Sakugawa, H; Saito, A
The hospital autopsy rate in Japan dropped from 63.5 per cent in 1972 to 20.9 per cent in 1995. This reduction is attributable to declining interest by clinicians, surgeons and pathologists. The decline is a very serious problem, because the autopsy contributes to what has been called "quality control" of medical care. However, the method of autopsy should change along with advances in diagnostic technology or various changes in the circumstances surrounding medical practice. The most important problem at present is that autopsies require both time and effort. Delayed autopsy reports by pathologists may result in declined interest by clinicians and thus limit the benefits. To shorten the time delay for autopsy reports, clinicians must clarify their clinical questions concerning the deceased patient so that pathologists can readily identify the patients' problems and determine the causes more promptly, clearly and diplomatically. Other suggestions for improvement include the following: the reports should be simpler; the concept that all autopsies must be complete should be eliminated; a hospital accreditor must emphasize that clinicians intend to gain more precise diagnoses by obtaining post-mortem tissues of various organs using biopsy instruments. In addition, communication between pathologists and clinicians must be active to determine the pathogenesis of disease. PMID:10067363
Nemetz, P. N.; Ludwig, J.; Kurland, L. T.
This study outlines the role of autopsies in medical practice and health policy, details the nature and reason for declining rates, including those in Rochester, Minnesota, and suggests possible remedial measures to halt or reverse this trend. It is concluded that one of the principal impediments to reversing the declining rate of autopsies is what is referred to in Economics as "market failure." In particular, the nature of the spatial and temporal distribution of costs and benefits has precluded the existence of an incentive structure which can lead to a realization of the major net social benefits from the autopsy. Ultimately, it is only the explicit recognition by the medical profession, government agencies, corporate insurers, and the general public of the nature and significance of this market failure and foregone benefits which can lead to remediation. PMID:3113257
Lugli, A; Lugli, A Kopp; Horcic, M
In 1821 Napoleon died in exile on the Island of St. Helena. Although the autopsy had suggested stomach cancer as the cause of death, in 1961 an elevated arsenic concentration was found in Napoleon's hair. This finding elicited numerous theories of conspiracy, treachery, and poisoning. Most recent reports even suggested inappropriate medical treatment may have contributed to the exiled Emperor's death. Napoleon's apparent obesity at the time of his demise was interpreted as a strong argument against stomach cancer as the cause of death; however, his weight changes over the course of his life, noticeable from the contemporary iconography, have not been systematically analyzed. To test the hypothesis that Napoleon's weight at death could be compatible with a diagnosis of terminal gastric cancer, we performed several studies to determine: a) Napoleon's weight at death; and b) the changes of his weight during the last 20 years of his life. Our weight modeling was based on the collection of 12 different pairs of trousers worn by Napoleon between 1800 and 1821, the year of his death. Modeling trouser sizes with control data suggested a weight increase from 67 kg to 90 kg by 1820. The trousers worn at the time of death suggested a subsequent weight loss of 11 kg (to 79 kg) during the last year of his life. This weight was confirmed by a second modeling approach based on the subcutaneous fat measurement performed at autopsy (1.5 inches) and a control group of 270 men dying from various causes. This provides a reasonable validation for both weight measurement methods. Napoleon's terminal weight loss of more than 10 kg is suggestive of a severe progressive chronic illness and is highly consistent with a diagnosis of gastric cancer. PMID:15891990
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Autopsies. 17.170 Section 17.170 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Autopsies § 17.170 Autopsies. (a) Except as provided in this section, no autopsy will be performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs unless there is no...
The subject of perinatal autopsy is not frequently seen in the literature. Perinatal loss, particularly stillbirth, frequently remains unexplained, despite current technology and diagnostic procedures. Parents may automatically refuse an autopsy, despite the potentially valuable information it could provide about the current pregnancy and subsequent pregnancies and despite the possible comfort the results could provide for relatives. Other reasons for declining an autopsy could be cultural or religious prohibitions. In addition, healthcare providers sometimes lack the knowledge of circumstances under which a postmortem examination is permitted, and fail to use culturally sensitive and culturally competent discussions about the reasons a postmortem examination is important and permissible. This purpose of this article is to provide information on selected cultural and religious groups to assist the nurse who is seeking consent for a perinatal autopsy. PMID:17356412
