitalized twice because of suspicious injuries and psychosocial conspicuities, in a family situation known for repeated endangerment of the child’s well-being. After his first hospitalization with injuries typical for child abuse, but without paraclinical abnormalities, medical inspections were arranged periodically. The child was hospitalized with signs of repeated child abuse again five months later. During second admission, an acute lymphoblastic leukemia was revealed by intermittent laboratory examination, ordered due to new bruises with changes in morphology, identifiable as petechial hemorrhages. This case elucidates the discussion of known cases of leukemia in childhood associated with suspected child abuse in order to provide an overview of possible diseases mimicking maltreatment. To arrange necessary supportive examinations, a skillful interaction between pediatrician and forensic pathologist is crucial in the differentiation between accidental and non-accidental injury.

      PubDate: 2017-07-26T18:33:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.007
       
  • Age assessment in canine and premolar by cervical axial sections of
           Cone-beam Computed Tomography
    • Authors: Hichem Nemsi; Nidhal Haj salem; Ines Bouanene; Sami Ben Jomaa; Meriem Belhadj; Abir Aissaoui; Faten Ben Amor; Ali Chadly
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 July 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Hichem Nemsi, Nidhal Haj salem, Ines Bouanene, Sami Ben Jomaa, Meriem Belhadj, Abir Aissaoui, Faten Ben Amor, Ali Chadly
      Age estimation in adults is a challenge in both anthropological and forensic situations compared to sub-adults age estimation. The present study explored, for the first time, the cervical zone of single rooted teeth. The deposition of secondary dentin is responsible for a decrease in the volume of the dental pulp cavity with aging, and therefore is often used as an age indicator. The current study aimed at estimating the chronological age among adults by measuring the pulp/dentin area ratio (physiological ratio) by axial sections at cervical region of maxillary canine and mandibular second premolar. The sample consisted of 120 cone beam CT images of 120 Tunisians whose age ranged from 22 to 67, from the database of a private clinic of radiology. The first axial section of chosen teeth without enamel was selected. Linear regression models were derived for canine, premolar and for all variables to predict the age. They indicated that dentin deposition on canine and premolar have almost the same correlation with age (r = -0.838 and -0.837 respectively). The residual standard errors (RSE), when these regression equations applied for the entire sample, were ranged between 8.27, 8.29 and 7.06 for canine, premolar and for all variables respectively. Tested for younger ages (from 22 to 44 years) the RSE decreased considerably and thus ranged between 4.32, 4.72 and 4.05. The outcomes of this study showthat the physiological ratio is a useful variable for assessing age with a satisfying accuracy.

      PubDate: 2017-07-26T18:33:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.004
       
  • Association between an indel polymorphism in the 3'UTR of COL1A2 and the
           risk of sudden cardiac death in Chinese populations
    • Authors: Zhixia Yin; Yadong Guo; Jianhua Zhang; Qing Zhang; Lijuan Li; Shouyu Wang; Chaoqun Wang; Yan He; Shaohua Zhu; Chengtao Li; Suhua Zhang; Lagabaiyila Zha; Jifeng Cai; Bin Luo; Yuzhen Gao
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 July 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Zhixia Yin, Yadong Guo, Jianhua Zhang, Qing Zhang, Lijuan Li, Shouyu Wang, Chaoqun Wang, Yan He, Shaohua Zhu, Chengtao Li, Suhua Zhang, Lagabaiyila Zha, Jifeng Cai, Bin Luo, Yuzhen Gao
      Sudden cardiac death (SCD) describes the unexpected natural death from a cardiac cause within a short time period. Compelling evidence suggests the involvement of host genetic factors in SCD etiology. Identification of genetic variations predisposed to SCD enables genetic testing that may contribute to SCD diagnosis and risk stratification. Previous studies have suggested that dysregulation of pro-alpha2 chain of type I collagen, encoded by collagen type I alpha 2 chain (COL1A2) gene, was involved in cardiac disorders such as myocardial infarction, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and atherosclerosis. By using a candidate-gene-based approach, we evaluated the association of a 7-base pair (7-bp) indel polymorphism (rs3917) in the 3'UTR of COL1A2 with the risk of SCD in a Chinese population (79 SCD cases and 328 controls). Logistic regression analysis showed that the deletion allele of rs3917 significantly increased the risk of SCD [odds ratio (OR) =1.82; 95% confidence interval (CI) =1.08-3.06; P=0.0159]. Further genotype-phenotype association analysis revealed that the deletion allele was markedly correlated with lower expression of COL1A2 in human myocardium tissues. The luciferase activity analysis in an in vitro reporter gene system suggested that rs3917 could regulate COL1A2 expression through interrupting the binding of miR-296-3p with COL1A2 in an allele-dependent manner, which in turn confer SCD risk. Our data provided initial evidence that rs3917 was highly relevant to SCD susceptibility, and this indel may become a potential marker for molecular diagnosis and genetic counseling of SCD. The replication of our studies and further functional studies are needed to validate our findings.

