International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 77–79 | Cite as

Estimation of postmortem metabolic changes in porcine brain tissue using 1H-MR spectroscopy—preliminary results

  • S. BanaschakEmail author
  • R. Rzanny
  • J. R. Reichenbach
  • W. A. Kaiser
  • A. Klein
Original Article


To investigate the potential for estimating the time since death by monitoring the evolution of different metabolites in brain tissue by 1H-MRS, an animal model using pig heads was established. The maximum examination interval was 3 weeks. Within this time interval spectra revealed different compositions of metabolites, including metabolites observed in the normal brain and as products of bacterial decomposition processes (N-acetyl-aspartate 0–130 h, creatine 0–170 h, bound trimethylammonium, e. g. choline compounds, during the whole time course with fluctuating intensities, lactate 0–200 h, alanine and acetate during the whole time course, succinate and free trimethylammonium after approx. 100 h postmortem). The proposed approach may offer a new method to estimate later postmortem intervals although these observations have to be confirmed by further studies.


1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy Animal model Brain Postmortem interval 



The authors thank A. Gussew for excellent technical support during parts of the experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Banaschak
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Rzanny
    • 2
  • J. R. Reichenbach
    • 2
  • W. A. Kaiser
    • 2
  • A. Klein
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Legal MedicineFürstengraben 23 JenaGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Clinic Jena Friedrich-Schiller-UniversityGermany

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