An alternative approach to Computerized Tomography (CT) in forensic pathology

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Computerized Tomography (CT) is used by some forensic pathology departments as a supplement to the forensic autopsy. Departments with a limited number of autopsies may find it relatively expensive to acquire and operate a CT-scanner. Furthermore, it requires a great deal of training and experience to interpret the radiological data. We are currently evaluating CT in order to decide whether the benefits match the efforts. In selected death-investigations the Department of Radiology at Aarhus University Hospital performs CT of the body on behalf of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Aarhus University and a skilled radiologist interprets the data. We present our radiological findings in the 20 cases where we have used CT and compare them to the autopsy findings. The cases include fatalities from beatings, stabbings, gunshots, fires and traffic accidents. CT is an excellent tool for documenting and illustrating certain lesions, such as gunshot wounds and bone fractures, where we can obtain information that possibly would have been missed at the autopsy. We believe, however, that further research is required before we can recommend CT as a part of a standard forensic autopsy. The cooperation between forensic and radiological departments is a good approach for smaller forensic departments that insures a skilled interpretation without having to divert a lot of resources to equipment and training.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForensic Science International
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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