Postmortem examinations have been performed for centuries (King and Meehan, Am J Pathol 73(2): 514-541, 1973; Burton, The history of the autopsy. Hodder Arnold, Hachette UK, London, pp 1-10, 2010) and have a long and venerable tradition, one which is sadly on the decline worldwide (Underwood, The future of the autopsy. Hodder Arnold, Hachette UK, London, pp 11-17, 2010; Nemetz et al., Mayo Clin Proc 64:1065-2076, 1989; Kaplan, Hum Pathol 9(2):127-129, 1978; Roberts, N Engl J Med 299:332-337, 1978; Haber, Arch Pathol Lab Med 120:714-717, 1996; AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, Arch Pathol Lab Med 120:721-726, 1996; Sanner, Arch Pathol Lab Med 118:878-883, 1994; Robinson, Hum Pathol 14(7):566-568, 1983). One of the reasons cited for the decline in postmortem examinations is new imaging techniques such as computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. The advent of these new diagnostic procedures has not resulted in obsolescence of the relatively low-cost, high-yield autopsy examination (Goldman et al., N Engl J Med 308:1000-1005, 1983). The procedure for performance of an autopsy, using the Zenker method (Volmar, History of autopsy technique. College of American Pathologists, Northfield, IL, pp 18-19, 2003), is described, in addition to the content and format of the written report. PMID:25015147
Turnbull, Angus; Osborn, Michael; Nicholas, Nick
Aim To determine the hospital autopsy rate for the UK in 2013. Methods A study of data from a ‘Freedom of Information’ request to all (n=186) acute NHS Trusts within England (n=160), NHS Boards in Scotland (n=14) and Wales (n=7) and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland (n=5). Hospital autopsy rates were calculated from the number of hospital autopsies performed in 2013 as a percentage of total inpatient deaths in the Trust that year. Results The UK response rate was 99% (n=184), yielding a mean autopsy rate of 0.69%. The mean rates were 0.51% (England), 2.13% (Scotland), 0.65% (Wales) and 0.46% (Northern Ireland). 23% (n=38) of all included respondents had a rate of 0% and 86% (n=143) a rate less than 1%. Conclusions The decline in hospital autopsy has continued relentlessly and, for better or for worse, the practice is on the verge of extinction in the UK. The study highlights to health professionals and policy makers the magnitude of this decline. Further research should investigate the impact of this on patient safety, clinical audit, public health and medical education. PMID:26076965
Türkmen, Nursel; Eren, Bülent; Erkol, Zerrin
Traumatic asphyxia is a form of asphyxia where respiration is prevented by external pressure on the body. A 19-year-old man was found by relatives compressed by motorboat in the garage. The death was investigated by the prosecutor; body was taken to the Morgue Department for performing autopsy. On gross physical examination; the face, neck and upper part of the chest were congested and many petechiae were observed on the conjunctivae, but not in low extremities. Autopsy macroscopic examination of lungs revealed congestion, sub pleural superficial bleeding areas. In the presented case death was reported as traumatic asphyxia by thorax compression without other lethal factors. PMID:26585308
Dick, Timothy T.; Watson, Jason
Introductory biology laboratory experiences frequently rely on preserved chordates for anatomical study. Unfortunately, these preserved organisms rarely reflect the appearance of a living creature. Since community colleges are generally prohibited the use of live chordates, this paper describes the autopsy of a "road kill" squirrel to facilitate…
... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Autopsy; biopsy. 718.106 Section 718.106... PNEUMOCONIOSIS Criteria for the Development of Medical Evidence § 718.106 Autopsy; biopsy. (a) A report of an autopsy or biopsy submitted in connection with a claim shall include a detailed gross macroscopic...
Hasson, J; Schneiderman, H
Autopsy rates have decreased from a peak of 41.1% in 1964 to less than 5% in many hospitals today. This disaster has stimulated many symposia and articles on the values of the autopsy, the reasons for its fall, and possible remedies. The many benefits of the autopsy include quality assessment of clinical diagnoses; added knowledge about new diseases, environmental hazards, and genetic disorders; and evaluation of new technologies. The autopsy is also a powerful educational tool. The main reasons for its decline include fear of medical litigation and professional discreditation due to unexpected findings, the unsubstantiated notion that technologic advances have rendered the autopsy obsolete, cost-cutting pressures, and inadequate compensation for pathologists. This essay addresses a remedy for another major contributing problem: clinicians' frustration at poorly performed autopsies due to defective training of autopsy pathologists. Requirements for excellent autopsy training programs include an intensive review of anatomy applied to dissection methods, including sequences of dissection; direct supervision of early cases by a competent and responsible senior pathologist at the autopsy table, with full responsibility assigned to the trainee only after completion of this apprenticeship; review of all cases with clinical staff at regularly scheduled gross organ conferences; and a sustained commitment by department heads to make necessary programmatic changes to meet these standards. Pathologists must demonstrate pursuit of excellence in performance of the autopsy before other ambitious elements are sought for its revival. PMID:7887788
Pankowski, Rafał; Wilmanowska, Anita; Gos, Tomasz; Smoczyński, Andrzej
We reviewed the autopsy records of 1872 cases of death because of politrauma, gunshot wounds and suicidal hanging. The analysis included causes and frequency of cervical spine fractures, their most common localisation, architecture of bone destruction and their influence on cervical cord. The most common cause of cervical spine injury was motor vehicle accidents. We examined 82 specimens with traumatic fractures of cervical spine obtained from accident victims. About half of the injuries occurred in upper cervical spine. The most common fracture localisation was C2 with dens fracture as the most frequent injury. The most common spinal cord lesion was complete rupture mainly at the upper cervical spine level. PMID:14564791
