Post-mortem forensic neuroimaging: correlation of MSCT and MRI findings with autopsy results

Yen, Kathrin; Lövblad, Karl-Olof; Scheurer, Eva; Ozdoba, Christoph; Thali, Michael J; Aghayev, Emin; Jackowski, Christian; Anon, Javier; Frickey, Nathalie; Zwygart, Karin; Weis, Joachim; Dirnhofer, Richard (2007). Post-mortem forensic neuroimaging: correlation of MSCT and MRI findings with autopsy results. Forensic science international, 173(1), pp. 21-35. Shannon: Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland 10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.01.027

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Multislice-computed tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are increasingly used for forensic purposes. Based on broad experience in clinical neuroimaging, post-mortem MSCT and MRI were performed in 57 forensic cases with the goal to evaluate the radiological methods concerning their usability for forensic head and brain examination. An experienced clinical radiologist evaluated the imaging data. The results were compared to the autopsy findings that served as the gold standard with regard to common forensic neurotrauma findings such as skull fractures, soft tissue lesions of the scalp, various forms of intracranial hemorrhage or signs of increased brain pressure. The sensitivity of the imaging methods ranged from 100% (e.g., heat-induced alterations, intracranial gas) to zero (e.g., mediobasal impression marks as a sign of increased brain pressure, plaques jaunes). The agreement between MRI and CT was 69%. The radiological methods prevalently failed in the detection of lesions smaller than 3mm of size, whereas they were generally satisfactory concerning the evaluation of intracranial hemorrhage. Due to its advanced 2D and 3D post-processing possibilities, CT in particular possessed certain advantages in comparison with autopsy with regard to forensic reconstruction. MRI showed forensically relevant findings not seen during autopsy in several cases. The partly limited sensitivity of imaging that was observed in this retrospective study was based on several factors: besides general technical limitations it became apparent that clinical radiologists require a sound basic forensic background in order to detect specific signs. Focused teaching sessions will be essential to improve the outcome in future examinations. On the other hand, the autopsy protocols should be further standardized to allow an exact comparison of imaging and autopsy data. In consideration of these facts, MRI and CT have the power to play an important role in future forensic neuropathological examination.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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 > DCR Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Methodology (AMSM)

UniBE Contributor:

Thali, Michael; Jackowski, Christian; Zwygart, Karin and Dirnhofer, Richard

ISSN:

0379-0738

ISBN:

17336008

Publisher:

Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:51

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2016 10:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.01.027

PubMed ID:

17336008

Web of Science ID:

000250193300004

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/21546 (FactScience: 7369)

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