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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.
Abstract
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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