The diagnostic value of postmortem blood glucose determinations in cases of diabetes mellitus

Forensic Sci Int. Jun-Jul 1985;28(2):103-7. doi: 10.1016/0379-0738(85)90066-0.


In 24 cases of death in diabetic coma the peripheral venous blood showed glucose levels exceeding 3.5 mg/ml (mean value 7.76 mg/ml). In a control material of deaths of other causes the blood glucose was usually low and often zero, and all values were well below the lower limit of the diabetic concentrations. The acetone contents of the diabetic blood varied widely and were of limited diagnostic value. We conclude that glucose concentrations above 3.5 mg/ml in the peripheral blood indicate that death occurred in diabetic coma.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetic Coma / blood*
  • Diabetic Coma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Ketone Bodies / blood
  • Ketone Bodies / urine
  • Postmortem Changes*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Ketone Bodies