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Postmortem Measurement of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in Vitreous Humor and Bile

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Postmortem human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) blood assay can confirm postmortem diagnosis of pregnancy or document situations in which HCG levels are elevated. In some cases, however, blood sampling is not possible at autopsy. In this study, HCG was quantified by enzyme-linked fluorescent assay (ELFA) in the bile (n = 5), vitreous humor (n = 4), and postmortem blood (n = 4) of five pregnant women. There were no false negatives in the pregnant subjects (n = 5) or false positives in controls (n = 34), enabling this test to be recommended for routine use in forensic contexts in which the detection of elevated HCG levels could be of interest.

Keywords: bile; forensic diagnosis; forensic science; human chorionic gonadotropin; vitreous humor

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre Universitaire Romand de Médecine Légale. Site de Lausanne, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland. 2: Institut Universitaire de Médecine Légale, Université Lyon 1, F-69008 Lyon, France.

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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