Article

Upper lobe-predominant diseases of the lung.

Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02115.
American Journal of Roentgenology (Impact Factor: 2.74). 03/2013; 200(3):W222-37. DOI: 10.2214/AJR.12.8961
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Anatomy and mortuary technical staff faces an ever existing risk of contracting an infectious disease, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), when exposed to human remains. The transfer and handling of a corpse expels air from the lungs of the diseased and this aerosolizes the bacilli. It is for this reason that personal protective equipment and work space precautions such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is a necessity. In this study, the authors explore the viability of MTB before and after embalming. Briefly, lung tissue samples, both apical and hilar, were obtained from 20 cadavers whose death certificate indicated MTB as cause of death. The first sample was taken before embalming and second set 3 weeks after embalming. Tissue was deposited into sterile specimen containers and transported for analysis which included Mycobacterium growth indicator tube cultures and polymerase chain reaction. Results demonstrated that both the apical and the perihilar sample tested positive prior to embalming, 36 days after death. After three weeks post-embalming none tested positive. The results demonstrated that MTB can remain viable after death for up to 36 days. This viability extends beyond the documented cases and highlights the need for precautionary measures and standard operating procedures in accordance with occupational health and safety guidelines. Clin. Anat., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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