Article

Estimation of time since death

University of Bonn, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Forensic Science International (Impact Factor: 2.14). 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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    • "The difficulty is related to the absence of data related to timedependent postmortem changes associated with factors such as body structure, cause of death, climate, drug addiction, disease, and so forth [3] [4] [5], especially ambient temperature [6] [7]. Viable quantitative measurements and mathematical description play an important role in eliminating or weakening the affecting factors in the determination of PMI [2]. Screening for chemical changes post mortem is feasible in principle, and meets practical requirements. "
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    • "In this study, we applied a metabolomics approach to the problem of the post-mortem interval as it pertains to the field of forensic science. The typical methods used in postmortem-interval studies entail observation of changes of dental tissues, rigor mortis and body temperature (Coe 1993; Di Maio and Di Maio 2001; Henssge and Madea 2007; Kaliszan et al. 2009). However, as these are applicable only after a considerable amount of time has passed post-mortem, precision and accuracy are lost. "
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