PMID: 11074173Nov 14, 2000Paper

Post-mortem urinary myoglobin levels with reference to the causes of death

Forensic Science International : Synergy
B L ZhuH Maeda


To evaluate pathophysiological significance of post-mortem urinary myoglobin levels in determining the cause of death, we investigated 210 forensic autopsy cases, partially in comparison with serum levels. Post-mortem serum myoglobin levels were extraordinary high in most cases possibly due to post-mortem change. Urinary myoglobin levels did not correlate with the serum levels, showing possible post-mortem elevation in cases of a prolonged post-mortem period over 48h. A high (>1000 ng/ml), moderate (100-1000 ng/ml), slight (50-100 ng/ml) and not significant (<50 ng/ml) elevation of urinary myoglobin were observed in 26, 43, 31 and 110 cases, respectively. Half the highly elevated cases were those with a survival time over 24h. In cases of minor muscle injury such as head trauma, elevation of urinary myoglobin level was closely related to longer survival. In acute/subacute deaths with a post-mortem interval within 48h, a significant difference was observed in relation to the blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels of fire victims: myoglobinuria over 100 ng/ml was more frequently and markedly observed in cases with COHb below 60% than over 60%, suggesting muscle damage in fatal burns. Similar elevation was observed in heat stroke v...Continue Reading


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