Intracardial fungal multiplication of order Mucor in an almost totally carbonised part of a male body found after ten days missing

Authors: Silvia Farkašová Iannaccone 1;  Jaroslav Klán 2;  Laura W. Lamps 3;  Daniel Farkaš 4;  Marián Švajdler ml. 5;  Miroslav Szabo 4
Authors‘ workplace: Bioptická laboratoř s. r. o., Plzeň a Oddelenie patológie, Univerzitná nemocnica Louisa Pasteura, Košice ;  Ústav súdneho lekárstva UPJŠ LF, Košice 1;  Ústav soudního lékařství a toxikologie 1. LF UK a VFN, Praha 2;  Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 3;  Úrad pre dohľad nad zdravotnou starostlivosťou, SLaPA pracovisko, Košice 4;  Šiklův ústav patologie, Univerzita Karlova Praha, Lékařská fakulta Plzeň 5
Published in: Soud Lék., 61, 2016, No. 3, p. 35-38
Category: Original Article


Determination of time of death belongs to the most difficult and also the most important issues for the medical examiners, especially those who deal with violent death. Besides the most frequently evaluated postmortal changes it is sometimes possible to perform the evaluation on the basis of less frequently observed findings. One of such findings is for example the fungal multiplication on the body or in the very close vicinity. Knowledge of moulds as well as information about their speed of growth should contribute to confirmation or negation of some information gained during police investigation. In this case report authors describe the macroscopically visible fungal intracardiac multiplication in heart chambers and aorta in an almost totally carbonised body which was missing for only ten days. Based on the molecular examination it was detected that the body belonged to the 64-year-old man who was repeatedly hospitalised in psychiatry for depression with suicidal tendencies. The last hospitalisation was six weeks before death and there was no organic disability. The cause of fire was a naked flame. The cause of death was burn injury or asphyxia. The almost total carbonisation did not allow to perform toxicological investigation. By histological investigation we found the presence of wide long non-septate moulds growing in the heart muscle, which belonged to the order Mucor. Since there was no obvious inflammatory response, we suppose their growth started on the congealed blood after death.

time of death – forensic mycology – Mucor


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Anatomical pathology Forensic medical examiner Toxicology
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