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Traumatic Rupture of Deep Neck Structures in Hanging: Two Case Reports

Advenier, Anne-Sophie MD; de la Grandmaison, Geoffroy Lorin MD, PhD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2014 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 189–192
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000114
Case Reports

Injuries to the neck structures are various in case of hanging. Soft tissue lesions generally consist in sternocleidomastoid and subhyoid muscle hemorrhages. Traumatic ruptures of deep neck structures are rare. We report 2 cases of partial and complete ruptures of sternocleidomastoid muscles after suicidal hanging. Both were typical and complete hanging. In 1 case, muscle laceration was associated with common carotid rupture on the same side. Hemorrhage at the rupture site was only found at the microscopic level. Such injuries may result from the ligature’s compression and depend on duration of suspension. Heavy body weight, rigid rope material, and fall after a jump may promote their occurrence.

From the Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Versailles Saint-Quentin University, AP-HP, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches, France.

Manuscript received November 18, 2013; accepted January 21, 2014.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Geoffroy Lorin de la Grandmaison, MD, PhD, Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, 104 Boulevard Raymond Poincaré, 92380 Garches, France. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.