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rigor mortis


Definition: stiffening of the body, 1–7 hours after death, from hardening of the muscular tissues as a consequence of the coagulation of the myosinogen and paramyosinogen; it disappears after 1–6 days or when decomposition begins.

Synonym(s): cadaveric rigidity, postmortem rigidity

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.