Objective post-mortem diagnosis of chronic alcohol abuse - A review of studies on new markers

Juha Kaleva Rainio, Fabio De Giorgio, Federica Bortolotti, F. Tagliaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Identification of chronic excessive alcohol consumption in living and deceased individuals is a fundamental task in forensic pathology. Reliable methods for post-mortem diagnosis of chronic alcohol abuse are required because morphological findings are unspecific and ante-mortem data are often unreliable. In clinical practice, several biochemical markers indirectly demonstrating chronic alcohol abuse are employed, but thus far these methods have not been used in routine post-mortem investigations. We reviewed publications in which these markers have been applied to autopsy material. Based on this review, some of these biochemical parameters are useful in post-mortem diagnostics, although further systematic research is required. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalLegal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • 5 hydroxytryptophol
  • Alcoholism
  • Biological Markers
  • Bone Marrow
  • Brain
  • Esters
  • Fatty Acids
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Glucuronates
  • Glycerophospholipids
  • Hair
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Hydroxytryptophol
  • Liver
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Transferrin
  • Vitreous Body
  • alcohol consumption
  • alcohol derivative
  • autopsy
  • biochemical marker
  • carbohydrate deficient transferrin
  • ethylglucuronide
  • fatty acid ester
  • forensic pathology
  • glucuronide
  • human
  • phosphatidylethanol, alcohol abuse
  • review, Adipose Tissue


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