Tan, Geok Chin; Hayati, Abdul Rahman; Khong, Teck Yee
Our objectives were to determine the perinatal autopsy rate in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia and to quantify the value of the perinatal autopsy. All stillbirths, miscarriages, therapeutic abortions, and neonatal deaths between January 1, 2004, and August 31, 2009, were identified from the archives. The autopsy findings were compared with the clinical diagnoses. The autopsy reports were also reviewed to determine if it would be possible to improve the quality of the autopsies. There were 807 perinatal deaths, of which 36 (4.5%) included an autopsy. There were ethnic differences in the rate of autopsy, with the lowest rate among the Malays. The autopsy provided the diagnosis, changed the clinical diagnosis, or revealed additional findings in 58.3% of cases. Ancillary testing, such as microbiology, chromosomal analysis, and biochemistry, could improve the quality of the autopsy. This study provides further data on the perinatal autopsy rate from an emerging and developing country. It reaffirms the value of the perinatal autopsy. Attempts must be made to improve on the low autopsy rate while recognizing that the performance of autopsies can be enhanced through the use of ancillary testing. PMID:20367214
Talamo, T S; Losos, F J; Kessler, G F
Storage and coding of anatomic pathology data usually is accomplished by expensive main frame systems. The authors of this article have developed a microcomputer based program package for autopsy pathology which stores patient demographic data, provisional or final anatomic diagnoses, and coded diagnoses obtained from an on-line Systematized Nomenclature of Pathology (SNOP) code lexicon. The system includes limited text editor functions as well as rapid data retrieval with the generation of final reports. Data files containing SNOP codes and diagnoses are searched easily by a variety of parameters, making data retrieval of autopsy material simple and efficient. PMID:10254292
... 42 Public Health 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Payment for autopsy. 37.202 Section 37.202 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE AND EXAMINATIONS SPECIFICATIONS FOR MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF UNDERGROUND COAL MINERS Autopsies § 37.202 Payment for autopsy....
... 42 Public Health 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Payment for autopsy. 37.202 Section 37.202 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE AND EXAMINATIONS SPECIFICATIONS FOR MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF UNDERGROUND COAL MINERS Autopsies § 37.202 Payment for autopsy....
... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Payment for autopsy. 37.202 Section 37.202 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE AND EXAMINATIONS SPECIFICATIONS FOR MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF UNDERGROUND COAL MINERS Autopsies § 37.202 Payment for autopsy....
... 42 Public Health 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Payment for autopsy. 37.202 Section 37.202 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE AND EXAMINATIONS SPECIFICATIONS FOR MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF UNDERGROUND COAL MINERS Autopsies § 37.202 Payment for autopsy....
... 42 Public Health 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Payment for autopsy. 37.202 Section 37.202 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE AND EXAMINATIONS SPECIFICATIONS FOR MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF COAL MINERS Autopsies § 37.202 Payment for autopsy. (a) The...
... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Authority to conduct autopsies. 549.80 Section 549.80 Judicial Administration BUREAU OF PRISONS, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT MEDICAL SERVICES Authority To Conduct Autopsies § 549.80 Authority to conduct autopsies. (a) The...
Scheja, Max; Hult, Håkan; Wernerson, Annika
Objectives To explore medical students’ experiences of an emotionally challenging learning situation: the autopsy. Methods Qualitative data were collected by means of written accounts from seventeen students after their first and third autopsies and a group interview with seven students after their first autopsy. Data was interpreted using inductive thematic analysis. Results Students experienced the autopsy in three ways: as an unnatural situation, as a practical exercise, and as a way to learn how pathologists work. Most students found the situation unpleasant, but some were overwhelmed. Their experiences were characterised by strong unpleasant emotions and closeness to the situation. The body was perceived as a human being, recently alive. Students who experienced the autopsy as a practical exercise saw it mainly as a part of the course and their goal was to learn anatomy and pathology. They seemed to objectify the body and distanced themselves from the situation. Students who approached the autopsy as a way to learn how pathologists work concentrated on professional aspects of the autopsy. The body was perceived as a patient rather than as a biological specimen. Conclusions Autopsies are emotionally challenging learning situations. If students attend autopsies, they need to participate in several autopsies in order to learn about procedures and manifestations of pathological changes. Students need opportunities to discuss their experiences afterwards, and teachers need to be aware of how different students perceive the autopsies, and guide students through the procedure. Our findings emphasize the importance of investigating emotional aspects of medical education.
