Special Issue "The Analysis and Interpretation of the Mechanisms and Signs of Asphyxiation in Cadavers: A Challenge for the Forensic Pathologist"

A special issue of Forensic Sciences (ISSN 2673-6756).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2024 | Viewed by 441

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Matteo Antonio Sacco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Legal Medicine, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
Interests: public health; human rights; abuse; forensic sciences; legal medicine
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Asphyxiology is the discipline of forensic medicine that deals with the study of the mechanisms underlying respiratory failure, with particular interest in violent mechanical asphyxias, i.e., asphyxias related to a mechanical cause through an obstructive or compressive means, generally being external. Asphyxias, therefore, include a vast category of instruments and dynamics, with diversified pathological mechanisms. It is also necessary to consider natural pathological causes, including infectious diseases of the respiratory system such as tuberculosis, or chronic pathologies such as emphysema or asthma. External signs of asphyxia include violaceous hypostases, the presence of petechiae related to alterations in arterial pressure control mechanisms and possibly signs associated with the neck, thorax or on the air orifices, where a violent manner of death occurred.

Undoubtedly, the study of asphyxia is very complex, since in many cases, external signs can be nuanced and not always clearly interpretable, for which the autopsy is essential. Furthermore, in many cases, even in the presence of external signs, the reconstruction of the dynamics can be very complex. The purpose of this Special Issue is to deepen the study of asphyxia in its different autopsy and clinical presentations. In this regard, research papers, including original articles, reviews and case series, concerning asphyxiology are welcome.

Dr. Matteo Antonio Sacco
Dr. Isabella Aquila
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forensic Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • asphyxia
  • strangulation
  • suffocation
  • respiratory failure
  • autopsy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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10 pages, 5028 KiB  
Case Report
Establishing the Manner of Death: A 3D Reconstruction of a Case of Hanging
Forensic Sci. 2023, 3(4), 582-591; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci3040042 - 15 Nov 2023
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Establishing the manner of death is one of the most challenging tasks for forensic pathologists. We present the case of a 24-year-old woman found dead in the early morning on a flyover. The body was sitting on the ground with the back leaning [...] Read more.
Establishing the manner of death is one of the most challenging tasks for forensic pathologists. We present the case of a 24-year-old woman found dead in the early morning on a flyover. The body was sitting on the ground with the back leaning against a wall. The neck was encircled by a white phone charger cable knotted to the staircase’s handrail. The victim had argued with her boyfriend and tried to jump out of his car while coming home from a wedding party the night before. After that, she left home alone with her phone charger in her hand. Due to self-harm behaviors, the first hypothesis was suicide by hanging. However, the ligature crossed immediately beneath the thyroid cartilage and encircled the neck twice horizontally; the two ends of the cable overlapped, forming a cross-over point in the front-right of the neck. Then, the ligature passed obliquely through the nape, gradually disappearing, forming a gap in the mark. The mark was sharply defined, stiff, yellow, and parchment-like. The investigators performed a three-dimensional scene reconstruction using the Trimble X7 Laser Scanner and the PC-Crash Multibody System. Even though the geometry of the ligature mark in the present case raised doubts about the manner of death, the three-dimensional reconstruction confirmed that the hanging was feasible without any external intervention. Full article
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