Diagnosis of fatal pulmonary fat embolism with minimally invasive virtual autopsy and post-mortem biopsy

Filograna, Laura; Bolliger, Stephan; Spendlove, Danny; Schön, Corinna; Flach, Patricia M; Thali, Michael J (2010). Diagnosis of fatal pulmonary fat embolism with minimally invasive virtual autopsy and post-mortem biopsy. Legal medicine, 12(5), pp. 233-7. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.legalmed.2010.04.003

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We report a case of a 78-year-old female with a proximal femur fracture caused by an accidental fall who died suddenly 1h after orthopaedic prosthesis insertion. Post-mortem computed tomography (CT) scan and histological examination of samples obtained with post-mortem percutaneous needle biopsies of both lungs were performed. Analysis of the medical history and the clinical scenario immediately before death, imaging data, and biopsy histology established the cause of death without proceeding to traditional autopsy. It was determined to be acute right ventricular failure caused by massive pulmonary fat embolism. Although further research in post-mortem imaging and post-mortem tissue sampling by needle biopsies is necessary, we conclude that the use of CT techniques and percutaneous biopsy, as additional tools, can offer a viable alternative to traditional autopsy in selected cases and may increase the number of minimally invasive forensic examinations performed in the future.

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:

Filograna, Laura; Bolliger, Stephan; Schön, Corinna; Flach, Patricia and Thali, Michael

ISSN:

1344-6223

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:08

Last Modified:

16 Jul 2014 16:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.legalmed.2010.04.003

PubMed ID:

20494605

Web of Science ID:

000281009300004

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/394 (FactScience: 197996)

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