Postmortem changes in myoglobin content in organs

Masanobu Miura, Toru Naka, Satoru Miyaishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Postmortem changes in myoglobin concentrations in blood and organs were investigated using an enzyme immuno assay by animal experiments in combination with immunohistochemical staining of human cases. Blood myoglobin concentrations were found to increase drastically within a very short time after death. Those in striated muscle, however, did not change by day 14 postmortem. Myoglobin content in the liver and kidney increased slightly by day 5 postmortem, and more obviously by day 7 or later. However, almost no change was observed by day 5 in the kidney when the renal artery and vein had been ligated just after death. In the thyroid gland and the lung, the myoglobin content markedly increased by day 7 postmortem, with the logarithmical values rising nearly linearly as the time after death passed. In the thyroid gland, concentrations reached the level of the striated muscle. The mechanisms of postmortem myoglobin increase in organs are thought to be direct diffusion from the striated muscle and/or distribution through the blood. To estimate the postmortem interval, the determination of myoglobin content in the thyroid gland or the lung appears to be useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Myoglobin
  • Postmortem diffusion
  • Postmortem distribution
  • Postmortem interval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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