Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : Tissue damage caused by decomposition contributes to difficultiesfaced by forensic pathologists in medico-legal autopsy. Various studieshave utilized immunohistochemistry in decomposed forensic caseworks,including myocardial infarction (MI). To date, only few markers have beenstudied in decomposed MI specimens. Moreover, there are no researchesthat performed in tropical climate areas. This study is the first study toperform vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) immunohistochemistryin decomposed MI samples. This is also the first paper on performedimmunohistochemistry in tropical climate areas.Objective : To study whether VEGF immunohistochemistry can be used in decomposedMI specimens in tropical climate areas. Secondary objective is the longestdecomposition period that it could be used if the primary objective ispossible.Methods : MI and non-MI specimens from medico-legal autopsy cases were sampledand stored for 0, 1, 2, 3, and 5 days. When the storage times for eachspecimen were reached, the tissues were then processed and stainedby haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, myoglobin (only in freshspecimens), and VEGF immunohistochemistry.Results : Comparing VEGF immunohistochemistry staining between MI andnon-MI groups, there were statistically significant difference of stainingbetween the groups from fresh specimen up to decomposition period of2 days. Comparing stainability of VEGF among specimens at differentdecomposition periods with fresh specimens, there was no statisticallydifference between fresh specimens and specimens with decompositionperiods of 1 and 2 days.Conclusion : In tropical climate, VEGF immunohistochemistry can detect MI untildecomposition periods of 2 days. However, in early MI specimens, VEGFmay still detect MI at decomposition period of 5 days.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

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