Volume 43, Issue 3 (May 1998)

    Electrolyte Concentration Differences Between Left and Right Vitreous Humour Samples

    (Received 30 July 1997; accepted 5 September 1997)

    Published Online: May

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Between-eye differences in electrolyte concentrations were studied in 200 medico-legal autopsies using an ion-specific electrode system. Taking the highest of the paired vitreous potassium concentrations, cases <15 mM/L were classified as biochemically nonputrefied (Cat.1, n = 124), cases 15 to 20 mM/L as early putrefaction (Cat.2, n = 51), and cases >20 mM/L as biochemically putrefied (Cat.3, n = 25). Mean paired vitreous sodium for all cases (n = 200) was 112 to 173 mM/L (mean 148, standard deviation (SD) = 8.9); between-eye differences were 0 to 8 mM/L (0% to 5.1% of mean), averaging 1.5 mM/L (1%) and with only one case (in Cat.3) outside instrument accuracy (±3 mM/L). Mean paired vitreous chloride for all cases was 73 to 124 mM/L (mean 109, SD = 7.8); between-eye differences were 0 to 9 mM/L (0% to 8.8% of mean), averaging 1.7 mM/L (1.5%) and with 5 of 200 cases outside instrument accuracy (±3 mM/L). Thus between-eye concentration differences of sodium and chloride are tolerable using this methodology. Previous reports of greater variability likely reflect errors introduced by sample manipulation prior to analysis. By contrast, between-eye differences in potassium in Cat.1 cases were 0 to 2.34 mM/L (0% to 21.8% of mean) averaging 0.37 mM/L (3.3%). Significant and erratic between-eye differences in potassium undermine the usefulness of vitreous potassium in estimation of time of death.


    Author Information:

    Pounder, DJ
    Professor of forensic medicine, research assistant, research student and research fellow, University of Dundee, Dundee,

    Carson, DO
    Professor of forensic medicine, research assistant, research student and research fellow, University of Dundee, Dundee,

    Johnston, K
    Professor of forensic medicine, research assistant, research student and research fellow, University of Dundee, Dundee,

    Orihara, Y
    Professor of forensic medicine, research assistant, research student and research fellow, University of Dundee, Dundee,


    Stock #: JFS16187J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS16187J

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    Author
    Title Electrolyte Concentration Differences Between Left and Right Vitreous Humour Samples
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30