The application of the histochemical stain of sodium rhodizonate to the entrance wound for the detection of the lead (Pb) residues coming from the gunshot may be affected by false positive cases due to the contamination of the environmental Pb. The aim of the Authors is to histochemically search the Pb of GSR in a region which should be more protected by the contamination: the intracorporeal channel. Two hundreds and eighteen serial histological specimens of the intracorporeal channels coming from 25 subjects (dead due to gunshots and being autopsied at the Section of Legal Medicine of the Milan University, in the years 2013-2014) were stained with the sodium rhodizonate and sodium rhodizonate in acid environment (HCl 5%), and then observed by the microscope. The sodium rhodizonate showed a positivity for the Pb residues in the intracorporeal channel, with the detection of the particles within the first 2 cm beyond the entrance wound in 6 cases over the total number of 25 (24%). Victims were characterized by common features: short-barreled weapon; contact shots or short-distance shots; involvement of regions that were not covered by clothing; preservation of the microscopic structure of organs interested by the intracorporeal channel. The searching of GSR in the intracorporeal channel, even in conditions securing a high sensitivity, could represent an important test for the discrimination between an environmental contamination of Pb and the presence of Pb residues by GSR: once confirmed the presence of GSR in the intracorporeal channel by the histochemical analysis, the diagnostic process should require the application of the SEM-EDX for the confirmation of the results. Although not yet studied, this combination could be applied to cadavers exposed to the environment, with advanced post-mortal phenomena permitting at least the suspects of the existence of gunshot wounds at the macroscopic autopsy evaluation. Indeed, in some cases, the putrefaction is so advanced that no suspect of gunshot injuries could be derived from the soft tissue.
|Titolo:||Detectability and medico-legal value of the gunshot residues in the intracorporeal channel|
|Parole Chiave:||Forensic pathology; Gunshot residues; Lead; Sodium rhodizonate; Intracorporeal channel|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.jflm.2015.08.004|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|