Warth, Arne; Goeppert, Benjamin; Bopp, Christian; Schirmacher, Peter; Flechtenmacher, Christa; Burhenne, Jürgen
We report the case of a 72-year-old man who died in septic shock following pancreatectomy. At autopsy, organs were discoloured with a rapid colour change from turquoise to dark green, especially of the myocardium. The patient had received 200 mg methylene blue (MB), i.v., for treatment of septic shock 90 min prior to death. Analysis of tissue samples by liquid extraction and liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry demonstrated different concentrations of MB and its metabolites azure A and B in the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Our findings clearly demonstrate the relation of MB administration and organ discolouration at autopsy and shed a new light on MB distribution and accumulation in septic shock. PMID:19189125
Chatelain, Denis; Manaouil, Cécile; Marc, Bernard; Ricard, Jannick; Brevet, Marie; Montpellier, Dominique; Defouilloy, Christian; Jardé, Olivier
We report a case of fatal Hirschsprung's disease (HD) discovered at autopsy. A 20-year-old man collapsed at home. Emergency medical personnel found him in cardiac arrest and all resuscitative efforts failed. He had a past history of chronic constipation since infancy. Forensic autopsy revealed a megacolon full of gas and stools. Microscopic examination showed absence of ganglion cells in a short segment of the rectum and enterocolitis in the left and transverse colon. HD is rarely described in adults. In many cases, patients complained of constipation since infancy but the affection remained misdiagnosed. The relative good tolerance of the disease is usually due to a short aganglionic bowel segment. Enterocolitis is a frequent and severe complication of HD in children but is rarely described in adults. This case suggests the importance of HD diagnosis in childhood in order to avoid fatal complications with forensic consequences. PMID:17018101
Maier, R D; Althoff, H
The development of a dissection register for Legal medicine well differentiated and considering special requirement of the subject was not achieved in history because of complexity of post mortem findings in many cases. Realizing that an all satisfying concept failed we looked for the possibility of using electronic data processing for rapid and flourish collection of autopsy results not requiring much time for the coroner. Based on personal computer software "dBase" a database program was developed easy to handle using different forms asking for characteristic circumstances of the case and essential post mortem findings. Short codes for locations and ascertainments were chosen to enable rapid selection of interesting statements as far as handling for statistical evaluations later on. Less then 10 minutes are needed for recording post mortem results in this way short time after autopsy. PMID:2220128
Vimercati, Antonella; Grasso, Silvana; Abruzzese, Marinella; Chincoli, Annarosa; de Gennaro, Alessandra; Miccolis, Angela; Serio, Gabriella; Selvaggi, Luigi; Fascilla, Fabiana Divina
Summary Objective to compare ultrasound (US) and autopsy findings of fetal malformations in second trimester terminations of pregnancy to evaluate the degree of agreement between US and fetal autopsy. Methods in this study, all second trimester termination of pregnancy between 2003–2010 were considered. US and autopsy findings were compared and all cases were classified into five categories according to the degree of agreement between US and pathology (A1: full agreement between US and autopsy; A2: autopsy confirmed all US findings but revealed additional anomalies ‘rarely detectable’ prenatally; B: autopsy demonstrated all US findings but revealed additional anomalies ‘detectable’ prenatally; C: US findings were only partially demonstrated at fetal autopsy; D: total disagreement between US and autopsy). Results 144 cases were selected. In 49% of cases there was total agreement between US and autopsy diagnosis (A1). In 22% of cases additional information were about anomalies ‘not detectable’ by US (A2). In 12% of cases autopsy provided additional information about anomalies not observed but ‘detectable’ by US (B). In 13% of cases some anomalies revealed at US, such as valve insufficiencies, pericardial and pleural effusions, were not verified at autopsy (C). Total lack of agreement was noted only in 4% of cases (D). Main areas of disagreement concerned cardiovascular, CNS and complex malformations. The degree of agreement was higher if malformations were diagnosed in a tertiary center. Conclusions this study shows an overall high degree of agreement between definitive US and autopsy findings in second trimester termination of pregnancy for fetal malformations. Autopsy reveals to be the best tool to diagnose malformations and often showed other abnormalities of clinical importance not detected by US, but sometimes also US could provide additional information about functional anomalies because US is a dynamic examination. PMID:22905306
Hill, R B; Anderson, R E
The use of autopsy in medical practice in the United States has declined drastically over the past 25 years. Physicians conduct post-mortem examinations on less than 12 percent of persons who die in hospitals and on proportionally far fewer people who die at home. Without due assessment of causes of death, pathologists lose opportunities to conduct critical diagnostic exercises, and society fails to obtain accurate health statistics. Medical practitioners, legislators, insurers, and the public should consider diverse features of a national policy for assuring that sufficient numbers of autopsies are competently performed and their findings appropriately employed. PMID:2034185
Pacqué-Margolis, S; Pacqué, M; Dukuly, Z; Boateng, J; Taylor, H R
