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A Journal on Forensic Medicine




Minerva Medicolegale 2005 December;125(4):195-9

language: Italian

Experimentation of an easily-performed, highly specific and sensitive test for the identification of human blood

Varetto L., Bison F.


Aim. The search and identification of blood at the site of an investigation are usually carried out by methods that are highly sensitive but not very specific: this paper describes the results of personal experience with the use, in forensic medicine, of a single-step, immunochromatographic test, commonly used in the clinical field for finding hidden blood in the feces, which is highly specific and sensitive.
Methods. Several samples, including bloodstains of different ages and many cadaveric fluids and tissues have been examined.
Results. The tests performed confirmed the considerable sensitivity of the method and the possibility of obtaining helpful results in analysing bloodstains, also after a long time from their production.
Conclusion. Owing to the precocious hemoglobinic diffusion during after-death phenomena, such sensitivity can represent a limit when the test is used on body fluids taken from the corpse; therefore, a careful interpretation of any positive results in similar circumstances is required. However, this excess of sensitivity certifies the almost absolute reliability of a negative result of the test, with rare known exceptions (e.g. samples previously submitted to the luminol test); it is, therefore, possible to assert with a good degree of certainty that a negative result excludes the presence of human blood in the sample. So, it may be held that this preparation is a valid support in the field of forensic science and, particularly, during crime scene investigations.

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