Rib fractures at postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) validated against the autopsy

Schulze, Claudia; Hoppe, Hanno; Schweitzer, Wolf; Schwendener, Nicole; Grabherr, Silke; Jackowski, Christian (2013). Rib fractures at postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) validated against the autopsy. Forensic science international, 223(1-3), pp. 90-98. Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland 10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.08.025

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

To evaluate the sensitivity of postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) in rib
fracture detection validated against autopsy. Fifty-one forensic cases underwent a postmortem CT prior to forensic autopsy. Two image readers (radiologist and forensic pathologist) assessed high resolution CT data sets for rib fractures. Correct recognition rates (CRR), sensitivity and specificity values were calculated over all observations as well as individually for every rib and region. Additionally, for partial rib fractures the sensitivity of autopsy was calculated vice versa. 3876 entries in each study protocol (autopsy, PMCT
radiologist and PMCT forensic pathologist) were investigated. A total of 690
fractures (autopsy), 491 (PMCT and radiologist) and 559 (PMCT and forensic
pathologist) were detected. The CRR was 0.85. Sensitivity and specificity of PMCT for rib fracture detection were 0.63 (0.58 radiologist, 0.68 forensic
pathologist) and 0.97 (both readers 0.97), respectively. Low CRR and sensitivity values were obtained for antero-lateral fractures. Partial rib fractures were better detected by PMCT. PMCT has a rather low sensitivity for rib fracture detection when validated against autopsy and indicates that clinical CT may also demonstrate a reasonable number of false negatives. Partial rib fractures often remain undetected at autopsy.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Hoppe, Hanno; Schwendener, Nicole and Jackowski, Christian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Elsevier Scientific Publ. Ireland




Katrin Renfer

Date Deposited:

24 Apr 2014 11:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback