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Diagnostic Value of Cardiac Troponin I in Postmortem Diagnosis of Myocardial Infarction

Sapouna, Rallou MD*; Gourgiotis, Dimitris ChemD, PhD; Athanaselis, Sotiris PharmD, PhD*; Papadodima, Stavroula MD, PhD*; Spiliopoulou, Chara MD, PhD*

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: June 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 2 - p 139–141
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182880aa1
Original Articles

Troponin I (cTnI) is a very sensitive biochemical marker for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI). Cardiac troponin (cTnI or cTnT) has nearly absolute myocardial tissue specificity, thereby reflecting even microscopic zones of myocardial necrosis. The aim of this study is to evaluate the pericardial fluid levels of cTnI in medicolegal autopsy cases where patients died of MI and compare them with cases where patients died of other causes. This study included 89 cases selected during a 1-year period from medicolegal autopsies. These were classified into 4 groups: (A) myocardial infarction (n = 28), (B) salt water drowning (n = 20), (C) death resulting from injury in the respiratory system (n = 16), and (D) other causes of death (n = 25), excluding MI. The mean concentrations of cTnI were 1067.03 mg/dL for group A, 546.98 mg/dL for group B, 398.75 mg/dL for group C, and 577.47 mg/dL for group D. In cases with MI (group A), there was a significant difference in the levels of cTnI compared with the other cases. More research needs to be done in order for a cutoff level to be determined.

From the *Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, and †Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry–Molecular Diagnostics, Second Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece.

Manuscript received March 7, 2012; accepted December 5, 2012.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Sotiris Athanaselis, PhD, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Mikras Asias 75, Goudi 11527, Athens, Greece. E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.