Document Detail

Postmortem computed tomography angiography vs. conventional autopsy: advantages and inconveniences of each method.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23292183     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE: Postmortem computed tomography angiography (PMCTA) was introduced into forensic investigations a few years ago. It provides reliable images that can be consulted at any time. Conventional autopsy remains the reference standard for defining the cause of death, but provides only limited possibility of a second examination. This study compares these two procedures and discusses findings that can be detected exclusively using each method.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study compared radiological reports from PMCTA to reports from conventional autopsy for 50 forensic autopsy cases. Reported findings from autopsy and PMCTA were extracted and compared to each other. PMCTA was performed using a modified heart-lung machine and the oily contrast agent Angiofil® (Fumedica AG, Muri, Switzerland).
RESULTS: PMCTA and conventional autopsy would have drawn similar conclusions regarding causes of death. Nearly 60 % of all findings were visualized with both techniques. PMCTA demonstrates a higher sensitivity for identifying skeletal and vascular lesions. However, vascular occlusions due to postmortem blood clots could be falsely assumed to be vascular lesions. In contrast, conventional autopsy does not detect all bone fractures or the exact source of bleeding. Conventional autopsy provides important information about organ morphology and remains the only way to diagnose a vital vascular occlusion with certitude.
CONCLUSION: Overall, PMCTA and conventional autopsy provide comparable findings. However, each technique presents advantages and disadvantages for detecting specific findings. To correctly interpret findings and clearly define the indications for PMCTA, these differences must be understood.
Christine Chevallier; Chevallier Christine; Francesco Doenz; Doenz Francesco; Paul Vaucher; Vaucher Paul; Cristian Palmiere; Palmiere Cristian; Alejandro Dominguez; Dominguez Alejandro; Stefano Binaghi; Binaghi Stefano; Patrice Mangin; Mangin Patrice; Silke Grabherr; Grabherr Silke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2013-01-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of legal medicine     Volume:  127     ISSN:  1437-1596     ISO Abbreviation:  Int. J. Legal Med.     Publication Date:  2013 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-08-26     Completed Date:  2014-04-24     Revised Date:  2014-06-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9101456     Medline TA:  Int J Legal Med     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  981-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Adipose Tissue / pathology
Aged, 80 and over
Blood Vessels / pathology
Bone and Bones / pathology
Cause of Death
Contrast Media
Forensic Pathology / methods
Fractures, Bone / pathology
Middle Aged
Multidetector Computed Tomography*
Retrospective Studies
Young Adult
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Contrast Media
Erratum In:
Int J Legal Med. 2014 May;128(3):577
Note: Christine, Chevallier [corrected to Chevallier, Christine]; Francesco, Doenz [corrected to Doenz, Francesco]; Paul, Vaucher [corrected to Vaucher, Paul]; Cristian, Palmiere [corrected to Palmiere, Cristian]; Alejandro, Dominguez [corrected to Dominguez, Alejandro]; Stefano, Binaghi [corrected to Binaghi, Stefano]; Patrice, Mangin [corrected to Mangin, Patrice]; Silke, Grabherr [corrected to Grabherr, Silke]

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