During a community-based treatment trial of onchocerciasis with ivermectin, verbal autopsies were employed as one method to assess the safety of the drug. The verbal autopsy questionnaire was designed to determine causes of death and mortality differentials in the treated population. During the 8 months of surveillance here reported, 25 individuals died, yet only 9 of these deaths were certified. Seven of the deaths occurred to individuals who had been treated with ivermectin and the majority of the deaths occurred to children under 5, who were excluded from treatment. The verbal autopsy method was evaluated and validated by comparing the verbal autopsy diagnosis of cause of death to death certificate diagnosis, when available. In addition, verbal autopsies were retrospectively performed for all deaths which had occurred at the hospital during the 6 months preceding the start of the study, if these deaths were traceable to households in the surveillance population. We found that in 80% of the adult deaths, the verbal autopsy and death certificate diagnoses of underlying cause of death agreed. The verbal autopsy was less accurate in diagnosing child deaths which we attribute to the design of the verbal autopsy (being to detect potential drug related deaths in adults) and to the delay between death and interview. We conclude that verbal autopsies are an important addition to surveillance systems in remote areas where the absence or inadequacy of health information systems does not allow a thorough follow-up of all subjects in drug studies. PMID:2218641
Ernst, Linda M
The perinatal autopsy is an important tool in the investigation of fetal and neonatal death, and a complete understanding of its risks and benefits is necessary for providers of perinatal care. This review, from the perspective of a perinatal pathologist, reports the details of the autopsy procedure, its goals, its value to individual patients and the health care system in general, and its alternatives. Even with new emerging technologies, the conventional perinatal autopsy remains the gold standard for determining the cause of death and the final summary of all pathologic findings. Therefore, the information provided in this review can help providers properly convey information about perinatal autopsy to bereaved families. PMID:25511296
Medicolegal autopsy should be carried out for all unnatural deaths to ascertain facts pertaining to death. A retrospective 5-year study was carried out by the Forensic Medicine and Medicolegal Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Riau to describe the profile of medicolegal autopsies in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. There were 613 unnatural deaths and 73 (11.9%) medicolegal autopsies recorded between 2007 and 2011. The number of unnatural deaths showed a decreasing trend whereas the number of medicolegal autopsies increased over the years. The percentage of unnatural deaths subjected to medicolegal autopsy varied between 2.2% and 23.1% per year. Of the 73 medicolegal autopsy subjects, 68.5% (n = 50) were male and 31.5% (n = 23) females. The ages of victims ranged from newborn babies to 72 years, with a median of 28 years. 61.6% of cases were in the 20-39 years age-group. Sixty (82.2%) had unnatural deaths. The leading cause of death was blunt force (30.1%) and sharp force (20.5%). Homicide was the predominant manner of death. Our study highlights that the main interest of the police in requesting a medicolegal autopsy is for investigation of homicide. Recognizing that autopsy has an important role in the investigation of unnatural deaths, further studies should be carried out to understand the factors that impact on the low percentage of medicolegal autopsies in unnatural deaths, so that solutions may be found for the future. PMID:23424774
Wallace, A B; Bush, V
A 69 year old male was treated with an ablative dose of 3.7 GBq (100 mCi) of I131 for carcinoma of the thyroid and died 10 days after administration. The requirement for an autopsy and the level of radiation still present in the body necessitated the intervention of Radiation Safety Personnel to minimise support staff radiation exposure and area contamination. Preventative measures were taken in accordance with the ALARA principle and a detailed procedure is presented as a suggested model for any future occurrence. PMID:1747080
Kandasamy, Yogavijayan; Kilcullen, Meegan; Watson, David
Over the past 30 years, the perinatal mortality rate (PMR) in Australia has been reduced to almost a quarter of that observed in the 1970s. To a large extent, this decline in the PMR has been driven by a reduction in neonatal mortality. Stillbirth rates have, however, remained relatively unchanged, and stillbirth rates for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers have remained approximately twice that for non-Indigenous women over the last 10 years. The causes for this difference remain to be fully established. Fetal autopsy is the single most important investigative tool to determine the cause of fetal demise. While facilitators and barriers to gaining consent for autopsy have been identified in a non-Indigenous context, these are yet to be established for Indigenous families. In order to address the gap in stillbirths between Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers, it is essential to identify culturally appropriate ways when approaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families for consent after fetal death. Culturally safe and appropriate counselling at this time provides the basis for respectful care to families while offering an opportunity to gain knowledge to reduce the PMR. Identifying the cause of preventable stillbirth is an important step in narrowing the disparity in stillbirth rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers. PMID:27250705
Soleman, Nadia; Chandramohan, Daniel; Shibuya, Kenji
Cause-of-death data derived from verbal autopsy (VA) are increasingly used for health planning, priority setting, monitoring and evaluation in countries with incomplete or no vital registration systems. In some regions of the world it is the only method available to obtain estimates on the distribution of causes of death. Currently, the VA method is routinely used at over 35 sites, mainly in Africa and Asia. In this paper, we present an overview of the VA process and the results of a review of VA tools and operating procedures used at demographic surveillance sites and sample vital registration systems. We asked for information from 36 field sites about field-operating procedures and reviewed 18 verbal autopsy questionnaires and 10 cause-of-death lists used in 13 countries. The format and content of VA questionnaires, field-operating procedures, cause-of-death lists and the procedures to derive causes of death from VA process varied substantially among sites. We discuss the consequences of using varied methods and conclude that the VA tools and procedures must be standardized and reliable in order to make accurate national and international comparisons of VA data. We also highlight further steps needed in the development of a standard VA process. PMID:16583084
