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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2001 Sep;22(3):244-9.

Glucose and lactate in vitreous humor compared with the determination of fructosamine for the postmortem diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Murcia, Espinardo, Spain.


Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic illness responsible for a great number of deaths. In postmortem diagnosis, because of the difficulty involved in interpreting blood glucose levels and relatively nonspecific pathologic features, biochemical markers in vitreous humor are useful. The aim of this study was to compare the results obtained for the combined determination of lactate and glucose with fructosamine levels recorded in the vitreous humor of two diagnostic groups (one diabetic and the other nondiabetic). The authors intended to ascertain the capacity of different markers measured in vitreous humor to diagnose diabetes mellitus. Fifty-one cadavers (mean age, 58.7 years; standard deviation, 17.09) were studied. The mean postmortem interval was 16.4 hours (standard deviation, 9.05). Cases were assigned to two diagnostic groups according to whether they were previously diagnosed as either diabetic or nondiabetic. Statistically significant differences for glucose, fructosamine, and the sum values of glucose and lactate were found between the two diagnostic groups. The highest levels were obtained in the group of cases with a previous diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. After the comparison of receiver operating characteristic curves, the sum values of glucose and lactate in vitreous humor is a better predictor of antemortem diabetes mellitus than the fructosamine.

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