Algor mortis is one of three stages a body goes through after death that helps medical examiners determine time of death. This lesson. After the death of a person, the body undergoes certain changes in an orderly manner, namely pallor mortis, algor mortis, rigor mortis and livor mortis. Algor mortis cools down at In human, it usually appear in 2 hours after the death . The stiffness will begin from smaller muscles to larger.

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Moetis ; Brooke Thomas. Eden 1 ; Brooke Thomas. After death, individuals no longer produce body heat or cooling mechanisms and the decedent temperature slowly approaches ambient temperature. This variable is based on the assumption that body temperature was normal at the time of death and includes both temperatures above and below normal living body temperature, Rectal temperatures are commonly used as the standard to determine the decedent temperature and algor mortis.

Algor mortis

This is especially important in medicolegal and forensic death investigations. However, numerous variables affect the rate and direction of algor mortis and complicate its use in estimating time of death.


Formulas are in development to determine the postmortem interval more accurately for medicolegal investigations. There are complex algorithms that take mortiw variables to determine postmortem interval.

Development of faster formulas based on the level of decomposition, humidity, and temperature algor mortis would have a significant impact on investigations.

Some of these formulas become less accurate at higher temperatures and significantly overestimate, and cold temperatures alggor underestimate the postmortem interval. Determination of algor mortis changes alone is not sufficient in determining postmortem interval. However, it remains an important variable in defining equations and formulas to estimate time of death in medicolegal death investigations. To access free multiple nortis questions on this topic, click here.

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Algor mortis | definition of algor mortis by Medical dictionary

National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. StatPearls Publishing; Jan. Show details Treasure Island FL: StatPearls Publishing ; Jan. Algor Mortis Rina E. Author Information Authors Rina E. Affilations 1 Brooke Army Medical Center. Clinical Significance Motris of algor mortis changes alone is not sufficient in determining postmortem interval.


Questions To access free multiple choice questions on this topic, click here. Rectal temperature-based death time estimation in infants. Human decomposition and the reliability of a ‘Universal’ model for post mortem interval estimations.

Toward a universal equation to estimate postmortem interval. PubMed Links to PubMed. Similar articles in PubMed.

Epub Jun 3. The effect of temperature on the mechanical aspects of rigor mortis in a liquid paraffin model.

algor mortis

Epub Morttis Epub Mar 4. MDCT features of postmortem change and decomposition. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. A new model for the estimation of time of death from vitreous potassium levels corrected for age and temperature.

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