Kondo, Takeshi; Takahashi, Motonori; Watanabe, Seiya; Ebina, Masatomo; Mizu, Daisuke; Ariyoshi, Koichi; Asano, Migiwa; Nagasaki, Yasushi; Ueno, Yasuhiro
Ingestion of large amounts of zinc chloride causes corrosive gastroenteritis with vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Some individuals experience shock after ingesting large amounts of zinc chloride, resulting in fatality. Here, we present the results of an administrative autopsy performed on a 70-year-old man who ingested zinc chloride solution and died. After drinking the solution, he developed vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, and called for an ambulance. Except for tachycardia, his vital signs were stable at presentation. However, he developed hypotension and severe metabolic acidosis and died. The patient's blood zinc concentration on arrival was high at 3030μg/dL. Liver cirrhosis with cloudy yellow ascites was observed, however, there were no clear findings of gastrointestinal perforation. The gastric mucosa was gray-brown, with sclerosis present in all gastric wall layers. Zinc staining was strongly positive in all layers. There was almost no postmortem degeneration of the gastric mucosal epithelium, and hypercontracture of the smooth muscle layer was observed. Measurement of the zinc concentration in the organs revealed the highest concentration in the gastric mucosa, followed by the pancreas and spleen. Clinically, corrosive gastroenteritis was the cause of death. However, although autopsy revealed solidification in the esophagus and gastric mucosa, there were no findings in the small or large intestine. Therefore, metabolic acidosis resulting from organ damage was the direct cause of death. PMID:27497327
Shkrum, Michael James; Kent, Jessica
Any autopsy has safety and risk management issues, which can arise in the preautopsy, autopsy, and postautopsy phases. The London Health Sciences Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Autopsy Checklist was developed to address these issues. The current study assessed 1 measure of autopsy safety: the effectiveness of the checklist in documenting pathologists' communication of the actual or potential risk of blood-borne infections to support staff. Autopsy checklists for cases done in 2012 and 2013 were reviewed. The frequency of communication, as recorded in checklists, by pathologists to staff of previously diagnosed blood-borne infections (hepatitis B/C and human immunodeficiency virus) or the risk of infection based on lifestyle (eg, intravenous drug abuse) was tabulated. These data were compared with medical histories of the deceased and circumstances of their deaths described in the final autopsy reports. Information about blood-borne infections was recorded less frequently in the checklists compared with the final reports. Of 4 known human immunodeficiency virus cases, there was no checklist documentation in 3. All 11 hand injuries were documented. None of these cases had known infectious risks. The Autopsy Checklist is a standardized means of documenting safety and risk issues arising during the autopsy process, but its effectiveness relies on accurate completion. PMID:27356015
This article analyzes the relevance of autopsy issues for German Federal Republic transplantation legislation until 1997 against the background of legal traditions and the distribution of constitutional legislative powers. It is based on Federal Ministry of Justice records and German Parliament documents on transplantation legislation. Transplantation and autopsy legislation started with close ties in the 1970s. Viewing transplantation legislation as relevant for future autopsy regulation contributed to the decision to stall transplantation legislation, because the interests of the federal government and the medical profession converged to avoid subsequent restrictions on the practice of conducting autopsies and procuring tissues for transplantation. Sublegal norms were insufficient for the prosecution of the organ trade and area-wide transplantation regulation after the reunification of Germany. In contrast to autopsy issues, legislative power for transplantation issues was extended to the federal level by an amendment to the constitution, allowing decision making for Germany as a whole. PMID:25557516
Stempsey, William E
Understanding the decline in the autopsy rate can be furthered through analysis of Foucault's idea of the medical gaze and the ancient Greek idea of theoria. The medical gaze has shifted over time from the surface of the body to the inner organs to the cellular and subcellular levels. Physicians and loved ones of the deceased person are not likely to "gaze" at the same levels. Patients' loved ones might not theorize as physicians do; they have different interests, which suggest the need for more attention to informed consent for autopsies. Responding to this need should take priority over efforts to increase the autopsy rate, and it can also be seen as an opportunity to improve autopsy and autopsy consent practices. PMID:27550568
Mitchell, E K; Prior, J T
A litany of reasons have been advanced to account for the decrease in hospital autopsy rates. Increased attention has recently been centered on the difficulty hospital and medical examiner morgues are encountering in controlling infectious disease and attempting to comply with federal and state environmental regulatory agencies. The problem has been highlighted by autopsy examinations upon increased numbers of immuno-compromised patients harboring both the HIV and secondary drug resistant tuberculosis organisms. These developments occur at a time when there are budgetary restraints on hospitals and medical examiners' offices facing large expenditures involving morgue reconstruction to comply with ventilatory and infection control procedures mandated by state and federal agencies. Challenging, also, are the liability aspects, as patients and staff are potentially exposed to a variety of infectious agents. A possible solution is presented involving central off-hospital site facilities to which hospital autopsies can be funneled. A community morgue meeting the strict standards of infection control would allow economy of scale from daily use with a full time support staff trained in the protocol of infectious disease control. PMID:8550871
Arslan, Murat Nihat; Özgün, Ayşe; Daş, Taner; Kumru, Durmuş; Şam, Bülent; Koç, Sermet
