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Research Paper | Forensic Science | India | Volume 12 Issue 4, April 2023
Histopathological Changes in Neck Structures in Cases of Asphyxial Deaths
Dr. Amit Kumar  | Dr. Harmanjeet Singh
Abstract: Background: Hanging is one of the common methods of asphyxial deaths. A gross and histopathological changes in skin and subcutaneous Tissues at ligature Site in cases of asphyxial deaths is helpful in making exact diagnosis of hanging and differentiating it from other form of asphyxia death like strangulation. Objective: To assess the importance of histopathological analysis of tissue underneath the ligature mark in cases of hanging and strangulation. Materials and Methods: The present study was done on medicolegal autopsies conducted at the department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Maharaja Agarsen Medical College (MAMC), Agroha from 01.04.2022 to 31.03.2023 to study the gross and histopathological changes in neck structures. Results: During study period 32 cases were examined for gross and histopathological changes. In majority of the cases (93.75%), the ligature mark was present. The ligature mark was incompletely encircling the neck in 84.4% cases. The ligature mark was situated above the thyroid cartilage level in maximum 18 (56.3%) cases. On dissection of the neck, fracture of thyroid cartilage and fracture of hyoid bone was seen in 18.8% cases and 9.4% cases respectively. On the microscopic histopathological examination, congestion was the most common finding of the piece of ligature skin, comprising of 56.25% cases. Histopathological changes in carotid arteries were tear in tunica intima, tear in tunica media and congestion, which were found in 12.5% cases each.3.1% cases had tear of adventitia. Conclusion: The gross and histopathological changes in the skin and subcutaneous tissues at the ligature site in cases of asphyxial deaths can provide important information regarding the cause and manner of death. It is crucial to perform a detailed examination of the ligature site, internal structures of the neck along with microscopic examination to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and determine the circumstances surrounding the death.
Keywords: Asphyxia, ligature, histopathology, hanging, asphyxial death
Edition: Volume 12 Issue 4, April 2023,
Pages: 1828 - 1830