Background: Violent asphyxial deaths chiefly include
death due to hanging, strangulation, suffocation and
drowning. Deaths resulting from hanging and ligature
strangulation both show similar type of findings in which the
ligature marks at the neck is very important characteristic
finding. That’s why it is a challenge for forensic experts and
needs thorough knowledge and experience to differentiate
between them. Some of the typical autopsy findings help
autopsy surgeon in such dilemma. Objective of Present
study is about the external and internal autopsy findings
in fatal neck compression cases specially focusing on
hanging and ligature strangulation cases to differentiate
and clear the dilemma in such cases.

Materials and Methods:

Current study was conducted among 103
corpses with compression of neck by ligature materials
brought for autopsy examination at Mortuary of Forensic
Medicine Department of Western Regional Hospital
Pokhara from February2017 to January 2018.

In fatal neck compression cases external autopsy findings
like dribbling of saliva from angle of mouth, facial pallor,
urine and fecal material discharge were common finding
in 99 cases of hanging where as it was variable in ligature
strangulation cases. Similarly fracture of hyoid bone and
thyroid cartilage was found in hanging cases with age
greater than 38 years but not in any ligature strangulation
cases as an internal autopsy finding.

Keywords: Hanging, Ligature strangulation, Hyoid Bone, Thyroid Cartilage, Neck compression