Keep an eye on the crime – a new look at the forensic use of post-mortem eye examination to estimate time of death




Time of death, Eye examination, Post-mortem interval, Forensic medicine, Post-mortem examination


Determining the time of death plays a crucial role in a forensic post-mortem examination. Many methods for the time of death (TOD) determination have been developed. However, most are not applicable during the first hours after death and produce large post-mortem interval (PMI) ranges. Eye examination makes it possible to precisely determine the time of death during the initial period after death with half-hour accuracy.. In recent years methods for estimating the time of death by measuring the changes in the eye have made great strides. Those methods use the changes in the reaction to drugs and macroscopically visible morphological changes. Experimental studies also produced equations that can estimate the post-mortem interval using biochemical, electrochemical and thermal changes within the eye.


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Author Biographies

Szymon Rzepczyk, Department of Forensic Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland

Department of Forensic Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, ul. Rokietnicka 10, 60-806 Poznań, Poland

Czesław Żaba, Department of Forensic Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland

Head of Department of Forensic Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, ul. Rokietnicka 10, 60-806 Poznań, Poland


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How to Cite

van der Veer J, Rzepczyk S, Żaba C. Keep an eye on the crime – a new look at the forensic use of post-mortem eye examination to estimate time of death. JMS [Internet]. 2023 Feb. 16 [cited 2024 Jun. 21];92(1):e753. Available from:



Thousand words about...
Received 2022-10-11
Accepted 2023-01-09
Published 2023-02-16