Postmortem Dating of Putrefied Material Through Ptomaine Estimation

    Volume 22, Issue 3 (July 1977)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 July 1977

    Page Count: 15


    Bleifuss, J
    Research assistants, Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Gottingen,

    Bonte, W
    Research assistants, Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Gottingen,

    (Received 15 November 1976; accepted 3 December 1976)

    Abstract

    Ptomaines, also known as putrefactive bases, are microbiological degradation products of postmortem protein catabolism and have caused much concern for forensic toxicologists for more than 100 years [1,2]. In 1885 Brieger [3] noted, in a review of the considerable volume of literature that existed even then, “that no facet of medical research, even extending into the present day, is so confused and devoid of actual results, as the field of the so-called putrefaction or cadaveric alkaloids.” (The term ptomaine originates from Selmi [4] who, through the Stass-Otto method, succeeded in isolating from cadaveric material noncrystalline products that could be confused with morphine, codeine, and atropine in their reactions and effects.) Brieger's major contribution was to deviate from the standard practice of establishing such cadaveric alkaloids through experiments with aminals and chemical reactions by demonstrating the chemical individuality of the body and investigating its composition [3]. He succeeded in identifying (besides neurine, muscarine, dimethylamine, trimethylamine, and diethylamine) two diamines that he named “cadaverine” and “putrescine” that were then unknown to chemistry. Cadaverine was identified as pentylethyldiamine and putrescine was supposed to be a dimethylated ethyldiamine.


    Paper ID: JFS10627J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10627J

    ASTM International
    is a member of CrossRef.

    Author
    Title Postmortem Dating of Putrefied Material Through Ptomaine Estimation
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30