Volume 38, Issue 3 (May 1993)
Aspartic Acid Racemization in Intervertebral Discs as an Aid to Postmortem Estimation of Age at Death
We investigated whether measurement of aspartic acid racemization in intervertebral discs (IVD) could be used in the postmortem estimation of age at death. The extent of aspartic acid racemization in IVD tissues was found to increase with age. The rate of racemization turned out to be much higher in the nucleus pulposus than in the annulus fibrosus. The relation between age and the D-aspartic acid content in the anterior peripheral annulus fibrosus of IVD was close enough to allow postmortem estimation of age at death based on the extent of aspartic acid racemization in this tissue.