Colchicine is derived from Colchicum autumnale and Gloriosa superba and is used to treat acute gout and familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). Musculoskeletal adverse effects range from myopathy to rhabdomyolysis. An 18-year-old woman, with a 2-year history of FMF treated with colchicine, took 9 colchicine pills (4.5 mg) to relieve severe abdominal pain. On the sixth day of hospitalization, the patient's condition worsened, and she died. As this was a case of fatal poisoning, a forensic autopsy was performed, and the cause of death was determined to be complications of muscle destruction due to colchicine intoxication with the findings of myocytolysis, positive antimyoglobin antibody staining kidney tubules. Colchicine toxicity begins with gastrointestinal symptoms. Multiorgan effects follow the gastrointestinal effects. Serious outcomes of colchicine toxicity are rhabdomyolysis, bone marrow suppression, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. In chronic diseases that require lifelong treatment with medications, adverse effects can arise with long periods of use. Our patient had been treated for FMF with colchicine for 2 years but took too many colchicine pills to relieve her severe abdominal pain. Warning patients about the effects of high doses of drugs and providing information about their toxic effects and what to do "in case" of overuse could be lifesaving. PMID:27049658
Giordano, G; Corradi, D; D'Adda, T; Melissari, M
Defects in mitochondrial enzymes, such as pyruvate dehydrogenase and cytochrome oxidase, cause hereditary disorders which lead to modifications in cellular pH due to the accumulation of pyruvate and lactic acid. Mitochondrial diseases include severe neonatal diseases and less severe forms of adult diseases. We report the case of lactic acidosis in a newborn girl who was delivered at 36 weeks of gestation and who died 3 months after birth. Her family history revealed a relative with tetraparesis and mental retardation. Her clinical findings, such as tonic-clonic convulsions and accumulation of pyruvate and lactic acid in blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid, were refractory to treatment and developed soon after birth. Ultrasound scans of the brain some days before death revealed cerebral atrophy with ventricular dilatation and thinning of the corpus callosum and septum pellucidum. The clinical diagnosis of metabolic lactic acidosis was confirmed by macroscopic, microscopic and ultrastructural findings seen at autopsy. On macroscopic examination, the heart was hypertrophic, and the brain was atrophic with ventricular dilatation and thinning of corpus callosum. Small cystic lesions were present in the basal ganglia. On microscopic examination, the latter were characterized by loss of neurons, gliosis and capillary proliferation. Ultrastructural examination of the heart and skeletal muscle showed lysis of myofibrils, mitochondrial pleomorphism and hyperplasia, and crystalline inclusion in mitochondria and in the matrix compartment. In reporting this case, we emphasize the importance of accurate postmortem examination and clinical data for the diagnosis of metabolic lactic acidosis. PMID:11294018
Tester, David J.; Ackerman, Michael J.
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is one of the most common causes of death in developed countries, with most SCDs involving the elderly, and structural heart disease evident at autopsy. Each year, however, thousands of sudden deaths involving individuals younger than 35 years of age remain unexplained after a comprehensive medicolegal investigation that includes an autopsy. In fact, several epidemiologic studies have estimated that at least 3% and up to 53% of sudden deaths involving previously healthy children, adolescents, and young adults show no morphologic abnormalities identifiable at autopsy. Cardiac channelopathies associated with structurally normal hearts such as long QT syndrome (LQTS), catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), and Brugada syndrome (BrS) yield no evidence to be found at autopsy, leaving coroners, medical examiners, and forensic pathologists only to speculate that a lethal arrhythmia might lie at the heart of a sudden unexplained death (SUD). In cases of autopsy-negative SUD, continued investigation through either a cardiologic and genetic evaluation of first- or second-degree relatives or a molecular autopsy may elucidate the underlying mechanism contributing to the sudden death and allow for identification of living family members with the pathogenic substrate that renders them vulnerable, with an increased risk for cardiac events including syncope, cardiac arrest, and sudden death. PMID:22307399
Takao, Masaki; Hirose, Nobuyoshi; Arai, Yasumichi; Mihara, Ban; Mimura, Masaru
Supercentenarians (aged 110 years old or more) are extremely rare in the world population (the number of living supercentenarians is estimated as 47 in the world), and details about their neuropathological information are limited. Based on previous studies, centenarians (aged 100-109 years old) exhibit several types of neuropathological changes, such as Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body disease pathology, primary age-related tauopathy, TDP-43 pathology, and hippocampal sclerosis. In the present study, we provide results from neuropathological analyses of four supercentenarian autopsy cases using conventional and immunohistochemical analysis for neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, we focused on the pathology of Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body disease, as well as the status of hippocampal sclerosis, TDP-43 pathology, aging-related tau astrogliopathy, and cerebrovascular diseases. Three cases were characterized as an "intermediate" level of Alzheimer's disease changes (NIA-AA guideline) and one was characterized as primary age-related tauopathy. TDP-43 deposits were present in the hippocampus in two cases. Neither Lewy body pathology nor hippocampal sclerosis was observed. Aging-related tau astrogliopathy was consistently observed, particularly in the basal forebrain. Small vessel diseases were also present, but they were relatively mild for cerebral amyloid-beta angiopathy and arteriolosclerosis. Although our study involved a small number of cases, the results provide a better understanding about human longevity. Neuropathological alterations associated with aging were mild to moderate in the supercentenarian brain, suggesting that these individuals might have some neuroprotective factors against aging. Future prospective studies and extensive molecular analyses are needed to determine the mechanisms of human longevity. PMID:27590044
