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Common Postmortem Computed Tomography Findings Following Atraumatic Death: Differentiation between Normal Postmortem Changes and Pathologic Lesions

Masanori Ishida, Wataru Gonoi, Hidemi Okuma, Go Shirota, Yukako Shintani, Hiroyuki Abe, Yutaka Takazawa, Masashi Fukayama, Kuni Ohtomo
Korean Journal of Radiology: Official Journal of the Korean Radiological Society 2015, 16 (4): 798-809
Computed tomography (CT) is widely used in postmortem investigations as an adjunct to the traditional autopsy in forensic medicine. To date, several studies have described postmortem CT findings as being caused by normal postmortem changes. However, on interpretation, postmortem CT findings that are seemingly due to normal postmortem changes initially, may not have been mere postmortem artifacts. In this pictorial essay, we describe the common postmortem CT findings in cases of atraumatic in-hospital death and describe the diagnostic pitfalls of normal postmortem changes that can mimic real pathologic lesions.

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