Tracing the use of torture: electrically induced calcification of collagen in pig skin

Nature. 1983 Jan 6;301(5895):75-8. doi: 10.1038/301075a0.


Reports of the use of electrical torture are usually denied, so that there is an urgent need of diagnostic methods to distinguish the consequences of electrical torture from other superficial injuries. The 'electrical group' of Anti-Torture Research (ATR) has accordingly studied the possibility of distinguishing between the sequelae of electrical and heat injury. Among the reported differences of the two types of injuries is the occurrence in epidermis, vessel walls and sweat glands of vesicular nuclei exclusively in electrically injured skin. On the basis of experiments with anaesthetized pigs, we now report that the late sequelae of electrical injury appear to include the deposition of calcium salts beneath the area of an electrical cathode.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression*
  • Animals
  • Biopsy
  • Calcinosis / pathology*
  • Collagen / analysis*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Swine
  • Torture*
  • X-Rays


  • Collagen