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The electric excitability of muscles

, : The electric excitability of muscles. Zeitschrift fuer Rechtsmedizin 93(3): 165-174

A new method of postmortem electrical stimulation of muscles, measuring the force of the reaction against time, is presented. Preliminary investigations yielded the following results: the maximum force of reaction in response to a definitive stimulation, measured by a sensitive force transducer, decreased in proportion to the postmortem interval. Using this method, the mechanical reactions of muscles by electrical stimulation were demonstrated over a much longer postmortem period as these movements are visible. The duration of postmortem reaction of different muscles seems to be much more uniform than was previously assumed. Occasionally, reactions of the M. [musculus] orbicularis oculi were seen for the longest time. The basal muscular tonus changed relative to time. The time course of a single force reaction also changed relative to the postmortal interval; the reaction became slower. It was theoretically established that measurement of influencing factors such as temeprature and pH in the tested muscle will enable the time of death to be more precisely estimated.

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