Predictive equation to estimate post-mortem interval using spectrophotometric blood-colour values

Yosuke Usumoto, Keiko Kudo, Akiko Tsuji, Yoko Ihama, Noriaki Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Forensic pathologists use post-mortem phenomena to estimate the post-mortem interval (PMI). We have reported on the usefulness of post-mortem lividity spectrophotometric values to estimate PMIs. Here, we focused on blood colour, looking for associations between blood colour, age and PMI. We generated predictive equations for blood-colour values and the PMI. We included data from a total of 129 cadavers (84 males and 45 females). We measured the colour of 124 left ventricular blood (L* l , a* l , b* l ), 123 right ventricular blood (L* r , a* r , b* r ) and 57 femoral blood (L* f , a* f , b* f ) samples. We found no significant associations between blood colour and age or between blood colour and the PMI, but the values of a* l , b* l , a* r and b* r were significantly increased with increased age, and those of L* f , a* f and b* f were significantly decreased with increased PMI. We created equations to estimate blood colour. The equations for femoral blood colour had higher adjusted R 2 values and lower root mean square error values than those for left and right ventricular blood colours. We generated equations to estimate PMIs using blood-colour values and autopsy findings. Our estimated PMIs up to 67 hours had accuracies within 8.84 hours, without measuring post-mortem lividity colour or considering the age of the deceased. This is the first study to estimate PMIs based on blood-colour spectrophotometric values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine, Science and the Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Law


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