Time line of decomposition of porcine bone marrow
Tandy, Corinne B.
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The postmortem interval, or time since death, is a significant factor in medicolegal death investigations. Currently, the techniques used to assess time since death are subjective, phase-based qualitative methods. Recently, legal decisions and best practice recommendations have encouraged increasing quantitative assessment of forensic techniques. The purpose of this research is to determine ifbone marrow biopsy can be used as a quantifiable predictive indicator of time since death. Bone marrow plug biopsies were acquired from six pigs (Sus scrofa) during decomposition through skeletonization (28 days) and examined microscopically. The appearance of 122 marrow sections were scored and analyzed in light of time since death and accumulated degree-days. This pilot study suggests that there is a strong relationship between bone marrow appearance and the postmortem interval and the results encourage further research into a potential quantitative predictive tool to be utilized in medicolegal death investigations.
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