A burned human remain was found outdoor (5º 27' N, 100º 16' E) in Penang Island. The deceased was last seen alive on 23 April 2010 at 2230 h and was found burned on 24 April 2010 at 1920 h. Larval aggregation of second instar Chrysomya megacephala was observed on the chest of the deceased.
There is accumulating evidence that criminals wrap dead bodies in an attempt to conceal evidence. To anticipate the forensic implications of this phenomenon, we examined whether flies that are naturally associated with cadavers exhibit a delay in attendance or differ in species composition and abundance patterns because of the presence of wrapping material. Wrapped and exposed carcasses of dead monkeys placed in an oil plantation in Kedah, Malaysia, were visited over 50 d. On daily visits to each of the six carcasses, visiting adult flies were sampled using hand nets. Flies of 12 families were encountered. Calliphoridae (Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart and C. megacephala (F.) was the most prevalent family, followed by Sphaeroceridae. Some families tended to be more abundant in WRCs (i.e., Calliphoridae, Muscidae, and Phoridae), whereas others (i.e., Piophilidae, Sepsidae, and Psychodidae) were more prevalent in exposed carcasses. Wrapping delayed the arrival of all fly species encountered, with delays varying from 1 to 13 d depending on species. Wrapping did not affect species composition of flies, but prolong the occurrence of some species. The results of the current study emphasize the need to take into consideration the presence of a wrap when estimating postmortem interval.
Piophila casei (Linnaeus) (Diptera: Piophilidae) is reported from human cadavers in two separate forensic cases for the first time in Malaysia. Both bodies were found indoors. The first case, was that of a male of unknown nationality and age and also contained maggots of the muscid Ophyra spinigera (Stein). The second case was a female Chinese whose body also contained other species of maggots but these were not identifiable.
Forensically important entomological specimens recovered from 95 forensic cases of human cadavers from April 1993 to May 1996 in Malaysia were identified and analysed. The results indicated that 73.7% of these specimens were Chrysomya species, occurring either as single or mixed infestations. Of these, the most prominent species were Ch megacephala (F.) and Ch rufifacies (Macquart). Other fly maggots recovered included Sarcophaga spp., Lucilia spp. and Hermetia spp., mostly occurring together with other calliphorine flies. A member of Muscidae fly, Ophyra spp. was also recovered for the first time.
A total of 101 entomological specimens recovered from human cadavers were processed and studied. Analysis of the data indicated that about 95% of these specimens were maggots of flies. Maggots of the blowfly Chrysomya (Family: Calliphoridae) especially Ch. rufifacis and Ch. megacephala were predominantly found in 77 cases (76.2%) while larvae of several other flies of the genera Sarcophaga, Calliphora, Lucilia and hermetia were also recovered. It was notable that Musca domestica or other related flies were not found in all these specimens. The age of these larvae was useful in the determination of the minimum time lapsed after death. However, more biological studies on animal carcases should be conducted for more accurate determinations. Methods of collection, preservation and despatching of specimens were also discussed.
Variations of the sciatic nerve have been extensively studied in the past including its relationship with the piriformis muscle and associated clinical conditions like piriformis syndrome and sciatica. In the present study we noticed some interesting variations of the sciatic nerve, which were slightly different from the cases described earlier. In the previous studies most of the authors described the higher division of sciatic nerve and none of them discussed its formation. In this study we tried to look its formation from the sacral plexus and its divisions in the thigh. We noticed that in one cadaver the two components of the sciatic nerve originated directly from the sacral plexus and coursed down without merging in the thigh. Should this be called a higher division or non formation of the sciatic nerve? On the other hand in two other cadavers, the two divisions after emerging separately from the sacral plexus, united in the gluteal region and in the thigh respectively. Should we call this as higher division or low formation of the sciatic nerve? In two other cadavers the sciatic nerve emerged from the greater sciatic foramen below the piriformis and divided in the gluteal region itself. Ideally this should be called as higher division of sciatic nerve.
Anomalous structures of the liver are incidentally detected during autopsies or during routine cadaveric dissection. The present study aimed to observe the abnormal shapes of quadrate lobe, accessory sulci and ligamentum teres of the liver.
