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Gunshot Suicide

Cherry-Red Discoloration of the Temporal Muscle Beneath the Exit Wound

Bogdanović, Milenko, MD; Atanasijević, Tatjana, MD, PhD; Popović, Vesna, MD, PhD; Durmić, Tijana, MD, PhD; Radnić, Bojana, MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: June 2019 - Volume 40 - Issue 2 - p 147–149
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000456
Case Reports

The article describes a case of gunshot suicide to the head in a 51-year-old man. The entrance wound was located in the left temple and exit wound in the right temple. The entrance wound had the characteristics of a hard-contact gunshot wound. The most interesting finding in this case was cherry-red discoloration of the right temporal muscle surrounding the exit wound. This finding could make the determination of the entrance versus exit gunshot wound challenging, especially if the wounds are of atypical appearance. In addition, the finding described in the presented case could be the proof that carbon monoxide may follow the missile through the body and may be prominent in the soft tissue at the exit.

From the Institute of Forensic Medicine “Milovan Milovanović”, University of Belgrade – School of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia.

Manuscript received September 29, 2018; accepted November 3, 2018.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

This study was supported by the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Serbia (Grant Number 175093).

Reprints: Milenko Bogdanović, MD, Institute of Forensic Medicine “Milovan Milovanovic”, University of Belgrade Faculty of Medicine, 31a Deligradska Str, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. E-mail:

This study complied with Ethical Standards.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

© 2019 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.