The cholesterol levels in median nerve and post-mortem interval evaluation

Forensic Science International : Synergy
Giuseppe VacchianoMaria Pieri


Cholesterol levels in the median nerve were studied at various post-mortem intervals (PMIs). Single median nerve samples were collected from the wrists of 36 subjects during forensic autopsies of subjects with known circumstances and times of death. Although the absolute values varied, increments in cholesterol concentration were recorded. Subsequently, 16 subjects who did not suffer of any neurological and/or metabolic diseases with known times and circumstances of death were enrolled. For each enrolled subject, two samples were collected from the wrist at an interval of approximately two hours (t1 and t2). The obtained results revealed a gradual increase in cholesterol level with increasing time since death. The cholesterol concentration data obtained for each subject at t1 and t2 were correlated with the time since death, a linear interpolation was applied, and the PMI was back-calculated. Similar trends were obtained for the samples collected at similar PMIs; thus, three groups were considered: PMI<48h, 48<PMI<78h, and PMI>78h. Good correlation coefficients were obtained, especially for the first group (R(2)=0.9362) for which the PMI could be calculated with an error that ranged from -4 to 5.9h. Although it requires further...Continue Reading


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