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Korean Journal of Legal Medicine 2000;24(1):20-24.
Published online May 31, 2000.
Formation of Tyrosine Crystals in the Gastrointestinal Tract: Uncommon Putrefactive Artifact.
Sang Yong Lee, Young Shik Choi, Mie Ae Lim
1Department of Forensic medicine, National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Korea.
2Department of Drug-Toxocology, National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Korea.
Distinction of antemortem changes from postmortem artifacts is of obvious importance in determining the cause of death. Problems in differential diagnosis may occur as a result of faulty autopsy technique, decomposition changes and destructive environmental factors. Recently we experienced a formation of tyrosine crystals on the gastric and esophageal mucosa of decomposed corpse. The tyrosine crystals found on the gastric and esophageal mucosa were very similar and small pin-head sized whitish gray granules. At first we suspected them as a certain drugs or toxic substances. But the granular materials were confirmed as tyrosine crystals by infrared spectrum analysis. So we report here as a first confirmed case in korea. We think the tyrosine crystal is formed by putrefactive processes and consider as one of the putrefactive artifacts.
Key Words: Postmortem artifact, Tyrosine
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