Estimation of Early Postmortem Interval Through Biochemical and Pathological Changes in Rat Heart and Kidney

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Accurate estimation of time passed since death is a complicated task in forensic medicine especially in homicide or unwitnessed death investigations. Changes in oxidant/antioxidant parameters were investigated if it can be relied upon in estimating the early postmortem interval (EPI) in rat heart and kidney, and whether these changes were correlated with histopathological findings in these tissues. Heart and kidney tissues of 84 male albino rats were divided into 2 parts. One part used for estimation of levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), and total thiol as well as the activity of glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione S transferase, and catalase. The second part was examined histopathologically. It was found that MDA and NO were significantly increased earlier in the heart than kidney tissues. Meanwhile, total thiol, catalase, glutathione S transferase, and GR were commenced to be significantly decreased in the heart before kidney tissues. Linear regression analysis of independent variables of heart was found to be of a high predictive value of 97.2% (EPI = 8.607 − 0.240 GR + 0.002 MDA + 0.014 NO). Structural deterioration of heart started 3 to 4 hours compared with renal sections that began 5 to 6 hours after death. The relationship between oxidant and antioxidant parameters is crucial in determining the EPI. The kidney was found to be more resistible to oxidative damage. Further research on humans is needed.

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