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Int J Legal Med. 2005 Jul;119(4):217-22. Epub 2005 Apr 16.

Tissue defect at the gunshot entrance wound: what happens to the skin?

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  • 1Institute of Legal Medicine, University Hospital Freiburg, Albertstrasse 9, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.


To investigate the question what happens to the tissue lost at the entrance wound, experimental studies were performed on composite models consisting of dyed pig skin and gelatin blocks. For the test shots to the skin-gelatin preparations, cartridges calibre .38 spec. with different bullet types (round nose, hollow point, flat nose, truncated cone) were used. In all shots, a multitude of coloured skin particles were macroscopically discernible along the bullet tracks. In addition, small cell aggregations could be demonstrated microscopically even in those sections of the bullet paths which did not show skin fragments visible to the naked eye. The distribution of the skin particles showed certain peculiarities depending on the type of projectile.

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