Diagnosis of drowning using post-mortem computed tomography based on the volume and density of fluid accumulation in the maxillary and sphenoid sinuses

Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Imaging, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8575, Japan. Electronic address: .
European journal of radiology (Impact Factor: 2.16). 07/2013; 82(10). DOI: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.06.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent studies have reported that drowning victims frequently have fluid accumulation in the paranasal sinuses, most notably the maxillary and sphenoid sinuses. However, in our previous study, many non-drowning victims also had fluid accumulation in the sinuses. Therefore, we evaluated the qualitative difference in fluid accumulation between drowning and non-drowning cases in the present study. Thirty-eight drowning and 73 non-drowning cases were investigated retrospectively. The fluid volume and density of each case were calculated using a DICOM workstation. The drowning cases were compared with the non-drowning cases using the Mann-Whitney U-test because the data showed non-normal distribution. The median fluid volume was 1.82 (range 0.02-11.7) ml in the drowning cases and 0.49 (0.03-8.7) ml in the non-drowning cases, and the median fluid density was 22 (-14 to 66) and 39 (-65 to 77) HU, respectively. Both volume and density differed significantly between the drowning and non-drowning cases (p=0.001, p=0.0007). Regarding cut-off levels in the ROC analysis, the points on the ROC curve closest (0, 1) were 1.03ml (sensitivity 68%, specificity 68%, PPV 53%, NPV 81%) and 27.5 HU (61%, 70%, 51%, 77%). The Youden indices were 1.03ml and 37.8 HU (84%, 51%, 47%, 86%). When the cut-off level was set at 1.03ml and 27.5HU, the sensitivity was 42%, specificity 45%, PPV 29% and NPV 60%. When the cut-off level was set at 1.03ml and 37.8HU, sensitivity was 58%, specificity 32%, PPV 31% and NPV 59%.

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