We have investigated postmortem serum CRP levels in 408 forensic autopsy cases consisting of 216 acute and 192 non-acute death cases having postmortem interval of less than 48h. CRP ranged from 0.03 to 66.13mg/dl with the median of 0.28mg/dl. In 362 traumatic death, survival time and the presence of severe infection were the major factors contributing to CRP elevation, while postmortem interval, age, gender, hepatic injury and liver cirrhosis was not. In almost all the immediate deaths (15/16) CRP remained at a low level (<0.5mg/dl). Acute deaths and subacute deaths within 6h showed lower CRP levels compared to longer survivors, consistent with the clinical and experimental studies. As for natural diseases, the CRP level reflected the pathological findings. The results suggest a possibility of CRP as a forensic diagnostic marker.
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