Vitamin C as a Potential Indicator of Post-Mortem Interval: A Biochemical Analysis
*Corresponding author: Dr. Rajat Sandhir Coordinator, Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh
Accurate estimates of postmortem interval (PMI) are crucial for successful investigation of death especially during un-witnessed death examinations, thus continues to be one of the most strenuous variable to be determined correctly. There are numerous ways to estimate postmortem interval (PMI), or time since death, including body temperature, rigor mortis, insect activity and decomposition. Individually, however, many of these indicators are prone to inaccuracy due to the influence of the external environment upon them. Furthermore, various metabolites have also been identified that change post mortem, but lack of accuracy and reproducibility probably did not let their extensive utilization as a PMI indicator, warranting a simple yet precise marker and easy technique for PMI evaluation. Therefore, present study proposes that vitamin C could be used for precise determination of PMI using simple, easy and rapid biochemical analysis. Vitamin C was estimated at 37°C and 4°C in liver, spleen, kidneys and blood over a time period of 24 hours. Results revealed a gradual change in ascorbic acid levels in the spleen, liver, kidneys and blood from time of death till 24 hours after death indicating its potential to accurately measure time since death.
Vitamin C, Post mortem interval, time since death.