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A state-of-the-art pipeline for postmortem CT and MRI visualization: from data acquisition to interactive image interpretation at autopsy


Persson, A; Lindblom, M; Jackowski, C (2011). A state-of-the-art pipeline for postmortem CT and MRI visualization: from data acquisition to interactive image interpretation at autopsy. Acta Radiologica, 52(5):522-536.

Abstract

The importance of autopsy procedures leading to the establishment of the cause of death is well-known. A recent addition to the autopsy work flow is the possibility of conducting postmortem imaging, in its 3D version also called virtual autopsy (VA), using multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) or magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) data from scans of cadavers displayed with direct volume rendering (DVR) 3D techniques. The use of the data and their workflow are presented. Data acquisition was performed and high quality data-sets with submillimeter precision were acquired. New data acquisition techniques such as dual-energy CT (DECT) and quantitative MRI, then were implemented and provided additional information. Particular findings hardly visualized in conventional autopsy can rather easy be seen at the full body CT, such as air distribution, e.g. pneumothorax, pneumopericardium, air embolism, and wound channels. MRI shows natural deaths such as myocardial infarctions. Interactive visualization of these 3D data-sets can provide valuable insight into the corpses and enables non-invasive diagnostic procedures. In postmortem CT imaging, not being limited by a patient depending radiation dose limit the data-sets can, however, be generated with such a high resolution that they become difficult to handle in today's archive retrieval and interactive visualization systems, specifically in the case of full body scans. To take full advantage of these new technologies the postmortem workflow needs to be tailored to the demands and opportunities that the new technologies allow.

Abstract

The importance of autopsy procedures leading to the establishment of the cause of death is well-known. A recent addition to the autopsy work flow is the possibility of conducting postmortem imaging, in its 3D version also called virtual autopsy (VA), using multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) or magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) data from scans of cadavers displayed with direct volume rendering (DVR) 3D techniques. The use of the data and their workflow are presented. Data acquisition was performed and high quality data-sets with submillimeter precision were acquired. New data acquisition techniques such as dual-energy CT (DECT) and quantitative MRI, then were implemented and provided additional information. Particular findings hardly visualized in conventional autopsy can rather easy be seen at the full body CT, such as air distribution, e.g. pneumothorax, pneumopericardium, air embolism, and wound channels. MRI shows natural deaths such as myocardial infarctions. Interactive visualization of these 3D data-sets can provide valuable insight into the corpses and enables non-invasive diagnostic procedures. In postmortem CT imaging, not being limited by a patient depending radiation dose limit the data-sets can, however, be generated with such a high resolution that they become difficult to handle in today's archive retrieval and interactive visualization systems, specifically in the case of full body scans. To take full advantage of these new technologies the postmortem workflow needs to be tailored to the demands and opportunities that the new technologies allow.

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21 citations in Web of Science®
22 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:11 Mar 2012 09:26
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 13:17
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0284-1851
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1258/ar.2011.100460
PubMed ID:21498285

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