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: Whole-body postmortem computed tomographic (CT) angiography is a promising new development in forensic radiology that has the potential to improve vascular and soft-tissue imaging beyond levels currently achievable with unenhanced postmortem CT. Postmortem access to the vascular system and injection of contrast medium are different from those steps in clinical (antemortem) radiology. Because there is no circulation in a corpse that could transport or dilute a contrast medium, the injection must be performed by using a roller pump to fill the vasculature (arterial and venous) with a mixture of a water-soluble iodized contrast medium and polyethylene glycol. In contrast to a classic autopsy, postmortem CT angiography is a minimally invasive procedure. It allows the diagnosis of vascular lesions without the disruption or destruction of anatomic structures, which could result in a loss of evidence in a criminal investigation. Furthermore, postmortem CT angiography facilitates the display of vascular pathologic conditions in areas that are not typically covered with autopsy alone, such as the craniocervical junction and the small pelvis. Therefore, postmortem CT angiography adds substantial value to the classic forensic autopsy; cross-sectional data can be reevaluated objectively at any time and are fully reproducible as counterexpertise, which is as useful in the fields of forensic medicine and pathology as in clinical research. Familiarity with the capabilities of postmortem CT angiography may help radiologists working with forensic cases improve their diagnostic performance. ©RSNA, 2014.Radiographics 05/2014; 34(3):830-46. · 2.73 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 04/2014; 9(4):e93101. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Postmortem computed tomography (CT) is now routinely performed in forensic autopsies. Microfocus computed tomography (mfCT) has attracted recent attention because it can provide more detailed information than routine postmortem CT can. This feasibility study evaluated the usefulness of mfCT for examination of the hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage in cases of suspected strangulation, where advanced decomposition precludes detection of petechial hemorrhages and hemorrhages adjacent to fractures. The results show that mfCT was useful for identification of thin fracture lines in the fragile laryngeal structures. We suggest that mfCT should be considered for forensic autopsies in cases of suspected strangulation with advanced decomposition.Forensic Science Medicine and Pathology 08/2014; 10(4). · 1.96 Impact Factor