For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!

Biochemical interpretation in post-mortem samples

Forensic Expertise Area: Forensic biochemistry

Biochemical interpretation in post-mortem samples
Biochemical interpretation in post-mortem samples


Biochemical tests are usually performed from living subjects in hospital laboratories, and can be used in forensic laboratories to help to specify the cause of death and its circumstances. However, these determinations (troponins, lactic acid, glucose, ketone bodies,…), usually performed in postmortem blood, urine and vitreous humour, represent a low number of tests in forensic studies.
For this reason, the interpretation of biochemical results in death bodies is not easy, due to the lack of information about the normal parameters, the altered ones related to biochemical disorders, and the ones due to the chemical changes of the body decomposition.
The objective of this thesis is to make a review on postmortem biochemical parameters and its alterations in blood, urine and vitreous samples, remarking on its relationship with cardiovascular and metabolic causes of death. This review may help the interpretation of these results by the forensic doctor.


  1. Postmortem diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and its complications. Cristian Palmiere. Croat Med J. 2015;56:181-93 doi: 10.3325/cmj.2015.56.181
  2. Post-mortem biochemical investigations of vitreous humor. Annette Thierauf , Frank Musshoff, Burkhard Madea. Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bonn, Stiftsplatz 12, 53111 Bonn, Germany
  3. Post mortem troponin T analysis in sudden death: Is it useful? R Rahimi, N D Dahili, K Anuar Zainun, N A Mohd Kasim, S Md Noor. Malays J Pathol . 2018 Aug;40(2):143-148


Institute Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Catalonia


Forensic toxicology
Supervisor :        Francisco Javier Defez Torán

UvA Co-assessor : 

Prof Roelof-Jan Oostra
UVA Coordinator Arian van Asten/Yorike Hartman