Navigation Links
'Virtual autopsy' helps identify drowning as cause of death

"Virtual autopsy" performed with multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) can aid forensics teams in determining if a person has drowned, according to a study published in the June issue of Radiology.

MDCT is comparable to conventional autopsy in demonstrating airway froth and sediment that are indicative of drowning.

"Our findings show that MDCT can be used either to facilitate or reduce the need for conventional autopsy when drowning is the suspected cause of death," said lead author Angela D. Levy, M.D., from the Department of Radiology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

The determination of drowning as a cause of death for a body that is found in water is imperative in forensic investigation because becoming submerged in water may be a secondary rather than primary event. Autopsy findings that support the diagnosis of drowning include but are not limited to frothy fluid in the airways or lungs, hyperinflated and congested lungs, and fluid in the paranasal sinuses or stomach.

There are some advantages to virtual autopsy compared to conventional autopsy. In cases of suspicious death, the procedure does not damage or destroy key forensic evidence, as can happen during a conventional autopsy. In addition, MDCT can be used in situations where autopsy may not be feasible or is prohibited by religious beliefs. However, in most cases, MDCT would best be employed as an adjunct to routine autopsy.

Dr. Levy and colleagues performed total-body MDCT exams on 28 consecutive male drowning victims and a control group of 12 men who were victims of sudden death from coronary artery disease. Following MDCT, routine autopsies were performed.

MDCT images were evaluated for the presence of fluid and sediment in the paranasal sinuses and airways, fluid in the ear, frothy fluid in the airways, obscured "ground-glass" appearance or thickening in the lungs, and swelling, fluid or sediment in the stomach. Images were then compared to autopsy reports and photographs.

MDCT indicated that all of the drowning victims had fluid in the paranasal sinuses and ears and ground-glass opacity in the lungs. Twenty-six (93 percent) had fluid in the subglottic (below the vocal cords) trachea and main bronchi. Fourteen (50 percent) had sediment in the subglottic airways. Six (21 percent) had frothy fluid in the airways, and 25 (89 percent) had ground-glass opacity and thickening in the lungs. Twenty-five (89 percent) exhibited swelling of the stomach.

No members of the control group had frothy fluid or sediment in the airways or sinuses, 11 (92 percent) had subglottic airway, tracheal and bronchial fluid. All members of the control group exhibited collapsed stomachs.

Autopsy results in these categories were similar to MDCT results for both study groups.

"Airway froth and sediment can be demonstrated on MDCT and were specific to drowning, thereby replicating the findings seen at autopsy," said Dr. Levy.

Based on this study, MDCT may provide support for the diagnosis of drowning when other causes of death have been excluded by a limited autopsy or external examination of the body. In addition, MDCT virtual autopsy may be useful as a pre-autopsy triage tool in mass casualty scenarios.

"More and more, advanced imaging tools such as MDCT are being applied to forensic investigations," Dr. Levy said. "In the future, imaging in forensics may be just as important as imaging in clinical medicine."
'"/>

Source:Radiological Society of North America


Related biology news :

1. Virtual Patient to simulate real-time organ motions for radiation therapy
2. Jumping gene helps explain immune systems abilities
3. Protein helps regulate the genes of embryonic stem cells
4. Scientists reveal the shape of a protein that helps retroviruses break into cells
5. Thai spice helps cut blood sugar swings
6. Chemists synthesize molecule that helps body battle cancers, malaria
7. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
8. Massey Cancer Center researcher helps to identify a piece of the cancer puzzle
9. Study: Well-known protein helps stem cells become secretory cells
10. Beyond genes: Lipid helps cell wall protein fold into proper shape
11. Simple sea sponge helps scientists understand tissue rejection

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/20/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016 The rising ... rental and leasing is stoking significant interest in ... frequency technology, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics and ... the next wave of wireless technologies in the ... system to advanced access systems opens the market ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Dec. 16, 2016   IdentyTechSolutions America LLC ... products and solutions and a cutting-edge manufacturer of ... it is offering seamless, integrated solutions that comprise ... products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers with combined ... facilities from crime and theft. "We ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , December 15, 2016 Arvato ... an agreement with NuData Security, an award-winning international ... will enable clients to focus on good customer experience, balancing ... regulation. ... In order to provide a one-stop fraud prevention suite, Arvato ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Diego School of Medicine and St. Boniface Hospital ... treatments for peripheral neuropathy, an unmet health need ... in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, their results ... properties that prevent and reverse neuronal injury in ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... 2017 Noom Inc. , the ... to offer fully Spanish behavior change programs that ... diabetes prevention and healthy weight management programs ... lifestyle interventions among Hispanic Americans who are at ... food database, program-specific curriculum content and program features ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , ... January 17, 2017 ... ... surgeons at the 2016 annual meeting of the North American Spine Society ... for patients in the majority of cases, when PEEK-OPTIMA™ HA Enhanced is ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Diagenode, a leading ... a collaboration with the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center ... the company’s successful launch of its CATS (Capture and Amplification by Tailing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: