Document Type : Research Article
Background: Hanging is one of the common methods of asphyxial deaths. A gross and histopathological changes in skin and subcutaneous Tissues at ligature Site in Cases of asphyxial deaths is helpful in making exact diagnosis of hanging and differentiating it from other form of asphyxia death like strangulation.
Objective: To assess the importance of histopathological analysis of tissue underneath the ligature mark in case of hanging.
Materials and Methods: The present study was done on medicolegal autopsies conducted at the department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna from 01.01.2017 to 31.12.2019 to study the gross and histopathological changes in neck structures.
Inclusion Criteria -1. Asphyxial deaths (hanging) coming for medicolegal postmortem examination. Exclusion Criteria -1. Decomposed bodies. 2. Asphyxial cases due to drowning, suffocation.
Result: During study period 77 cases were examined for gross and histopathological changes.The gross study revealed that the ligature mark was complete in 24(31.16%) cases. In 71(92.20%) cases, the ligature mark was seen above the level of thyroid cartilage. The subcutaneous area of ligature mark showed microscopically dilated and congested vessels in 65(84.41%) of cases. Thinning of epidermis were seen in 54(70.12%) of the cases, followed by focal fragmentation of epidermis and rolling of epidermis was seen in 25(32.46%) and 17(22.07%) of the cases respectively.
Conclusion: In our study, findings in the cases of hanging varied and were found in many combinations. A correct interpretation of meticulous postmortem examination and histopathological finding is necessary to make a confirmatory diagnosis of death owing to hanging.