A new approach in virtopsy: Postmortem ventilation in multislice computed tomography

Germerott, Tanja; Preiss, Ulrich S; Ebert, Lars C; Ruder, Thomas D.; Ross, Steffen; Flach, Patricia M; Ampanozi, Garyfalia; Filograna, Laura; Thali, Michael J (2010). A new approach in virtopsy: Postmortem ventilation in multislice computed tomography. Legal medicine, 12(6), pp. 276-9. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.legalmed.2010.07.001

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Although postmortem imaging has gained prominence in the field of forensic medicine, evaluation of the postmortem lung remains problematic. Specifically, differentiation of normal postmortem changes and pathological pulmonary changes is challenging and at times impossible. In this study, five corpses were ventilated using a mechanical ventilator with a pressure of 40 mbar (40.8 cm H(2)O). The ventilation was performed via an endotracheal tube, a larynx mask or a continuous positive airway pressure mask. Postmortem computed tomographic images of the lungs before and with a ventilation of 40 mbar (40.8 cm H(2)O) were evaluated and the lung volumes were measured with segmentation software. Postmortem ventilation led to a clearly visible decrease of both the density in the dependant parts of the lungs and ground glass attenuation, whereas consolidated areas remained unchanged. Furthermore, a mean increase in the lung volume of 2.10 l was seen. Pathological changes such as septal thickening or pulmonary nodules in the lung parenchyma became more detectable with postmortem ventilation. Intracorporal postmortem mechanical ventilation of the lungs appears to be an effective method for enhancing detection of small pathologies of the lung parenchyma as well as for discriminating between consolidation, ground glass attenuation and position-dependent density.

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
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Germerott, Tanja; Preiss, Ulrich; Ebert, Lars Christian; Ruder, Thomas; Ross, Steffen; Flach, Patricia; Ampanozi, Garyfalia; Filograna, Laura and Thali, Michael

ISSN:

1344-6223

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:10

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2014 14:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.legalmed.2010.07.001

PubMed ID:

20729123

Web of Science ID:

000283383900002

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/1559 (FactScience: 203334)

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