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Forensic Sci Int. 1996 Mar 5;78(1):19-28.

Evaluation of hypostasis using a colorimeter measuring system and its application to assessment of the post-mortem interval (time of death).

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Department of Forensic Medicine and Science, University of Glasgow, UK.


Hypostasis was measured in 93 cadavers using a tristimulus colorimeter in order to investigate its relationship with the time of death. The intensity (lightness) of the hypostasis in each case was measured over a period of 4 h and the rate of change in lightness derived. When examined against the time of death, it was found that there was a good correlation between the two. Namely, that the rate of change of lightness (and it can be inferred that this represents displaceability) decreases as the post-mortem period increases. The shift in hypostasis was particularly marked in the first 12 h and decreased thereafter. However, hypostasis could be useful for time of death estimation for up to 48 h. After this time, the degree of change was small or non-existent and by 72 h hypostasis had become fixed in the majority of cases, within our measuring period of 4 h.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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