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Suarez-Penaranda J.M.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Cordeiro C.,National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic science of Portugal | Cordeiro C.,University of Coimbra | Rodriguez-Calvo M.,University of Santiago de Compostela | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2013

The role of cardiac inhibitory reflex as a potential cause of death is still a matter of debate. This study reports two cases of death under unusual circumstances. Case 1 corresponds to a man found hanging where the role of ligature compression of the carotid sinus became relevant as a possible explanation of death. In Case 2, the participation of a vasovagal syncope was clearly triggered by the laryngoscopic procedure. It is proposed that cardiac inhibitory reflex should be taken into account in those cases of unexpected death, which fulfills the following three criteria: (i) The investigation of the circumstances of the death is consistent with a hypothesis of cardiac arrest. (ii) A typical triggering peripheral stimulus is present. (iii) The performance of a complete autopsy cannot rule out the participation of a cardiac inhibitory reflex in the cause of death. © 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Camba A.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Lendoiro E.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Cordeiro C.,National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic science of Portugal | Cordeiro C.,University of Coimbra | And 6 more authors.
Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology | Year: 2014

In the field of legal medicine the correct determination of the time of death is of great importance because an error in calculating the post-mortem interval (PMI) could be crucial in a criminal investigation. The quantification of hypoxanthine (Hx) concentration in the vitreous humor (VH) as a means to estimate PMI is useful when dealing with a recent time interval of death and has several advantages over other biological matrices. However, due to its viscous nature, VH has to be liquefied prior to its analysis, and the different procedures to liquefy it may cause alterations in Hx concentration, and hence in estimation of PMI. The aim of this study was to determine differences in Hx concentration after applying several pre-analytical treatments to different aliquots of the same VH sample. Enzymatic digestion, sonication, centrifugation and heat were the liquefying methods applied to reduce the viscosity of 105 VH samples. Analysis was performed using solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography in tandem with mass spectrometry. Statistically significant differences in the measured Hx concentrations were found between enzymatic digestion and the other three methods analyzed (sonication, centrifugation, and heat). Additionally, high data dispersion was found under heat treatment but was not observed for centrifugation or sonication, where similar and more moderate results were found. We conclude that high variations in Hx determination are observed when enzymatic digestion or heat treatment is used and we therefore recommend sonication or centrifugation to quantify Hx concentration in the VH. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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