Publications by authors named "Ranieri Domenici"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Medico-legal assessment of personal damage in older people: report from a multidisciplinary consensus conference.

Int J Legal Med 2020 Nov 17;134(6):2319-2334. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Federation of the Italian Associations of Medico-Legal Experts (FAMLI), Verona, Italy.

Ageing of the global population represents a challenge for national healthcare systems and healthcare professionals, including medico-legal experts, who assess personal damage in an increasing number of older people. Personal damage evaluation in older people is complex, and the scarcity of evidence is hindering the development of formal guidelines on the subject. The main objectives of the first multidisciplinary Consensus Conference on Medico-Legal Assessment of Personal Damage in Older People were to increase knowledge on the subject and establish standard procedures in this field. The conference, organized according to the guidelines issued by the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), was held in Bologna (Italy) on June 8, 2019 with the support of national scientific societies, professional organizations, and stakeholders. The Scientific Technical Committee prepared 16 questions on 4 thematic areas: (1) differences in injury outcomes in older people compared to younger people and their relevance in personal damage assessment; (2) pre-existing status reconstruction and evaluation; (3) medico-legal examination procedures; (4) multidimensional assessment and scales. The Scientific Secretariat reviewed relevant literature and documents, rated their quality, and summarized evidence. During conference plenary public sessions, 4 pairs of experts reported on each thematic area. After the last session, a multidisciplinary Jury Panel (15 members) drafted the consensus statements. The present report describes Conference methods and results, including a summary of evidence supporting each statement, and areas requiring further investigation. The methodological recommendations issued during the Conference may be useful in several contexts of damage assessment, or to other medico-legal evaluation fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02368-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7578136PMC
November 2020

A novel methodology for the objective ascertainment of psychic and existential damage.

Int J Legal Med 2016 Sep 4;130(5):1387-99. Epub 2016 May 4.

Department of Psychology, University of Padova, Via Venezia 8, 35131, Padova, Italy.

Personal injury is a legal term for a physical or psychic injury suffered by the plaintiff under civil and/or tort law. With reference to non-pecuniary damages, the evidence itself of physical and/or psychic injury is not sufficient for damage compensation. The process of ascertaining impairments and/or disabilities which pertain to the "personal sphere" of the individual, such as pain and suffering, loss of amenity, and/or psycho-existential damage, poses particular difficulties in relation to the obtainment of scientific evidence. The "immateriality" and the subjective connotation of the personal sphere are, in themselves, critical issues. The clinical data obtained from the neuropsychological ascertainment find their essential prerequisite in the active participation of the examinee who, in legally relevant contexts (criminal law, civil law, insurance), may be "affected" by personal interests. The present manuscript presents a novel interdisciplinary methodology, experimented on a series of judicial and extra-judicial cases, aimed at the attainment of objectivity and accuracy eligible in relation to the judicial settlement of cases and other matters involving the ascertainment of peculiar aspects of non-pecuniary damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-016-1366-8DOI Listing
September 2016

Padova Charter on personal injury and damage under civil-tort law : Medico-legal guidelines on methods of ascertainment and criteria of evaluation.

Int J Legal Med 2016 Jan 5;130(1):1-12. Epub 2015 Sep 5.

Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Section of Legal Medicine, University of Milan, Via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Compensation for personal damage, defined as any pecuniary or non-pecuniary loss causally related to a personal injury under civil-tort law, is strictly based on the local jurisdiction and therefore varies significantly across the world. This manuscript presents the first "International Guidelines on Medico-Legal Methods of Ascertainment and Criteria of Evaluation of Personal Injury and Damage under Civil-Tort Law". This consensus document, which includes a step-by-step illustrated explanation of flow charts articulated in eight sequential steps and a comprehensive description of the ascertainment methodology and the criteria of evaluation, has been developed by an International Working Group composed of juridical and medico-legal experts and adopted as Guidelines by the International Academy of Legal Medicine (IALM).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-015-1244-9DOI Listing
January 2016

Forensic entomology and the estimation of the minimum time since death in indoor cases.

