The aim of this study was to detect the postmortem serum total IgE levels in frozen corpses and identify whether the death incident caused by an anaphylaxis in forensic medicine. Autopsy cases with pathological death (total, n = 106; 4-214 h postmortem) include cardiac disease (n = 15), pulmonary infection (n = 12), central nervous system disorder (n = 6), pulmonary emboliszn (n = 7), hapetic disease (n = 5), kidney disease (n = 6), enteric disease (n = 10), necrotizing pancreatitis (n = 7), diffuse peritonitis (n = 6), MODS (n = 6), toxicosis (n = 5:), anaphylactic shock (n = 7), bronchial asthma (n = 8) and other disease (n = 6) were examined. Results showed that there was no significant difference between serum IgE levels and ages, postmortem intervals (PMIs), gender as well as survival time. Serum IgE levels of deaths due to anaphylactic shock and bronchial asthma were higher than that of other groups. Forensic pathology examination results showed the main pathology changes of bronchial asthma were mucous congestion in bronchial lumen and eosinophils infiltration in bronchial mucosa. The main pathological features of anaphylactic shock were laryngeal edema and eosinophils infiltration in multiple organs (lung and spleen). This research proved that there was a great significance for IgE to infer whether the individual died due to an anaphylaxis even for a long PMI in frozen corpses. Furthermore, we can also preliminarily determine the type of allergic death combined with the examination of forensic pathology. These findings further verify the feasibility of postmortem serum IgE in the diagnosis of forensic causes of death and broaden the application scope of this marker.
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