Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-39

Estimation of time since death based on light microscopic, electron microscopic, and electrolyte analysis in the gingival tissue


1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Electron Microscopy, Cancer Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Sivagami Muthukrishnan
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai - 600 116, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfo.jfds_36_17

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Background: Estimation of time since death is an important parameter in forensic science. Although there are various methods available, precise estimation is still to be established. Aim: The present study aimed to evaluate the histological and ultrastructural changes in the gingival tissue along with the changes in electrolyte levels (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) among the three groups which included normal, 2, and 4 h since death. Materials and Methods: For light microscopic examination and electrolyte analysis, five normal gingival tissue samples were collected from patient following impaction procedure and five gingival tissue samples were obtained from postmortem specimen at 2 and 4 h since death. Each sample was divided into two parts. The first part was fixed in 10% formalin solution for the light microscopic analysis, and microscopic changes were observed between the groups. The second part was snap frozen at −80°C, until measurement of electrolyte using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer, and the values were compared among the groups using Kruskal–Wallis test. For electron microscopic examination 2 and 4 h postmortem, gingival tissue samples were collected from the same individual and immediately fixed in 2.5% buffered glutaraldehyde, and the ultrastructural changes were compared with the normal gingival tissue. Results: The light microscopic changes were observed as early as 2 h since death, but there was no significant difference observed between 2 and 4 h postmortem samples whereas ultrastructurally significant difference in morphology was observed between 2 and 4 h postmortem gingival tissue. Our results can confirm histomorphological changes within 2 and 4 h since death.


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