The sphenoid bone is known to have several foramina and the foramen ovale is one amongst them. The foramen ovale transmits the mandibular nerve, accessory meningeal artery, lesser petrosal nerve and the emissary veins. There have been past reports on the variations of the different foramina present in the skull but there are no reports on the variations of the skull foramina from any of the South-East Asian countries. The present study aims to highlight the presence of an accessory foramen ovale in the skull in Malaysian population. Both sides of fifteen adult skulls (n = 30) were taken for observation of any variations in the foramen ovale. We observed the presence of accessory foramen ovale on the left side of a single skull (3.33%). The minute accessory foramen ovale was located 0.1 cm medial to the normal foramen ovale. The anomalous accessory foramen ovale was circular in shape and measured 0.1 cm in diameter. Anatomical knowledge of the foramen ovale is important for all neurosurgical procedures involving the trigeminal nerve and administration of anaesthesia in the mandibular nerve. Interestingly, the percutaneous biopsy of the cavernous sinus is also performed through the foramen ovale. Prior knowledge of the presence of an accessory foramen ovale may be important for academic, anthropological, forensic and clinical purpose and the present study aims to highlight such.
Megaselia bangiensis Disney sp. nov., M. cumpapillarum Disney sp. nov., M. hyplongiseta Disney sp. nov. and M. selangorensis Disney sp. nov. were collected from rabbit carcasses placed in concealed environments in Bangi, Malaysia.
Knowledge of muscular, vascular, and neural variations in the axilla is of great clinical importance, especially in mastectomies, breast reconstruction, and axillary bypass operations. In the present paper, we report unilateral variations observed in the axillary region of a male cadaver. A fibromuscular axillary arch was observed on the right side. On the same side, there was a bifurcated axillary vein; a medial cutaneous nerve of the arm passed through and later ran beneath this axillary vein. In addition, the intercostobrachial nerve was absent on the right side. The clinical significance of the variations observed and their embryological basis are discussed in this paper.
The pupae of Desmometopa sp. (Diptera: Milichiidae) were collected from a human corpse found indoor in active decay stage together with the larvae of Sarcophagidae, Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) and Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart). This research note is the first report of the Desmometopa sp. recovered from a human corpse in Malaysia.
An observational study was conducted in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia on August until September 2007 to note the decomposition process of pigs and their related faunal succession. We collected six species of ants (Formicidae) from 3 subfamilies: Formicinae (Oecophylla smaragdina and Anoplolepis gracilipes), Myrmicinae (Tetramorium sp. and Pheidologeton sp.) and Ponerinae (Odontoponera sp. and Diacamma sp.) that were associated with pig carcasses placed on the ground. Oecophylla smaragdina, Pheidologeton sp. and Tetramorium sp. were found on a partially burnt pig carcass whereas the other species were recovered from unburned pig carcass. These ants predated on fly eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Ants could be found at all stages of decomposition starting from fresh until dry stage. Predatory ants can reduce fly population and thus may affect the rate of carcass decomposition but this was not seen in our study. Even though O. smaragdina was seen at all stages of decomposition of the burnt pig, this did not alter much the decomposition process by fly larvae.
Cadaver body bags are the conventional method to contain a human body or human remains, which includes the use for storage and transportation of the deceased at any crime scene or disaster scene. During disasters, most often than not, the first responders including the police will be equipped with cadaver body bags to do scene processing of human remains and collection of personal belongings at the disaster site. However, in an unanticipated large scale disasters involving hundreds and thousands of fatalities, cadaver body bags supplies may be scarce. The authors have therefore innovated the cling film plastic wrap as an alternative for the cadaver body bag used at the disaster site. The plastic wrap was tested on six different experimental subjects, i.e. both adult and child mannequins; body parts of the mannequin figure (arm and hand); a human adult subject and an unknown dead body. The strengths of the cling film plastic wrap are discussed in comparison with the cadaver body bag in the aspects of costing, weight, duration of the wrap, water and body fluid resistant properties, visibility and other advantages. An average savings of more than 5000% are noted for both adult body wrap and child body wrap compared to the cadaver body wrap. This simply means that the authors can either wrap 25 adult dead bodies or 80 children dead bodies with the cost of 1 cadaver body bag. The cling film plastic wrap has proven to have significant innovation impact for dead body management particularly by the first responders in large scale disasters. With proper handling of dead bodies, first responders can manage the dead with dignity and respect in an overwhelmed situation to facilitate the humanitarian victim identification process later.
