Determining the time of brain death is one of the critical issues in forensic examinations. Few authors have attempted to determine the time of brain death using pharmacokinetic approaches. We investigated cerebral concentrations of mannitol of which a single dose (1 g/kg) was administered in the course of brain death. The inflation of an epidural balloon was adopted as a rodent model of brain death. Brain death was determined using ordinary tests. Specimens were collected 4 h after brain death. Brain water content was higher in brain dead (BD) groups than those in control groups. Cerebral concentrations of mannitol in the BD group were significantly higher than those in the control group (P<0.01). In all areas of brain the concentration was the highest at the time when mannitol was administered during balloon inflation. Interhemispheric difference in the cerebrum was observed, followed by balloon inflation (P<0.05). Significant differences were observed in the average concentration of administered mannitol before and after brain death in the contralateral hemisphere (P<0.01) and in the brainstem (P<0.001). As the concentrations of mannitol in the brain are affected by cerebral trauma and brain death follows, mannitol can be used to determine the time of brain death at forensic examinations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects