Author(s): Hirvonen J, Huttunen P, Hirvonen J, Huttunen P
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Abstract Postmortem changes in serum noradrenaline and adrenaline concentrations in adrenectomised rabbits and in human sudden death cases were measured with HPLC in order to obtain information of the usefulness of these biogenic amines as indicators of antemortem stress. It appeared that serum concentrations increased with time postmortem, except for adrenaline in the adrenectomised rabbits. The values varied considerably between individuals in both materials. It is concluded that postmortem assays of serum catecholamines cannot be used in practice to demonstrate antemortem stress, although this would theoretically be a promising approach, e.g., in cases of suffocation. So far there seems to be no reliable and conclusive method for estimating short lasting antemortem stress in individual forensic cases.
This article was published in Int J Legal Med
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research