Peroneus tertius (PT) is a muscle of the anterior compartment of the leg. The PT muscle originates from the anterior surface of the fibula and the interosseous membrane and inserts into the medial side of the dorsal region of the fifth metatarsal bone. During routine dissection, we observed the absence of PT on the left lower limb of a cadaver. Usually, the PT is involved in dorsiflexion and eversion of the foot. In many cases, the absence of PT maybe asymptomatic and it may be incidentally detected during cadaveric dissections or autopsies. The existence of PT may help in the swing phase of bipedal walking. The PT may be used for tendon graft surgeries. The pull of the PT may be responsible for causing stress on the fifth metacarpal and account for all stress fractures in any individual. The absence of the PT may puzzle any transplant and foot surgeons performing graft operations. We as anatomists discuss the clinical implications of the absence of PT.
The right and left lobes of the thyroid gland are connected by an isthmus. The isthmus lies at the level of the second and third tracheal rings. Occasionaly, the isthmus may be absent. We hereby, report the absence of isthmus in a 52-year-old male cadaver of unknown origin. Both the right and left lobes were normal but they were separated. Both the right and left lobes of the thyroid gland measured 4.3 cm vertically. The separation distance between right and left glands was noted at the upper, middle and lower parts. The upper end of medial border of both lobes were separated by a distance of 1 cm while the separation distance was 0.7 cm and 1.5 cm at the middle and lower parts, respectively. The anatomical and clinical significance of absence of isthmus is important for medical personnel and the surgeons operating on the thyroid gland. The present case report is a an attempt to highlight such.
Occurrence of vascular variations in the upper limb is not uncommon and is well described in the medical literature. However, occurrence of superficial ulnar artery associated with unusual origin of the common interosseous and ulnar recurrent arteries is seldom reported in the literature. In the present case, we report the anomalous origin of common trunk of common interosseous, anterior and posterior ulnar recurrent arteries from the radial artery, in a male cadaver. Further, ulnar artery had presented superficial course. Knowledge of anomalous arterial pattern in the cubital fossa reported here is clinically important during the angiographic procedures and plastic surgeries.
Palmaris longus is tendon of choice in reconstructive, plastic and cosmetic surgeries. Thus, a suitable length is required and it would be more convenient if the length of the tendon of the palmaris longus could be estimated before harvesting. This study was carried out to determine the relationship between the length and width of the palmaris longus tendon and the length of forearm and hand, the relationship between the length and the width of the palmaris longus tendon and wrist width and wrist circumference, as well as to identify a technique to estimate the length of the tendinous part of palmaris longus before harvesting it. A standardized proforma was used to collect the data of each of the 31 cadavers upper limbs. These data were analysed using SPSS software version 17. It is important to note that p value less than 0.05 is considered as statistically significant in this study. Out of the 31 upper limbs, palmaris longus tendon was absent in 3 (9.68%). Meanwhile, the mean length and width of the palmaris longus tendon was found to be 16.20 cm and 0.48 cm, respectively. The mean length of the forearm and hand was 26.6 cm and 21.2 cm, respectively. The mean width of the wrist and wrist circumference was 8.2 cm and 14.82 cm, respectively. These indicate a significant and moderate relationship between the length of palmaris longus tendon and the length of forearm (r = 0.49, r2 = 0.24, p < 0.01). In addition, there was also a significant relationship between the length of palmaris longus tendon and the length of hand (r = 0.56, p < 0.01). This paper presents the technique used to estimate the length and width of the tendinous part of palmaris longus before harvesting. The length of palmaris longus can be estimated pre-operatively by measuring the length of the hand by using the technique explained in this paper.
Due to cost containment considerations, it is common to have medical schools being
located in buildings or campuses built for some other purposes. These buildings are converted into
medical schools which often compromising the functional architectural aspects. Objectives: The
paper examines, explores and proposes an architectural concept of a purpose-built medical school. The
architectural design proposed is sensitive to the values and norms of many schools around the globe.
Methods: An Internet search and personal communication were conducted, focusing on the concepts
of the functionality of medical school. It emphasises on general design of the main building, keeping
in mind the various kinds of teaching, learning and assessment activities. We examined lecture hall,
pre-clinical laboratory, skill laboratory, general facilities of Objective Structured Practical Examination
(OSPE) and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Results: We present hypothetical
structural designs based on built-functions concepts. For example, for the better vision of students
around a demonstration table, an inclined floor surface is proposed. The concept is as illustrated by
anatomy dissection area built inclined upward from the cadaver table. It inevitably provides a better
visual access to the students around the table. Other teaching and learning areas are also illustrated
wherever appropriate in the text. Conclusion: The paper is hypothetical and explores innovative
structural designs of modern medical schools. While most are built to meet the demands of current
technology, it cannot however completely replace face-to-face teaching and learning processes.
Research in architectural designs of education buildings and facilities may be further developed into a
new research niche of medical education.