D Shaham, J Sosna, A Makori, B Slasky, J Bar-Ziv, Y Donchin
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D Shaham, J Sosna, A Makori, B Slasky, J Bar-Ziv, Y Donchin. Post Mortem CT Scan: An Alternative Method In Forensic Medicine And Trauma Research. The Internet Journal of Academic Physician Assistants. 1999 Volume 2 Number 2.
In Israel, permission to conduct autopsy is very difficult to get. Postmortem CT PMCT scan allows a relatively quick diagnosis of causes for death. It also serves for quality assurance in trauma and trauma research. Seven cases of PMCT are demonstrated and discussed in this article.
Since we have published our paper “Utility of postmortem computed tomography in trauma victims” (Donchin-Y; Rivkind-AI; Bar-Ziv-J; Hiss-J; Almog-J; Drescher-M J-Trauma. 1994 Oct; 37(4): 552-5; ) we have performed more than 90 postmortem CT scans.
We would like to present 7 cases to demonstrate the value of the postmortem CT scan PMCT . This method does not substitute formal necropsy, but if there is no other way to answer clinical question, like:
PMCT can be done within a few minutes and there is no need to touch the body. It is the method of choice when there is no time for further diagnostics or when permission for autopsy cannot be obtained. The following cases serve as an illustration of the possibilities of PMCT diagnostic.
Mediastinal windows of the same CT slice show a small heart with low density within the right ventricle as compared to the left ventricle (
Even though this is a costly examination (for quality assurance in trauma research as well as in accident investigations) we have found the method to be of value for two main reasons:
Cultural differences among the nations of the world may warrant different techniques in forensic medicine, pathology and trauma research. PMCT might be considered as one of the alternative postmortem diagnostic techniques when autopsies cannot be performed.