This paper analyzes the ability of vitreous fluid to determine time of death. The high variability in current methods used to establish post-mortem interval (PMI), or the amount of time between death and post-mortem examination make it difficult to obtain an accurate estimation. The concentration of metabolites found within vitreous fluid, such as potassium (K+), hypoxanthine (Hx), and magnesium (Mg), are the most researched alternatives to traditional methods in PMI determination because of the relative isolation of vitreous within the body and its ability to withstand degradation. There is no clear consensus on which metabolite provides the most accurate data and whether it is reliable enough to incorporate vitreous analysis into the standard method of establishing PMI. This study examines previously conducted research in order to identify the cause of discrepancies and proposes potential analysis improvement. The CRAAP [Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose] method of evaluation determined research validity, with each component assigned a numerical value. Studies with higher aggregate scores were considered the most useful and their results the most credible. Through this research paper, K+ was the most viable metabolite to determine PMI with the highest accuracy obtained when Hx and temperature were analyzed. Furthermore, samples of vitreous fluid should be collected in a single draw, centrifuged before testing, and subjected to the selective ion electrode method to measure K+ concentration and Hx HPLC.
"The Ability of Vitreous Metabolite Concentration to Determine Time of Death,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 8
, Article 2.