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Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

Mark W Kroll, Stacey L Hail, Ryan M Kroll, Charles V Wetli, John C Criscione
It has been suggested that a CEW (conducted electrical weapon) exposure could elicit a stress response that could cause ExDS (excited delirium syndrome). There are some parallels between the signs of ExDS and serotonin syndrome (SS). Electroconvulsive therapy raises serotonin levels and therefore provides a plausible link between CEW applications and elevated serotonin levels. This study was designed to determine whether a CEW exposure elevates serum serotonin. A total of 31 police academy cadets were exposed to a very broad-spread 5-s CEW stimulus from a TASER brand X26 CEW...
August 11, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Guido Pelletti, Marco Garagnani, Francesca Rossi, Raffaella Roffi, Antonio Banchini, Susi Pelotti
Toxicological analyses are often performed in drug-facilitated sexual assaults (DFSA), when the victim shows or reports impaired consciousness and reduced ability. However, in other crimes or fatalities, especially in cases of concurrent natural disease or when another likely cause of death has been established, the involvement of drugs can be overlooked. The aim of this study is to report a series of cases of (i) victims of drug-facilitated crimes (DFC) other than DFSA and (ii) victims of acute intoxications, in which "licit" psychoactive drugs were found in blood samples, with the aim of understanding in which circumstances and to what extent prescription drugs have been used for non-medical purposes in recent Italian casuistry...
August 11, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Tijana Durmić, Tatjana Atanasijević, Milenko Bogdanović
A 69-year-old woman committed suicide by cutting her lower legs with a safety razor blade. Autopsy revealed horizontal incised wounds around the circumference of the lower legs, 24 cm above the heels, cutting superficial veins on both sides, the underlying lower legs muscles, and extending into both lower leg bones with associated hematoma formation. Also, there were a large number of superficial tentative or "hesitation" cuts ranging from 3 to 6 cm over the lower legs. Death was attributed to hemorrhagic shock following injuries to blood vessels of the lower legs...
August 9, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Roger W Byard
Syphilis is an increasingly diagnosed venereal disease which has four distinctive stages that may last over decades if appropriate treatment is not given. Review of the files of the Pathology Museum in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Adelaide revealed three cases with classical cardiovascular and neurological findings. Case 1: An 80-year-old man with a large syphilitic aneurysm of the ascending aorta with a smaller aneurysm of the proximal descending aorta. Case 2: A 56-year-old man with chronic syphilitic meningoencephalitis with cerebral atrophy...
August 7, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Danica Cvetković, Vladimir Živković, Irina Damjanjuk, Slobodan Nikolić
Two cases of intestinal obstruction in the mentally disabled are reported. The first case concerns 61-year-old oligophrenic woman who resided in a nursing home, where she was found hypotensive and unresponsive. Upon opening the peritoneal cavity at autopsy, extremely dilated (measuring on average 12 cm in diameter) loops of the colon emerged- they compressed the small intestine and other intraperitoneal organs, lifting both hemidiaphragms deep into the pleural cavity. Lodged firmly into the rectum, a partly disintegrated sanitary pad was found...
August 4, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Klára Marecová, Matěj Uvíra, Marek Dokoupil, Petr Handlos
Sharp force injuries are uncommon in routine forensic practice. While the majority of these cases are homicides or suicides, a significant minority of accidental deaths means that a careful investigation of the circumstances of the death is necessary. We present the case of a young man who presented with stab and cut injuries due to a duralumin rod embedded in his chest. Examination of the body revealed that death was due to penetration of the thoracic aorta by a duralumin rod. Careful investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death was able to confim a case of accidental death due to falling from a ladder onto tomato seedlings that were supported by duralumin rods...
August 3, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Robert A C Bilo
The 2016 Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU) systematic review deals with the role of the 'triad' (subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhages, and various forms of brain symptoms) in the medical investigation of suspected traumatic shaking. In this commentary we will not discuss the methodological shortcomings of the SBU-review but will concentrate on the effects of the review on the daily practice of protecting children and families in court procedures. In our opinion the report did not add anything to what was already known in clinical and forensic medicine...
August 1, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Karen Heath, Roger W Byard
A three-year-old boy with mild symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection and recent onset vomiting collapsed at home. Resuscitative attempts in hospital were eventually unsuccessful. At autopsy an obstruction of the small intestine, with ischemia, was identified. It had been caused by strangulation of the small intestine through a congenital mesenteric defect. Moderate mesenteric lymphadenopathy, with enlarged lymph nodes in the region of the herniated small intestine, were associated with positive testing for human metapneumovirus and enterovirus...
August 1, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Li-Chin Tsai, Chih-Wen Su, James Chun-I Lee, Yu-Sheng Lu, Hsuan-Chen Chen, Yu-Chih Lin, Adrian Linacre, Hsing-Mei Hsieh
We report on a novel method for saliva identification by reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP). In our previous report, real-time RT-LAMP was used for blood identification by using HBB detection as a model but in this advanced study, this method was refined for the identification of the more challenging body fluid of saliva. Expression of the18S rRNA gene was used as the internal control and the Statherin (STATH) gene as the saliva-specific marker. A turbidimeter was used for real-time detection of the RT-LAMP products, and confirmation was obtained that the real products were generated using: agarose gel electrophoresis, calcein fluorescence detection and/or enzymatic digestion...
July 30, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Hsuan-Yun Hu, Shyh-Yuh Wei, Chih-Hsin Pan
Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by skeletal muscle injury resulting in the release of intracellular proteins (such as myoglobin) and electrolytes into the blood circulation, which cause acute kidney injury, myoglobinuria and electrolyte imbalances. Clinical diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis is made on the basis of biochemical analysis; however, for forensic autopsies, biochemical data are often not available, and it is necessary to diagnose rhabdomyolysis via histopathological examinations. This study analyzed 52 cases with rhabdomyolysis and applied myoglobin immunohistochemistry to kidney, urine and blood samples...
