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Int J Legal Med. 1996;108(5):262-4.

Morphometrical analysis of hemosiderin deposits in relation to wound age.

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Department of Legal Medicine, University of Munich, Germany.


A morphometrical analysis of the extent of hemosiderin deposits in 71 human skin wounds with post-infliction intervals between 2 days and 7 months was performed. Earliest positive findings were detectable in a lesion aged 3 days, and with increasing wound age an increase in the amount of hemosiderin occurred. A value of more than 20% of the microscopic field with hemosiderin deposits was found earliest 8 days after wounding and therefore the detection of considerable amounts of hemosiderin (arbitrarily defined as 20% or more of the evaluated area) indicates a minimum wound age of approximately 1 week. Since the extent of hemosiderin formation depends upon the extent of the initial hemorrhage and a "physiological" reduction in the amount of this pigment with advanced wound age, slight or absent hemosiderin deposits cannot provide information on the post-infliction interval.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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