The present study originated from an event that led to the death of 29 people following an avalanche just outside Rigopiano (Italy). Due to the high number of deaths, this was one of the three most catastrophic of such events that have occurred in Europe over the last 30 years. After dealing with the fatal circumstances related to the collapse of the hotel and the presence of the snow mass, and the medico-legal estimation of the different agony times, this tragic event allowed a study of the catecholamine levels in the urine of 10 of the cadavers. Therefore, a liquid chromatography system was set up to determine the urinary concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline, and their ratios, to be integrated with the medico-legal and circumstantial data collected. In our study, although based on a relatively small sample, the results are useful as they are obtained in a single catastrophic circumstance and with the same environmental factors, unlike other studies with larger samples. Finally, we were able to confirm that urinary catecholamine levels can help to direct the evaluation of the exposure time to low temperatures in causes of death different than hypothermia.

Evaluation of urinary catecholamines to reconstruct the individual death process after the catastrophe of Rigopiano (Italy)

D'OVIDIO C
;
Bonelli M;Rosato E;Carnevale A
2020

Abstract

The present study originated from an event that led to the death of 29 people following an avalanche just outside Rigopiano (Italy). Due to the high number of deaths, this was one of the three most catastrophic of such events that have occurred in Europe over the last 30 years. After dealing with the fatal circumstances related to the collapse of the hotel and the presence of the snow mass, and the medico-legal estimation of the different agony times, this tragic event allowed a study of the catecholamine levels in the urine of 10 of the cadavers. Therefore, a liquid chromatography system was set up to determine the urinary concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline, and their ratios, to be integrated with the medico-legal and circumstantial data collected. In our study, although based on a relatively small sample, the results are useful as they are obtained in a single catastrophic circumstance and with the same environmental factors, unlike other studies with larger samples. Finally, we were able to confirm that urinary catecholamine levels can help to direct the evaluation of the exposure time to low temperatures in causes of death different than hypothermia.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/720655
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