July 28, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Shijia Chan
Tuberculosis (TB) is a prevalent infection worldwide and an endemic infection in Singapore. The most common presentation is that of pulmonary tuberculosis. Extra pulmonary tuberculosis usually involves the lymph nodes, pleura, central nervous system, or abdominal cavity. Involvement of the heart is rare (0.14-2% of TB cases), and when it is involved, it tends to be in the pericardium or myocardium. Here, a rare case of sudden death due to tuberculous coronary arteritis with tuberculous coronary thrombosis resulting in acute myocardial infarction is presented...
July 10, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Claire J Sully, G Stewart Walker, Neil E I Langlois
The forensic investigation of a deceased person retrieved following a fire includes measuring carboxyhemoglobin. A carboxyhemoglobin saturation above 10% is considered indicative of respiration during a fire, implying the person had been alive. This relies on the assumption that carbon monoxide will not diffuse into blood used for toxicological analysis. This project investigated the potential for carbon monoxide to passively diffuse into a body and if carboxyhemoglobin levels could become elevated post-mortem...
July 4, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Dylan Mantinieks, Dimitri Gerostamoulos, Paul Wright, Olaf Drummer
Hair is a mainstream specimen used in forensic toxicology to determine drug use and exposure. However, the interpretation of an analytical hair result can be complicated by the presence of external drug contamination. Decontamination procedures are included in hair analysis methods to remove external contamination, but the capacity of these washes to completely remove contamination for all drugs is controversial. It is evident that there is no consensus on the most effective decontamination procedure, nor can decontamination procedures consistently remove external drug contamination to less than reportable cut-offs for all analytes...
July 3, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Sebastian N Kunz, Hugh Calkins, Jiri Adamec, Mark W Kroll
Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEWs) are being used as the preferred non-lethal force option for police and special forces worldwide. This new technology challenges an exposed opponent similarly to the way they would be challenged by physical exercise combined with emotional stress. While adrenergic and metabolic effects have been meta-analyzed and reviewed, there has been no systematic review of the effects of CEWs on skeletal and cardiac muscle. A systematic and careful search of the MedLine database was performed to find publications describing pathophysiological cardiac and skeletal muscle effects of CEWs...
June 28, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Ahmad Alkhasawneh, Aysha Mubeen, Arun Gopinath
Lymphoproliferative disorders cause significant morbidity and mortality, either related to the disease itself or therapy complications. Some cases of lymphoma may have vague clinical presentation, especially in the absence of lymphadenopathy, and a clinical work up may not be conclusive. Our study focuses on autopsy cases of lymphoma patients, emphasizing clinically unsuspected cases. Autopsy records from the last 20 years at our institution were searched, and the clinical parameters were recorded. Fifteen cases of lymphoma were identified, and 5 cases were diagnosed at the time of autopsy...
June 23, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Kyung-Moo Yang, Bong-Woo Lee, Jaeseong Oh, Seong Ho Yoo
Although the benefits of sauna bathing have been demonstrated in epidemiological studies, sauna deaths have been reported. The aim of this study was to determine the demographic and forensic characteristics associated with different blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) in sauna deaths in Korea. In this retrospective analysis, data were collected from a nationwide pool in Korea between January 2008 and December 2015 to determine the role of alcohol intoxication in sauna deaths based on the subjects' BAC and to evaluate the demographic and forensic characteristics associated with different BACs...
June 21, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Ann Sophie Schröder, Carolin Edler, Jan Peter Sperhake
The bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) can cause severe and life-threatening infections such as epiglottitis and meningitis. The course of the disease can be very rapid, resulting in sudden death. The incidence of Hib-induced epiglottitis in children has declined since the introduction of vaccinations in countries where such vaccinations are routinely administered. We herein present a case involving a 2.5-year-old boy who died suddenly at home. He had developed acute-onset throat and abdominal pain and a high fever...
June 20, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Stefano D'Errico, Massimo Martelloni, Francesco Pio Cafarelli, Giuseppe Guglielmi
Type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF 1), a rare genetic disease with autosomal dominant transmission, has typical dermatologic manifestations with pathognomonic Lisch nodules, and is rarely known for vascular alterations. Among these, aneurysmal dilatation is the most common form. We report a fatal case of massive hemothorax due to a spontaneous rupture of the left pulmonary artery branch micro-aneurysm in a NF 1 patient. Indeed, spontaneous rupture of these pathologic vessels is very rare in clinical practice and the literature, but, for its potentially life-threatening complications, there is the need for it to be taken into account in differential diagnosis...
June 20, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Daniel S Smyk, Jayantha C Herath
Vertebral artery laceration/dissection (VALD) resulting in fatal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a rare, but well-known phenomenon encountered in the forensic setting. Delayed ruptures are exceptionally rare, and pose several challenges to the forensic pathologist. In this paper we present a case of a 47-year-old male who collapsed suddenly following recent complaints of a headache and a reported seizure. He had a reported history of potential head trauma that occurred several days prior. Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful, and an autopsy examination was ordered...
June 20, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Barbara Ströh van Deventer, Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo, Chantal van Niekerk
To determine variations in the SCN5A gene linked to inherited cardiac arrhythmogenic disorders in sudden, unexplained infant death (SUID) cases examined at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory, South Africa. A retrospective study was conducted on SUID cases and controls, analyzing DNA extracted from archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) myocardial tissue samples as well as blood samples. A total of 48 FFPE tissue samples (cases), 10 control FFPE tissue samples and nine control blood samples were included...
June 16, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
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