Document Detail

What is the origin of intravascular gas on postmortem computed tomography?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19342279     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE: Intravascular gas is frequently demonstrated on postmortem computed tomography (PMCT). The purpose of this study is to classify the distribution patterns of intravascular gas and to determine its developmental mechanism. METHOD AND MATERIALS: The series included 43 cases (mean age, 62 years). All causes of death were non-traumatic (14 cases, sudden death; 29 cases, death caused by known disease). Using a 16-row multi-detector CT, whole body images were obtained with 1.25-mm collimation. Gas in veins, right heart was classified as venous gas. Gas in arteries, left heart was classified as arterial gas. RESULTS: PMCT showed intravascular gas in 20 cases. Distribution of gas was divided into 2 patterns; pattern 1 (11 cases): a small volume of venous gas (superior and inferior vena cava, right heart, subclavian veins and brachiocephalic veins) and no arterial gas; pattern 2 (9 cases): both venous (same positions of pattern 1 plus hepatic veins) and arterial gas (left heart, ascending aorta, vertebral arteries and cerebral arteries). CONCLUSION: Since imaging findings of pattern 1 are similar to those frequently demonstrated after intravenous contrast-enhanced CT, this gas is presumed to be of exogenous origin from intravenous catheters. In contrast, the gas in pattern 2 may be of endogenous origin, such as decompression disease. Bubbles should move through the ventral side of vessels in the supine position, and subsequently must be trapped by extruded anatomical structures to the ventral side, for example, right ventricle, vertebral and cerebral arteries, hepatic veins and renal veins.
Hajime Yokota; Seiji Yamamoto; Takuro Horikoshi; Ryota Shimofusa; Hisao Ito
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2009-04-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Legal medicine (Tokyo, Japan)     Volume:  11 Suppl 1     ISSN:  1873-4162     ISO Abbreviation:  Leg Med (Tokyo)     Publication Date:  2009 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-05-26     Completed Date:  2010-01-26     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100889186     Medline TA:  Leg Med (Tokyo)     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S252-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Radiology, Chiba University Hospital, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8677, Japan.
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MeSH Terms
Brain / blood supply,  radiography
Forensic Pathology
Heart / radiography
Liver / blood supply,  radiography
Middle Aged
Postmortem Changes*
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Reg. No./Substance:

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