J Forensic Sci 2015 Mar 14;60(2):525-31. Epub 2014 Nov 14.

Dipartimento di Patologia - Unità di Medicina Legale-, Università di Pisa, via Roma 55, Pisa, 56126, Italy.

Eight cases that occurred indoors in which the insects played an important role in the mPMI estimation are presented. The bodies of socially isolated people and old people living alone were discovered in central Italy between June and November. mPMI ranged from a few days to several weeks. Insects were collected during the body recovery and the postmortem. Climatic data were obtained from the closest meteorological stations and from measurements performed on the site. Sarcophagidae and Calliphoridae species were present in 75% of the cases with Lucilia sericata and Chrysomya albiceps collected in 50% of the cases. Chrysomya albiceps was always found in association with Lucilia species. Scuttle flies (Phoridae) were found in 37.5% of the cases, confirming the ability of these species in indoor body colonization. We show that if sealed environment may delay, the insect arrival dirty houses may create the environment where sarcosaprophagous insects are already present.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.12647DOI Listing
March 2015

The molecular characterization of a depurinated trial DNA sample can be a model to understand the reliability of the results in forensic genetics.

Electrophoresis 2014 Nov 31;35(21-22):3134-44. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy*

The role of DNA damage in PCR processivity/fidelity is a relevant topic in molecular investigation of aged/forensic samples. In order to reproduce one of the most common lesions occurring in postmortem tissues, a new protocol based on aqueous hydrolysis of the DNA was developed in vitro. Twenty-five forensic laboratories were then provided with 3.0 μg of a trial sample (TS) exhibiting, in mean, the loss of 1 base of 20, and a molecular weight below 300 bp. Each participating laboratory could freely choose any combination of methods, leading to the quantification and to the definition of the STR profile of the TS, through the documentation of each step of the analytical approaches selected. The results of the TS quantification by qPCR showed significant differences in the amount of DNA recorded by the participating laboratories using different commercial kits. These data show that only DNA quantification "relative" to the used kit (probe) is possible, being the "absolute" amount of DNA inversely related to the length of the target region (r(2) = 0.891). In addition, our results indicate that the absence of a shared stable and certified reference quantitative standard is also likely involved. STR profiling was carried out selecting five different commercial kits and amplifying the TS for a total number of 212 multiplex PCRs, thus representing an interesting overview of the different analytical protocols used by the participating laboratories. Nine laboratories decided to characterize the TS using a single kit, with a number of amplifications varying from 2 to 12, obtaining only partial STR profiles. Most of the participants determined partial or full profiles using a combination of two or more kits, and a number of amplifications varying from 2 to 27. The performance of each laboratory was described in terms of number of correctly characterized loci, dropped-out markers, unreliable genotypes, and incorrect results. The incidence of unreliable and incorrect genotypes was found to be higher for participants carrying out a limited number of amplifications, insufficient to define the correct genotypes from damaged DNA samples such as the TS. Finally, from a dataset containing about 4500 amplicons, the frequency of PCR artifacts (allele dropout, allele drop-in, and allelic imbalance) was calculated for each kit showing that the new chemistry of the kits is not able to overcome the concern of template-related factors. The results of this collaborative exercise emphasize the advantages of using a standardized degraded DNA sample in the definition of which analytical parameters are critical for the outcome of the STR profiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/elps.201400141DOI Listing
November 2014

Identification and quantification of phenobarbital in a mummified body 10 years after death.

J Forensic Sci 2012 Sep 18;57(5):1384-7. Epub 2012 May 18.

Department of Neurosciences, Section of Forensic Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa 56126, Italy.

