Score 0 (fresh samples) Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 (unburied samples)
Dermis Dermis appeared in finely orientated fibres, the edges were very sharp and there were no lyses of collagen or adnexal structures. Dermis appeared in finely orientated fibres, and lyses of collagen and adnexal structures occurred occasionally. Dermis showed clear lyses of collagen and adnexal structures but was still recognisable as dermis. Dermis was only appearing in massive coagulating lyses of collagen and adnexal structures.
Fatty Tissue Fat tissue was sharply lined with smooth edges and clear nuclei. Fat tissue was occasionally not sharply lined or the chromatin pattern of the nucleus was obviously degenerated but without damage to the outer structure of the nucleus. Fat tissue was clearly showing signs of lyses, but the actual structure of the fatty tissue was easily recognisable. Fat tissue was almost completely degenerated, appearing only as ghostly contours.
Muscle Muscle was sharply edged; there was no sign of fragmentation and no degeneration of the interstitial fibres. Muscle was occasionally less sharply edged and there were minor signs of fragmentation. Muscle showed clear fragmentation but not all fibres were damaged and/or the structure of the muscle was still recognisable. Muscle showed massive lyses and as such the muscle structure was now only recognisable by its colour, not by its histological appearance.
Blood vessels Blood vessels were clearly consisting of several layers of muscle and collagen and the endothelium was undamaged. Blood vessels were clearly consisting of several layers of muscle and collagen, however with minor signs of lyses and damage. Blood vessel showed clear lyses, but the actual structure was still recognisable. Blood vessels appear only as contours. No histological structures were recognisable.
Nerves Nerves were sharply edged, there were no signs of lyses and the axon structure was undamaged. Nerves were occasionally less sharply edged, there were minor signs of lyses and the axon structure showed minor deterioration. Nerves were still easily recognisable but the internal structure showed clear signs of lyses. Nerves appeared in ghostly contours and no separate capsule or axon structure was identified.
Table 2: Histological aspects of the scoring system.