Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




This study investigated serum, vitreous, and anterior chamber fluid electrolyte changes, corneal thickness (CT),corneal volume (CV), anterior chamber volume (ACV), and anterior chamber depth (ACD) as an auxiliary diagnostic method in theidentification of drowning in fresh or salt water.Materials and methods: The study used 35 healthy, adult, male, white New Zealand rabbits, seperated into five groups (control, saltwaterdrowning (SWD), saltwater immersion (SWI), freshwater drowning (FWD), freshwater immersion (FWI)). CT, CV, ACV, and ACDmeasurements were made with Pentacam topography at 0, 2, and 4 h in all groups. Magnesium (mg), sodium (Na), and chlorine (Cl)were measured in the blood at 0 and 2 h, and in blood, vitreous fluid, and humor aqueous at 4 h.Results: It was determined that CT, CV, ACV, and ACD are not of great value in drowning diagnosis and are affected by the fresh or saltwater rather than drowning. Vitreous Na, Cl, and Mg levels are ineffective in determining drowning after one h. Anterior chamber fluidmay provide valuable information in the differentiation freshwater – saltwater drownings at the 4th h in corpses retrieved from water.Conclusion: Anterior chamber fluid Na and Cl levels, especially in corpses removed from salt water, can be an easily used test that canhelp diagnose drowning.


Salt water, fresh water, drowning, immersion, postmortem vitreus humour, sodium, chloride, magnesium

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