Aortic dissection and cocaine use

Most of the cocaine - deaths are said to be related to cardiovascular complications. This paper addresses a rather infrequent complication of chronic cocaine use, represented by the aortic dissection. The case in point pertains to a 45-year-old, caucasian male, substance abuser who suffered an aortic dissection following the use of cocaine. Blood concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine were considered not to be within a potentially toxic range.


Differential diagnosis between cranial fractures of traumatic origin and explosion fractures in burned cadavers

Interpreting the damages on a cadaver which has been exposed to the action of fire is a challenge for the forensic pathologist. The finding of a burned body gives in fact the opportunity to make a series of inquiries which deal with the whole medical–legal practice. In our case, the victim has been hit over the head with a blunt object and has been then carbonized. The medical–legal problems implied lie in the definition of the exact manner and cause of death, and therefore in the analysis of vital, perimortal and postmortal injuries, as to formulate a differential diagnosis between the former traumatic originated and the latter caused by combustion. 


A case of "precocious" mummification

Mummification is a peculiar transformative process consisting of the total drying of the body soft tissues. It is produced, in particular conditions, between 6 and 12 months after death. "Precocious" mummification has been reported in countries where recorded weather conditions are more extreme than in Italy, in a confined environment, or with particular micro-climate conditions. Here we present a case of mummification produced in a central region of Italy in four weeks. We also analyze conditions allowing for the rapidity of this phenomenon.


L’imputabilità nelle tossicomanie: aspetti giuridici e medico-legali

Gli Autori affrontano il tema dell’imputabilità con particolare riferimento al rapporto che intercorre tra essa e la tossicomania. Nella trattazione vengono prese in esame le diverse contraddizioni e gli anacronismi che caratterizzano tale problematica, trattando la ormai famosa «crisi dell’istituto dell’imputabilità» dal punto di vista giuridico e medico-legale. In tal senso vengono delineati i caratteri della tossicodipendenza e della cronica intossicazione, alla luce anche delle moderne conoscenze in campo psichiatrico, e viene evidenziato il contrasto tra esse e l’esecuzione penale. Gli Autori, quindi, auspicando una riforma dell’istituto dell’imputabilità, sottolineano il ruolo della scienza medica in tema di intossicazione da stupefacenti e la necessità che questo problema venga analizzato sempre da personale esperto in materia.