: Determining whether an injury was sustained in life or not is one of the most important topics in forensic medicine. Morphological, cytological, and biological techniques are used to assess wound vitality. Several markers involved in vital and supravital reactions increase the accuracy of wound age estimation. This systematic review aimed to investigate the main vitality markers used in forensic medicine to date. This review was conducted by performing a systematic literature search on online resources (PubMed Central database and Google Scholar) until May 2022. We identified 46 articles published between 1987 and May 2022, analyzing a total of 53 markers. Based on the data of this review, the most studied vitality markers were adhesion molecules (fibronectin, p-selectin, CD 15), pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α), cathepsin D, tryptase, and microRNAs (miRNAs). The most interesting studies were based on animal models: the different markers were investigated through immunohistochemical and qRT-PCR methods. The experimental methods were usually based on skin incisions, ligature marks, and burned skin areas. To date, it has not been possible to identify any gold standard markers based on the criteria of efficacy, specificity, and reliability; however, studies are still in progress. In the future, the use of miRNAs is promising as well as the combination of multiple markers. In this way, it will be possible to increase the sensitivity and specificity to validate systems or models for determining wound vitality in forensic practice.

Vitality markers in forensic investigations: a literature review

Esposito, Massimiliano;
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Determining whether an injury was sustained in life or not is one of the most important topics in forensic medicine. Morphological, cytological, and biological techniques are used to assess wound vitality. Several markers involved in vital and supravital reactions increase the accuracy of wound age estimation. This systematic review aimed to investigate the main vitality markers used in forensic medicine to date. This review was conducted by performing a systematic literature search on online resources (PubMed Central database and Google Scholar) until May 2022. We identified 46 articles published between 1987 and May 2022, analyzing a total of 53 markers. Based on the data of this review, the most studied vitality markers were adhesion molecules (fibronectin, p-selectin, CD 15), pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α), cathepsin D, tryptase, and microRNAs (miRNAs). The most interesting studies were based on animal models: the different markers were investigated through immunohistochemical and qRT-PCR methods. The experimental methods were usually based on skin incisions, ligature marks, and burned skin areas. To date, it has not been possible to identify any gold standard markers based on the criteria of efficacy, specificity, and reliability; however, studies are still in progress. In the future, the use of miRNAs is promising as well as the combination of multiple markers. In this way, it will be possible to increase the sensitivity and specificity to validate systems or models for determining wound vitality in forensic practice.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/168094
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