Examination of histological samples from submerged carrion to aid in the determination of postmortem submersion interval

Michael Keith Humphreys, Edward A Panacek, William Green, Elizabeth Albers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of histology in the as a tool for estimating postmortem intervals has rarely been explored but it has the potential for offering medical examiners an additional means for estimating the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) during a death investigation. This study used perinatal piglets as human analogs which were submerged in freshwater for various time intervals. Each piglet was extracted from the water and underwent a necropsy examination during which histological samples were collected. The samples revealed that the necrotic tissue decomposed relatively predictably over time and that this decompositional progression may have the potential to be used via a scoring system to determine or aid in determining the PMSI. This method for calculating PMSI allows for normalization between piglets of various mass and body types. It also prevents any contamination of the remains via algae growth and animal activity that may exacerbate and possibly exaggerate PMSI calculation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • aquatic decomposition
  • decomposition visual score
  • forensic science
  • histology
  • pathology
  • postmortem submersion interval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

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