Volume 22, Issue 1 (January 1977)
Postmortem Stability of Prostatic Acid Phosphatase
Elevated prostatic acid phosphatase activities in samples collected from the vaginal area are commonly accepted as presumptive evidence for the presence of seminal fluid, and this enzyme activity has been used extensively as medicolegal evidence of carnal knowledge. The forensic significance of the acid phosphatase determination has increased as the number of vasectomized males has increased, since a positive acid phosphatase assay may be the only indication of the presence of seminal fluid when sperm are absent. If the acid phosphatase determination can contribute significantly to a forensic investigation of rape/murder cases it is imperative that the investigator make an accurate interpretation of the enzyme assay. The accuracy of this interpretation is in part related to the postmortem stability of acid phosphatase, both in situ and during specimen storage.