Two-step postmortem angiography with a modified heart-lung machine: preliminary results.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to adapt and improve a minimally invasive two-step postmortem angiographic technique for use on human cadavers. Detailed mapping of the entire vascular system is almost impossible with conventional autopsy tools. The technique described should be valuable in the diagnosis of vascular abnormalities.
Postmortem perfusion with an oily liquid is established with a circulation machine. An oily contrast agent is introduced as a bolus injection, and radiographic imaging is performed. In this pilot study, the upper or lower extremities of four human cadavers were perfused. In two cases, the vascular system of a lower extremity was visualized with anterograde perfusion of the arteries. In the other two cases, in which the suspected cause of death was drug intoxication, the veins of an upper extremity were visualized with retrograde perfusion of the venous system.
In each case, the vascular system was visualized up to the level of the small supplying and draining vessels. In three of the four cases, vascular abnormalities were found. In one instance, a venous injection mark engendered by the self-administration of drugs was rendered visible by exudation of the contrast agent. In the other two cases, occlusion of the arteries and veins was apparent.
The method described is readily applicable to human cadavers. After establishment of postmortem perfusion with paraffin oil and injection of the oily contrast agent, the vascular system can be investigated in detail and vascular abnormalities rendered visible.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: The objective of this experiment is to establish a continuous postmortem circulation in the vascular system of porcine lungs and to evaluate the pulmonary distribution of the perfusate. This research is performed in the bigger scope of a revascularization project of Thiel embalmed specimens. This technique enables teaching anatomy, practicing surgical procedures and doing research under lifelike circumstances. Methods: After cannulation of the pulmonary trunk and the left atrium, the vascular system was flushed with paraffinum perliquidum (PP) through a heart-lung machine. A continuous circulation was then established using red PP, during which perfusion parameters were measured. The distribution of contrast-containing PP in the pulmonary circulation was visualized on computed tomography. Finally, the amount of leak from the vascular system was calculated. Results: A reperfusion of the vascular system was initiated for 37 min. The flow rate ranged between 80 and 130 ml/min throughout the experiment with acceptable perfusion pressures (range: 37-78 mm Hg). Computed tomography imaging and 3D reconstruction revealed a diffuse vascular distribution of PP and a decreasing vascularization ratio in cranial direction. A self-limiting leak (i.e. 66.8% of the circulating volume) towards the tracheobronchial tree due to vessel rupture was also measured. Conclusions: PP enables circulation in an isolated porcine lung model with an acceptable pressure-flow relationship resulting in an excellent recruitment of the vascular system. Despite these promising results, rupture of vessel walls may cause leaks. Further exploration of the perfusion capacities of PP in other organs is necessary. Eventually, this could lead to the development of reperfused Thiel embalmed human bodies, which have several applications. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.European Surgical Research 01/2014; 52(1-2):8-20. · 0.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The development of new medical devices, such as aortic valves, requires numerous preliminary studies on animals and training of personnel on cadavers before the devices can be used in patients. Postmortem circulation, a technique used for postmortem angiography, allows the vascular system to be reperfused in a way similar to that in living persons. This technique is used for postmortem investigations to visualize the human vascular system and to make vascular diagnoses. Specific material for reperfusing a human body was developed recently. Our aim was to investigate whether postmortem circulation that imitates in vivo conditions allows for the testing of medical materials on cadavers. We did this by delivering an aortic valve using minimally invasive methods. Postmortem circulation was established in eight corpses to recreate an environment as close as possible to in vivo conditions. Mobile fluoroscopy and a percutaneous catheterization technique were used to deliver the material to the correct place. Once the valve was implanted, the heart and primary vessels were extracted to confirm its position. Postmortem circulation proved to be essential in several of the cadavers because it helped the clinicians to deliver the material and improve their implantation techniques. Due to the intravascular circulation, sites with substantial arteriosclerotic stenosis could be bypassed, which would have been impossible without perfusion. Although originally developed for postmortem investigations, this reperfusion technique could be useful for testing new medical devices intended for living patients. Clin. Anat., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Clinical Anatomy 12/2013; · 1.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the diagnostic value of contrast enhanced post mortem computed tomography (PMCT) in comparison to non-enhanced post mortem CT in the detection of cardiovascular causes of death (COD). As autopsy rates decline, new methods to determine CODs are necessary. So contrast enhanced PMCT shall be evaluated in comparison to established non-enhanced PMCT in order to further improve the method. In a prospective study, 20 corpses were examined using a 64-row multisclice CT (MSCT) before and after intraarterial perfusion with a newly developed, barium-bearing contrast agent and ventilation of the lungs. The cause of death was determined in enhanced and unenhanced scans and a level of confidence (LOC) was given by three experienced radiologists on a scale between 0 and 4. Results were compared to autopsy results as gold standard. Autopsy was performed blinded to PMCT-findings. The method allowed visualization of different types of cause of death. There was a significant improvement in LOC in enhanced scans compared to unenhanced scans as well as an improvement in the detection of COD. The cause of death could be determined in 19 out of 20 patients. PMCT is feasible and appears to be robust for diagnosing cardiovascular causes of death. When compared with unenhanced post-mortem CT intraarterial perfusion and pulmonary ventilation significantly improve visualization and diagnostic accuracy. These promising results warrant further studies.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e93101. · 3.73 Impact Factor