Volume 50, Issue 1 (January 2005)
Postmortem Production of Ethanol in Different Tissues Under Controlled Experimental Conditions
The aim of this study was to follow the postmortem ethanol production phenomenon under controlled experimental conditions (temperature, time interval) in different tissues. Specimens of blood, liver, skeletal muscle and kidney were taken from 30 corpses and no chemical preservatives were used in the specimens collected. Ethanol concentrations were detected by gas chromatography. All specimens stored at -20°C and 4°C did not show any change in ethanol concentration in an eight-day time interval. At 20°C and 30°C, all tissues, except blood, showed statistically significant ethanol production over the time interval tested. However, blood sample kept at 30°C, showed statistically significant increase in ethanol production on the 2nd and 4th day comparing to the controls. Thus, we can state that postmortem ethanol production occurs in different tissues, and is increased at higher temperatures and, in general, it is in accordance with the course of time.