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Title: Differentiation at autopsy between in vivo gas embolism and putrefaction using gas composition analysis
Authors: Bernaldo De Quirós Miranda, Yara 
González Díaz, Oscar Manuel 
Møllerløkken, Andreas Rudolph
Brubakk, Alf Ottar
Hjelde, Astrid
Saavedra Santana, Pedro 
Fernández Rodríguez, Antonio Jesús 
UNESCO Clasification: 310904 Medicina interna
310907 Patología
Keywords: Putrefaction
Gas embolism
Gas composition
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: 0937-9827
Journal: International Journal of Legal Medicine 
Abstract: Gas embolism can arise from different causes (iatrogenic accidents, criminal interventions, or diving related accidents). Gas analyses have been shown to be a valid technique to differentiate between putrefaction gases and gas embolism. In this study, we performed systematic necropsies at different postmortem times in three experimental New Zealand White Rabbits models: control or putrefaction, infused air embolism, and compression/decompression. The purpose of this study was to look for qualitative and quantitative differences among groups and to observe how putrefaction gases mask in vivo gas embolism. We found that the infused air embolism and compression/decompression models had a similar gas composition prior to 27-h postmortem, being typically composed of around 70-80 % of N-2 and 20-30 % of CO2, although unexpected higher CO2 concentrations were found in some decompressed animals, putting in question the role of CO2 in decompression. All these samples were statistically and significantly different from more decomposed samples. Gas composition of samples from more decomposed animals and from the putrefaction model presented hydrogen, which was therefore considered as a putrefaction marker.
ISSN: 0937-9827
DOI: 10.1007/s00414-012-0783-6
Source: International Journal Of Legal Medicine [ISSN 0937-9827], v. 127 (2), p. 437-445
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