Estimation of the time since death.

Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Duisburg Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany.
Forensic Science International (Impact Factor: 2.31). 02/2007; 165(2-3):182-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.05.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The main principle of the determination of the time since death is the calculation of a measurable date along a time-dependent curve back to the start point. Characteristics of the curve (e.g. the slope) and the start point are influenced by internal and external, antemortem and postmortem conditions. These influencing factors have to be taken into consideration quantitatively in order to improve the precision of death time estimation. It does not make any sense to study the postmortem time course of any analyte without considering influencing factors and giving statistical parameters of the variability. Comparison of different methods requires an investigation of the same postmortem interval. For practical purposes, it must be concluded that the amount of literature on estimating the time since death has a reverse correlation with its importance in practice.

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