Post-mortem tissue sampling using computed tomography guidance

Aghayev, Emin; Thali, Michael J; Sonnenschein, Martin; Jackowski, Christian; Dirnhofer, Richard; Vock, Peter (2007). Post-mortem tissue sampling using computed tomography guidance. Forensic science international, 166(2-3), pp. 199-203. Shannon: Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland 10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.05.035

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PURPOSE: Currently, in forensic medicine cross-sectional imaging gains recognition and a wide use as a non-invasive examination approach. Today, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging that are available for patients are unable to provide tissue information on the cellular level in a non-invasive manner and also diatom detection, DNA, bacteriological, chemical toxicological and other specific tissue analyses are impossible using radiology. We hypothesised that post-mortem minimally invasive tissue sampling using needle biopsies under CT guidance might significantly enhance the potential of virtual autopsy. The purpose of this study was to test the use of a clinically approved biopsy needle for minimally invasive post-mortem sampling of tissue specimens under CT guidance. MATERIAL AND METHODS: ACN III biopsy core needles 14 gauge x 160 mm with automatic pistol device were used on three bodies dedicated to research from the local anatomical institute. Tissue probes from the brain, heart, lung, liver, spleen, kidney and muscle tissue were obtained under CT fluoroscopy. RESULTS: CT fluoroscopy enabled accurate placement of the needle within the organs and tissues. The needles allowed for sampling of tissue probes with a mean width of 1.7 mm (range 1.2-2 mm) and the maximal length of 20 mm at all locations. The obtained tissue specimens were of sufficient size and adequate quality for histological analysis. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that, similar to the clinical experience but in many more organs, the tissue specimens obtained using the clinically approved biopsy needle are of a sufficient size and adequate quality for a histological examination. We suggest that post-mortem biopsy using the ACN III needle under CT guidance may become a reliable method for targeted sampling of tissue probes of the body.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Management
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology

UniBE Contributor:

Aghayev, Emin; Thali, Michael; Jackowski, Christian; Dirnhofer, Richard and Vock, Peter






Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland




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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:47

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:42

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URI: (FactScience: 1856)

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