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James Macaluso P.,Institute of Legal Medicine
Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2015

Only one study to date has explored the potential of innominate measurements for the estimation of stature in forensic contexts. The acetabulum, however, is among the skeletal regions most resistant to the processes of destruction and often survives intact. In this investigation, diameter, area and perimeter dimensions of the acetabulum were recorded from digital photographs in a documented French sample, consisting of 36 males and 33 females. Linear regression equations for estimating stature were then generated for each dimension in both males and females. Correlation coefficients for the models ranged from r = 0.401 to r = 0.474, and standard error of the estimate (SEE) values were between 5.7 cm and 6.1 cm. The highest correlation coefficients in both sexes were observed for the diameter of the acetabulum. These results indicate that acetabular dimensions should only be used for stature estimation when more accurate bones are unavailable for analysis. © 2014 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Buttner A.,Institute of Legal Medicine
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology | Year: 2010

Side effects of anabolic steroids with relevance in forensic medicine are mainly due to life-threatening health risks with potential fatal outcome and cases of uncertain limitations of criminal liability after steroid administration. Both problems are typically associated with long-term abuse and excessive overdose of anabolic steroids. Side effects may be due to direct genomic or nongenomic activities (myotrophic, hepatotoxic), can result from down-regulation of endogenous biosynthesis (antiandrogenic) or be indirect consequence of steroid biotransformation (estrogenic). Logically, there are no systematic clinical studies available and the number of causally determined fatalities is fairly limited. The following compilation reviews typical abundant observations in cases where nonnatural deaths (mostly liver failure and sudden cardiac death) were concurrent with steroid abuse. Moreover, frequent associations between structural characteristics and typical side effects are summarized. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

A simple and efficient ultrasound-assisted dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (UA-DLLME) method has been developed for the determination of seven benzodiazepines (alprazolam, bromazepam, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, lormetazepam and tetrazepam) in human plasma samples. Chloroform and methanol were used as extractant and disperser solvents, respectively. The influence of several variables (e.g., type and volume of dispersant and extraction solvents, pH, ultrasonic time and ionic strength) was carefully evaluated and optimized, using an asymmetric screening design 3242//16. Analysis of extracts was performed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array detection (UPLC-PDA). Under the optimum conditions, two reversed-phases, Shield RP18 and C18 columns were successfully tested, obtaining good linearity in a range of 0.01-5 μg mL-1, with correlation coefficients r > 0.996. Quantification limits ranged between 4.3-13.2 ng mL-1 and 4.0-14.8 ng mL-1, were obtained for C18 and Shield RP18 columns, respectively. The optimized method exhibited a good precision level, with relative standard deviation values lower than 8%. The recoveries studied at two spiked levels, ranged from 71 to 102% for all considered compounds. The proposed method was successfully applied to the analysis of seven benzodiazepines in real human plasma samples. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Wulff B.,Institute of Legal Medicine
Forensic science international | Year: 2013

By German law organ and tissue donation may only be done if explicit consent is given during lifetime, e.g. by a donor card, or if the family grants informed consent after death in line with the deceased's last will, what is discussed to mean an additional emotional load in the situation of mourning. Every year about 35 musculoskeletal tissue donations and 250 donations of corneoscleral discs (means 125 donors) are performed in the Hamburg Institute of Legal Medicine. Talking to the next of kin plays a key role in the consenting process for donation. We show our guidelines according to the family contact by telephone and present the results of a catamnestic review referring to the donors of one year's period. Methods: One year after procurement had been completed we requested the consenting person to answer a questionnaire and asked for an evaluation of the contact to the institute's coordinator and furthermore the emotional impact of the consenting process. Results: 26 (72.2% of 36 only musculoskeletal donors) and 77 (73.3% of 114 only cornea donors) consenting persons answered and gave a positive feedback in the dimensions of information, support and consent. Discussion: The telephone contact with families of deceased persons out of the Institute of Legal Medicine is perceived to be helpful in an acute stress situation caused by a sudden death and an accepted way to establish the deceaseds' wishes in respect to donation through the relatives. Conclusion: According to the letter of the German Transplantation Act asking for donation is an obligation for every physician and our data show that this means no additional burden for relatives, if the question is placed appropriately. Forensic institutes play a key role in the recognition of tissue donors and take up the challenge to act as an interface between donors and recipients. But caring for the sufficient supply with tissue transplants needs considerable resources. Therefore additional support is necessary to fulfill this task. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Olze A.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Solheim T.,University of Oslo | Schulz R.,Institute of Legal Medicine | Kupfer M.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Schmeling A.,Institute of Legal Medicine
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010

The question of whether an individual has reached the age of 18 is of crucial importance in forensic age estimation practice. In some countries, the age threshold of 21 years is relevant as well. A completed mineralization of third molars is not a sufficient criterion for a diagnosis of a minimum age of 18 years with the required probability. In a material of 1,198 orthopantomograms from 629 females and 569 males aged between 15 and 40 years, the visibility of the root pulp of fully mineralized lower third molars was evaluated according to stages 0, 1, 2, and 3. In females, stage 0 was first noticed at age 17.2 years, in males at age 17.6 years. In either sex, the earliest observation of stage 1 was between 21.0 and 22.4 years. Stage 2 was first achieved by males between 22.3 and 22.7 years, by females between 23.4 and 24.7 years. The occurrence of stage 3 was first found in both sexes between 25.1 and 25.9 years. These findings indicate that for stage 0, an age below 18 years cannot be excluded. However, for stage 1, the examined individual must be over 18 years of age and most probably over 21 years of age. For stages 2 and 3, the age can safely be stated to be over 21 years of age. This method may be a powerful tool for forensic dentists in age estimation in asylum and criminal proceedings. © Springer-Verlag 2010.

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