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    Visible abnormalities on the thyroid cartilage may be indicative of perimortem trauma including fractures or sharp force trauma. During autopsy, the thyroid cartilage must be freed of surrounding soft tissue before these abnormalities can be clearly observed. Several processing methods were first experimentally tested on pig ears to narrow down which might work best to process human thyroid cartilage. Several methods in the categories of hot water maceration, chemical/enzyme maceration, and dermestid beetles were then tested on a sample of 37 human thyroid cartilages. An adapted 22-point scoring system was used to score the efficacy of each processing method. Chemical maceration using bleach was found to be the best method for removing surrounding tissue from thyroid cartilage, with Arm & HammerTM powdered laundry detergent as a close second. These methods are inexpensive, quick, and easy to implement, making them a simple addition to busy medical examiner's offices or forensic anthropology laboratories. © 2020 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


    Alexis LaGoy, Elizabeth A Evangelou, Tessa Somogyi, Elizabeth A DiGangi. Recommended Practices for Macerating Human Thyroid Cartilage. Journal of forensic sciences. 2020 Jul;65(4):1266-1273

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    PMID: 32031684

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