Mummified and corified bodies are particularly complex scenarios to investigate, starting from identifying the post-mortem interval (PMI), even more so in indoor environments. In these bodies, the skin has the peculiar feature to resist for a long time. Among its components, there are elastic fibers, which are characterized by intrinsic resistance to post-mortem degenerative phenomena. Starting from these considerations, we investigated microscopically the persistence, detectability, and changes of elastic fibers in the skin of mummified and corified bodies with different known PMI. The aim was to evaluate whether they could provide an additional tool to aid in PMI estimation in these cases. Therefore, we collected skin samples from mummified or corified bodies found in a domestic environment with different known PMI, as well as from corified bodies that had been exhumed after 11 years of burial. Histochemical staining specific for elastic fibers, namely, Weigert’s resorcin fuchsin, showed their prolonged persistence and a progressive and different degradation between mummified and corified skin as a function of PMI. Moreover, on the whole, we observed greater preservation of elastic fibers in mummified skin than in corified one at the same PMI. Therefore, histological analysis of elastic fibers in mummified and corified skin may help to provide valuable aid in estimating PMI, especially in those particular cases where more reliable alternatives are lacking.

Elastic fiber degradation as a possible indicator for PMI estimation on mummified and corified skin: a pilot study / S. Tambuzzi, G. Gentile, S. Andreola, G. Bilardo, F. Collini, P. Bailo, R. Zoia. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 1437-1596. - (2022). [Epub ahead of print] [10.1007/s00414-022-02915-w]

Elastic fiber degradation as a possible indicator for PMI estimation on mummified and corified skin: a pilot study

S. Tambuzzi
Primo
;
G. Gentile
Secondo
;
G. Bilardo;P. Bailo
Penultimo
;
R. Zoia
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Mummified and corified bodies are particularly complex scenarios to investigate, starting from identifying the post-mortem interval (PMI), even more so in indoor environments. In these bodies, the skin has the peculiar feature to resist for a long time. Among its components, there are elastic fibers, which are characterized by intrinsic resistance to post-mortem degenerative phenomena. Starting from these considerations, we investigated microscopically the persistence, detectability, and changes of elastic fibers in the skin of mummified and corified bodies with different known PMI. The aim was to evaluate whether they could provide an additional tool to aid in PMI estimation in these cases. Therefore, we collected skin samples from mummified or corified bodies found in a domestic environment with different known PMI, as well as from corified bodies that had been exhumed after 11 years of burial. Histochemical staining specific for elastic fibers, namely, Weigert’s resorcin fuchsin, showed their prolonged persistence and a progressive and different degradation between mummified and corified skin as a function of PMI. Moreover, on the whole, we observed greater preservation of elastic fibers in mummified skin than in corified one at the same PMI. Therefore, histological analysis of elastic fibers in mummified and corified skin may help to provide valuable aid in estimating PMI, especially in those particular cases where more reliable alternatives are lacking.
Mummified skin; Corified skin; PMI estimation; Indoor; Elastic fibers; Weigert’s resorcin fuchsin; Forensic pathology
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
25-nov-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/947333
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