      PubDate: 2017-07-19T17:59:38Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.006
       
  • Early time-related course of image findings in postmortem MRI: Typical
           Findings and observer agreement in a porcine model
    • Authors: Frank Oliver Henes; Marc Regier; Peter Bannas; Marlen Henker; Axel Heinemann; Jan Sperhake; Philipp G.C. Begemann; Gerhard Adam; Michael Groth
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 July 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Frank Oliver Henes, Marc Regier, Peter Bannas, Marlen Henker, Axel Heinemann, Jan Sperhake, Philipp G.C. Begemann, Gerhard Adam, Michael Groth
      Purpose To assess early time-related image findings in postmortem magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to evaluate observer agreement in a porcine model. Material and Methods Three pigs were examined by MRI at 15 different time points in the first 36 h after death. Two observers independently recorded the postmortem interval (PMI) to the appearance of fluid collection (pleural space, interlobar and interlobular pulmonary fissures and hepatic interlobar fissures), gas accumulation (intrahepatic and intracardial) and blood clotting (aorta and intrahepatic venous vessels). Cohen’s Kappa statistics and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were used to evaluate intra- and interobserver agreement. Results Intrahepatic gas was evident after 12, 17 and 30h. Also, intracardiac gas was present in all animals. However, no chronological appearance has been observed. Blood clotting in the hepatic vein was observed within 3 minutes, aortic clotting with a delay of 2-12h after death. Interlobular pulmonary fluid (median PMI: 2h, range 2 to 2h), pleural effusion (median PMI: 10.5h, range 9 to 12h) and hepatic interlobar fissure fluid (median PMI: 11.5h, range 11 to 12h) displayed a chronological appearance pattern. Qualitative and quantitative detection of most postmortem findings showed excellent intra- and interobserver agreement with Kappa values > 0.8 or ICC > 0.75. Conclusion Pulmonary and hepatic fissural fluid collection as well as intravasal gas accumulation are early time-related image findings in postmortem MRI. The chronological appearance of these findings can be assessed with excellent observer agreement in a porcine model.

      PubDate: 2017-07-19T17:59:38Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.07.005
       
  • Influence of hypo- and hyperthermia on death time estimation – a
           simulation study
    • Authors: H. Muggenthaler; M. MHubig; S. Schenkl; G. Mall
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 June 2017
      Source:Legal Medicine
      Author(s): H. Muggenthaler, M. MHubig, S. Schenkl, G. Mall
      Numerous physiological and pathological mechanisms can cause elevated or lowered body core temperatures. Deviations from the physiological level of about 37°C can influence temperature based death time estimations. However, it has not been investigated by means of thermodynamics, to which extent hypo- and hyperthermia bias death time estimates. Using numerical simulation, the present study investigates the errors inherent in temperature based death time estimation in case of elevated or lowered body core temperatures before death. The most considerable errors with regard to the normothermic model occur in the first few hours post-mortem. With decreasing body core temperature and increasing post-mortem time the error diminishes and stagnates at a nearly constant level.

      PubDate: 2017-07-01T03:10:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.06.005
       
 
 
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