This article reports the determination of phenobarbital in the mummified body of a 56-year-old man found completely mummified 10 years after his death. When alive, he was being treated for epilepsy with phenobarbital, and the recent analyses, performed with both immunochemical techniques and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), have revealed the presence of this substance in various tissues: the mean content of barbiturate in the mummified liver tissue was 93 μg/g, 216 μg/g in the heart, 17 μg/g in the lungs, 12 μg/g in muscles, and 31 μg/g in the skin. Preliminary screening tests with immunochemical techniques to evaluate the presence of other drugs were also performed. The sample resulted negative for all substances tested. Phenobarbital can be identified and quantified thanks to its excellent chemical stability and a hypothesis of what the concentrations in the fresh tissue could have been has also been reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02147.xDOI Listing
September 2012

Italian data of 23 STR loci amplified in a single multiplex reaction.

Forensic Sci Int Genet 2012 Dec 5;6(6):e157-8. Epub 2012 May 5.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigen.2012.04.002DOI Listing
December 2012

Genotype probabilities of pairs of individuals for X-chromosome markers.

Transfusion 2007 Jul;47(7):1276-80

Unit of Legal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy.

Background: The usual set of autosomal markers (A-STRs) available in commercial kits is often insufficient to discriminate between close relationships when only two subjects are available for analysis. X-chromosome markers (X-STRs) provide higher statistical power in special cases.

Study Design And Methods: Formulas are derived for the probabilities of all possible genotype pairs for X-STRs of any sex combination for seven common relationships. The power of exclusion (PE) of X-STRs in parentage analysis is compared with that of A-STRs of equivalent distribution of allele frequency.

Results: Seventy-three equations were obtained, from which the likelihood ratio of any two alternative hypotheses about the relationship between two individuals can be obtained by division and simplification. For father-daughter and mother-son duos, the PE of X-STRs is almost twice the corresponding value of A-STRs for moderately low values of heterozygosity (0.6-0.75); for alleged pairs of sisters and pairs of half-sisters the PE is equivalent to that of A-STRs in parent-child duos. Considering four real unlinked X-STRs, the cumulative PE for father-daughter and mother-son duos was 99 percent, compared with 94 percent if they were autosomal.

Conclusions: X-STRs can substantially increase the discrimination capacity of standard A-STRs in parentage analyses involving pairs of individuals. Up to four unlinked X-STRs may be treated as independent loci. When linked loci are included, computer programs that calculate pedigree likelihoods can be used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2007.01270.xDOI Listing
July 2007

Validation of a large Italian Database of 15 STR loci.

Forensic Sci Int 2006 Jan 22;156(2-3):266-8. Epub 2005 Apr 22.

Center of Statistical Genetics, SS Abetone e Brennero 2, 56127 Pisa, Italy.

Results from a collaborative exercise with proficiency testing conducted by 20 Italian laboratories on the 15 loci included in the Identifiler kit were analyzed by allele sharing methods and by standard population genetics tests. The validated database, including about 1500 subjects, was merged with that of a previous exercise conducted on nine loci, and the resulting allele frequencies, subdivided by Italian region, were published on-line.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.03.001DOI Listing
January 2006

Development of a heptaplex PCR system to analyse X-chromosome STR loci from five Italian population samples. A collaborative study.

Forensic Sci Int 2005 Oct;153(2-3):231-6

Department of Medicine and Public Health, Section of Legal Medicine, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 49, 40126 Bologna, Italy.

Many X-chromosome short tandem repeats (X-STRs) have been validated for forensic use even if further studies are needed on allele frequencies and mutation rates to evaluate the extent of polymorphism in different populations and to establish reference databases useful for forensic applications and for anthropological studies. A single multiplex reaction of seven X-STRs, which includes the DXS6789, HUMARA, DXS10011, DXS7423, HPRTB, DXS6807, DXS101 loci, is presented and their allele frequency distribution in a large population sample including 556 subjects (268 females and 288 males) analysed by five forensic laboratories of Central and Northern Italy is shown. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a single amplification/detection reaction involving seven markers of the X chromosome, which can be fruitfully used in complex kinship analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.05.013DOI Listing
October 2005

Genetic and phylogenetic analyses of HIV-1 corroborate the transmission link hypothesis.

J Clin Virol 2004 May;30(1):11-8

Retrovirus Center and Virology Section, Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Pisa, Via San Zeno 35, I-56127 Pisa, Italy.

