Levels of haemolysis have no effect on femoral vein post-mortem tryptase levels

Med Sci Law. 2021 Oct;61(4):250-255. doi: 10.1177/0025802421998851. Epub 2021 Mar 2.


Haemolysis is reported to be an artefact that may alter post-mortem tryptase levels. However, previous studies did not sample peripheral blood using newly standardised methods. Recent studies have shown that some previously recognised peri- and post-mortem confounders can be muted by careful sample collection with first clamping and then sampling the femoral vein. This prospective study investigated the relationship between the degree of haemolysis of the blood samples and femoral vein post-mortem tryptase levels when sampled using this recommended method. Seventy consecutive post-mortem tryptase levels in non-anaphylactic deaths were compared to the degree of haemolysis of these samples, and results showed no significant correlation between them. The mean post-mortem tryptase level was 9.5 μg/L. This study demonstrated that the effects of haemolysis on femoral vein post-mortem tryptase was negligible when the blood was sampled using the recommended sampling method. Future studies on post-mortem tryptase as well as other typically used blood markers in forensics are recommended to adopt this method of blood sampling in routine practice.

Keywords: Anaphylaxis; arterial; aspirate; cut down; post-mortem; sampling; tryptase; venous.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Femoral Vein / pathology*
  • Hemolysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Prospective Studies
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Tryptases / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Tryptases