Postmortem Interval Estimation With Corneal Endothelial Cell Density

Özsoy S., Kaya B., Balandiz H., AKYOL M., Özge G., ÖZMEN M. C., ...More

The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology, vol.43, no.2, pp.147-152, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.OBJECTIVES: In the neonatal period, healthy people have the highest corneal endothelial cell density (CECD) (5000-7000 cells/mm2). Corneal endothelial cell density declines with age in adults (2500-3000 cells/mm2) and continues to decline in the postmortem period. We measured CECD in cases with different postmortem interval (PMI) and investigated its association with PMI. METHODS: A total of 555 corneas harvested from 285 cases with a known time of death were examined using a specular microscope. RESULTS: Postmortem corneal removal time ranged between 10 and 1395 minutes. The CECD averages were 2653 for right cornea and 2678 cells/mm2 for left cornea. An inverse but nonlinear relationship was found between age and CECD. In both men and women, there was an inverse and weak correlation between age and CECD (ρ = -0.282; P < 0.001; ρ = -0.264; P < 0.001, respectively). There was no significant relationship between postmortem corneal removal time and CECD (ρ = 0.049; P = 0.421; ρ = 0.011; P = 0.855 for right and left corneas, respectively). The highest decline in time dependent CECD was detected between the 480th and 540th minutes at -7.2%. CONCLUSIONS: We found no significant decrease in CECD numbers according to PMI or cause of death. Experimental studies on cases with known and standardized antemortem CECD values will provide essential results in estimating PMI.