Background: Phylogenetic and genetic analyses have proven a valuable tool to infer epidemiological links between human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) isolates. These methods were applied in the present report for studying the genetic relatedness of the viral strains involved in two episodes of suspected HIV-1 transmission.

Objectives: Provide any evidence that may help establish or refute the transmission link.

Study Design: In the first case, a leukemic patient became HIV-1 positive following the transfusion of platelets from a donor who was subsequently found to have tested false HIV-seronegative and to be sexual partner to an infected woman. In the second, a wife claimed to have acquired the infection from her husband who had concealed his infected status.

Results And Conclusions: The viral pairs detected in each of the suspected transmission cases exhibited common amino acid signatures and low genetic distances and segregated together in phylogenetic trees, thus showing a level of genetic relatedness similar to reference pairs known with certainty to be epidemiologically linked. These findings corroborated the existence of a direct transmission link in both the episodes with a high level of confidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2003.08.008DOI Listing
May 2004

Population data of four X-chromosome markers in Tuscany, and their use in a deficiency paternity case.

Forensic Sci Int 2003 Nov;137(2-3):215-6

Unit of Legal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pisa, Via Roma, Pisa, Italy.

Four X-chromosome markers (DXS101, HPRTB, DXS8377, and STRX-1) were typed in a population sample from Tuscany, Italy, using a single amplification reaction. Resolution of a deficiency paternity case involving two women (either they were half-sisters or non-relatives) was made possible by typing these marker in addition to 16 conventional autosomal markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2003.07.004DOI Listing
November 2003

Allele sharing in first-degree and unrelated pairs of individuals in the Ge F I AmpFlSTR Profiler Plus database.

Forensic Sci Int 2003 Jan;131(2-3):85-9

Department of Biomedicine, University of Pisa, C/o Centro Retrovirus, S S Abetone e Brennero 2, 56127 Pisa, Italy.

Eleven Italian forensic laboratories participated in a population study based on the AB Profiler Plus loci with proficiency testing. The validated database, including 1340 individuals, is available on-line. Tests for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, gametic unbalance, and heterogeneity of gene frequency were generally not significant. Gene frequencies at each locus were consistent with those of two previously published Italian studies, but different from a third. Individuals of each subsample were paired, and the total number of alleles shared across the nine loci was determined in each pair. The analysis was replicated over the total sample. In addition, two samples of mother-child pairs (N=315) and full-sib pairs (N=91) were subjected to allele sharing analysis. The resulting distributions were sufficiently distinct from the sample of unrelated pairs as to be of practical usefulness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0379-0738(02)00399-7DOI Listing
January 2003

Inferring relationships between pairs of individuals from locus heterozygosities.

BMC Genet 2002 Nov 20;3:23. Epub 2002 Nov 20.

Dipartimento di Biomedicina, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Background: The traditional exact method for inferring relationships between individuals from genetic data is not easily applicable in all situations that may be encountered in several fields of applied genetics. This study describes an approach that gives affordable results and is easily applicable; it is based on the probabilities that two individuals share 0, 1 or both alleles at a locus identical by state.

Results: We show that these probabilities (zi) depend on locus heterozygosity (H), and are scarcely affected by variation of the distribution of allele frequencies. This allows us to obtain empirical curves relating zi's to H for a series of common relationships, so that the likelihood ratio of a pair of relationships between any two individuals, given their genotypes at a locus, is a function of a single parameter, H. Application to large samples of mother-child and full-sib pairs shows that the statistical power of this method to infer the correct relationship is not much lower than the exact method. Analysis of a large database of STR data proves that locus heterozygosity does not vary significantly among Caucasian populations, apart from special cases, so that the likelihood ratio of the more common relationships between pairs of individuals may be obtained by looking at tabulated zi values.

Conclusions: A simple method is provided, which may be used by any scientist with the help of a calculator or a spreadsheet to compute the likelihood ratios of common alternative relationships between pairs of individuals.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC138805PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2156-3-23DOI Listing
November 2002