Pros and cons of post-mortem CT imaging on aspiration diagnosis

Filograna, Laura; Bolliger, Stephan A.; Ross, Steffen G; Ruder, Thomas; Thali, Michael J. (2011). Pros and cons of post-mortem CT imaging on aspiration diagnosis. Legal medicine, 13(1), pp. 16-21. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.legalmed.2010.09.006

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Recently, the field of forensics has experienced a rapid increase in the use of modern cross-sectional imaging in forensic investigations. We examined the value of post-mortem computed tomography (CT) imaging relative to autopsy for distinguishing aspiration into the lungs from airways, from lung alterations due to other causes, and for identifying the aspirated material. We selected 54 bodies submitted to whole-body CT scanning prior to autopsy. All cases had autopsy findings of blood (31 cases), fresh water (12 cases), or gastric content (11 cases) aspiration. The radiological images were retrospectively analyzed for airway and lung aspiration. In all cases, CT imaging detected pulmonary abnormalities suggestive of aspiration. Nevertheless, analysis of the CT images alone was not able to identify the aspirated material or to distinguish pulmonary findings of aspiration from lung changes due to other causes, except for a few cases of hemo-aspiration. However, due to its ability to visualize the entire parenchyma, CT imaging was superior to autopsy in providing additional data about the distribution and severity of the aspiration as well as in detecting small abnormalities. Post-mortem CT imaging should be considered as a superior tool for forensic investigations of aspiration due to its ability to document diagnostic conclusions and to guide the forensic pathologist during lung tissue examination.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Imaging

UniBE Contributor:

Filograna, Laura; Bolliger, Stephan; Ross, Steffen; Ruder, Thomas and Thali, Michael

ISSN:

1344-6223

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:10

Last Modified:

24 Jul 2014 15:15

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.legalmed.2010.09.006

PubMed ID:

21030285

Web of Science ID:

000287388200004

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/1547 (FactScience: 203322)

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