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Estimation of Postmortem Interval According to Time Course of Potassium Ion Activity in Cadaveric Synovial Fluid
Estimation of the time of death is one of the most important problems for forensic medicine and law. Physical and biochemical postmortem changes are evaluated together while estimating the time of death. Vitreous humor chemistry is used for postmortem analysis since serum values of many components are thought to be reflected in vitreous humor and to be stable for a prolonged postmortem interval (PMI). A similar isolated compartment to vitreous humor is synovial fluid, which up to now was hardly used for postmortem chemistry. The aim of the present study was to estimate postmortem interval by potassium levels in joint fluid, to get hints for the reliability and to establish reference values for synovial fluid. Therefore, in 123 cases with known time since death, synovial fluid was taken and analyzed for potassium levels on Flame photometer. The result shows that potassium has a quite high and positive correlation with time lapse and definite equation was evolved for computation of postmortem interval.
Time since Death, Synovial Fluid, Potassium, Postmortem Interval.
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