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The possibility of identifying brain hemorrhage in putrefied bodies with PMCT


Tappero, Carlo; Thali, Michael J; Schweitzer, Wolf (2020). The possibility of identifying brain hemorrhage in putrefied bodies with PMCT. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology:online.

Abstract

This paper aims to demonstrate that post-mortem CT (PMCT) can locate intracranial hemorrhages, even in decomposed cases. This is of relevance in that post-mortem decomposition is particularly damaging to the brain tissue’s consistency, resulting in great difficulties to reliably diagnose and locate intracranial hemorrhages. We searched our case database of the last 11 years to find cases with decomposition of the body, where PMCT and an autopsy had been performed. We identified eleven cases according to these criteria. Postmortem interval ranged from 2 days to 2 weeks, and post-mortem radiological alteration index (RAI) was at or above 49. Eight out of eleven cases showed an intraparenchymal hemorrhage whereas the hemorrhage was extra-axial in the remaining three cases. Autopsy validated the presence of intracranial hemorrhage in all eleven cases, but location could not be confirmed due to liquid state of the brain. PMCT identified and localized intracranial hemorrhages in decomposed bodies, and in all of these cases, autopsy validated their presence. The actual cause of the hemorrhage (e.g. tumor, metastasis, vascular malformation, hypertensive hemorrhage) remained obscure. From this case series, it can be concluded that PMCT may add relevant information pertaining to localization of intracranial hemorrhages in decomposed bodies.

Abstract

This paper aims to demonstrate that post-mortem CT (PMCT) can locate intracranial hemorrhages, even in decomposed cases. This is of relevance in that post-mortem decomposition is particularly damaging to the brain tissue’s consistency, resulting in great difficulties to reliably diagnose and locate intracranial hemorrhages. We searched our case database of the last 11 years to find cases with decomposition of the body, where PMCT and an autopsy had been performed. We identified eleven cases according to these criteria. Postmortem interval ranged from 2 days to 2 weeks, and post-mortem radiological alteration index (RAI) was at or above 49. Eight out of eleven cases showed an intraparenchymal hemorrhage whereas the hemorrhage was extra-axial in the remaining three cases. Autopsy validated the presence of intracranial hemorrhage in all eleven cases, but location could not be confirmed due to liquid state of the brain. PMCT identified and localized intracranial hemorrhages in decomposed bodies, and in all of these cases, autopsy validated their presence. The actual cause of the hemorrhage (e.g. tumor, metastasis, vascular malformation, hypertensive hemorrhage) remained obscure. From this case series, it can be concluded that PMCT may add relevant information pertaining to localization of intracranial hemorrhages in decomposed bodies.

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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
510 Mathematics
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pathology and Forensic Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pathology and Forensic Medicine, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:25 August 2020
Deposited On:03 Sep 2020 08:02
Last Modified:04 Sep 2020 20:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1547-769X
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-020-00283-8
PubMed ID:32840712

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