Postmortem computed tomography in victims of military air Mishaps: Radiological-Pathological correlation of CT findings

Gad Levy, Liav Goldstein, Arye Blachar, Sara Apter, Erez Barenboim, Yaron Bar-Dayan, Ari Shamis, Eli Atar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

A thorough medical inquiry is included in every aviation mishap investigation. While the gold standard of this investigation is a forensic pathology examination, numerous reports stress the important role of computed tomography in the postmortem evaluation of trauma victims. To characterize the findings identified by postmortem CT and compare its performance to conventional autopsy in victims of military aviation mishaps, we analyzed seven postmortem CT examinations. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 57.8% of the traumatic findings identified by postmortem CT. The most frequent findings were fractures of the rib (47%), skull (9.6%) and facial bones (8.6%). Abnormally located air accounted for 24% of findings, for which CT was superior (3.5% detected by autopsy, 100% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001). The performance of autopsy in detecting injuries was superior (autopsy detected 85.8% of all injuries, postmortem CT detected 53.9%, P < 0.001), especially in the detection of superficial lesions (100% detected by autopsy, 10.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001) and solid organ injuries (100% by autopsy, 18.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001). Performance in the detection of musculoskeletal injuries was similar (91.3% for autopsy, 90.3% for postmortem CT, P = not significant). Postmortem CT and autopsy have distinct performance profiles, and although the first cannot replace the latter it is a useful complementary examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-702
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume9
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autopsy
  • Aviation
  • Computed tomography
  • Postmortem
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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