Chatelain, Denis; Brevet, Marie; Guernou, Malika; Manaouil, Cécile; Leclercq, Fabienne; Bruniau, Alexis; Cordonnier, Carole; Sevestre, Henri
We have reviewed the pathological reports of adult necropsies performed in Amiens hospital during the 1975-2005 period. 1,639 autopsies were performed in 1,049 men and 590 women. We distinguished three periods: 1975-1987 (period 1) with a high number of autopsies (86/year), 1988-1996 (period 2) with a huge decrease of autopsies performed (43/year) and 1997-2005 (period 3) with few autopsies performed (14/year). Patients were younger during period 3, 38% were less than 50 years old versus 26% and 29% during periods 1 and 2. The sex ratio M/F increased during period 3 (2.7 versus 1.7 and 1.9 during periods 1 and 2). Period 3 showed an increase of major diagnoses discovered during autopsies (36% versus 28% of autopsies performed during periods 1 and 2) and showed an increase of autopsies performed after iatrogenic events (20% versus 12% and 13% of autopsies of periods 1 and 2). Period 3 showed an increase of the delay between the death of patients and autopsy and a decrease of the delay of transmission of pathological reports. 2% of autopsies were never answered by the pathologists. In conclusion, our study confirms the major decline of autopsies during the last 30 years. Patients autopsied are currently young men and the autopsies are more frequently performed in potential forensic circumstances. Selection biases explain that major diagnoses are more frequently found at autopsies nowadays than 30 years ago. PMID:18185448
Schwechheimer, K; Hashemian, A
Since 1972 organ transplantations of kidney, bone marrow, liver, heart and lung have been performed at the University Hospital of Essen, Germany. Out of 2535 transplantations until September 1993, autopsies were performed in 157 patients In 25 patients (15.9%) neuropathologic findings (n = 26) were found. In 97 autopsies after bone marrow transplantation, 9 patients (9.3%) exhibited a severe neuropathologic alteration. In six patients (6/9; 66.6%), necrotisizing toxoplasmose encephalitis was found. Other cases showed a septic-metastatic mycotic encephalitis with crypto-coccus neoformans and candida albicans (n = 2) and leucemia infiltrates (n = 1). Massive cerebral hemorrhage was the most frequent neuropathologic finding after liver (4/8) and kidney transplantation (3/6). In addition liver-transplanted patients exhibited septic-metastatic encephalitis (3/8) and embolic brain infarct (1/8) as well as cerebral metastases (2/6) and primary malignant cerebral lymphoma in kidney transplantation (1/6). CNS findings in five autopsies after heart-lung-transplantation were diverse. They comprised intracerebral hemorrhage, intravasal lymphoma and septic-metastatic encephalitis, respectively. In summary, neuropathologic autopsy findings after organ transplantation are diverse and preferentially comprise infections, cerebral hemorrhages, and malignant lymphomas. After bone marrow transplantation, the most frequent neuropathologic autopsy finding was toxoplasmose encephalitis and massive cerebral hemorrhages after liver and kidney transplantations. PMID:8542505
Lazda, E J; Brown, D C
Low autopsy rates are of continuing concern to pathologists. The aim of this study was to investigate the reasons why autopsy did not happen, and to determine whether carrying out the investigation and providing some feedback of the results would have any effect on autopsy rates. The main reasons why autopsy did not happen were that junior doctors considered it unnecessary because the diagnosis and cause of death appeared to be well established, and that patients' relatives declined to give permission for autopsy. No increase in autopsy rates was demonstrated, but possible avenues of approach were suggested and these are being implemented. PMID:7837184
Anim, J T
Autopsy practice in Ghana can be said to be far from satisfactory. Most Ghanaians do not know that there are different categories of death, which categories of death require an autopsy and who is required to perform the autopsy. The problems have further been complicated by the fact that, unlike other countries where separate facilities are available for storage of the different categories of dead bodies, all dead bodies in Ghana are conveyed to the hospital mortuary, thus encouraging hospitals to expand body storage facilities in their mortuaries to meet the increasing demand. Public or community mortuaries used elsewhere for storage of bodies of deaths occurring in the community pending the Coroner's directions are non-existent in Ghana. Storage of all categories of dead bodies in hospital mortuaries has resulted in virtually all autopsies being done by the hospital pathologists, especially in the large centres, at the expense of other very important diagnostic functions of the pathologist. This paper explains relevant portions of the Coroner's Act of 1960 and emphasises the need to separate the few hospital autopsies that require the expertise of the pathologist from Coroner's autopsies that may be carried out by any registered medical officer, as specified in the Act, or better still, by specially trained Forensic Physicians/Medical Examiners, as pertains in other countries. The paper also clarifies the different categories of death, those that fall in the jurisdiction of the Coroner and the personnel required to assist the Coroner in his investigastions. Suggestions have also been made on how to approach manpower development to ensure that appropriate personnel are trained to assist the Coroner in the investgation of medico-legal cases. PMID:26339096
Usuda, Daisuke; Arahata, Masahisa; Temaru, Rie; Iinuma, Yoshitsugu; Kanda, Tsugiyasu; Hayashi, Shinichi
We present a 79-year-old Japanese woman diagnosed with cerebral infarction. In spite of enough antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, she presented rapidly recurrent strokes three times for 3 months. Magnetic resonance imaging showed progression of bilateral cerebral infarcts, and chest-abdominal computed tomography showed multiple bilateral nodular lesions in the lung and multiple tumor lesions in the liver. Autopsy revealed diagnosis of intravascular lymphoma (IVL). This case indicates that IVL is rare and usually goes undiagnosed until time of autopsy because of its protean neurological manifestations; hence, it should be considered as a possible etiology if multiple strokes occur in a short period of time. PMID:27065845
Bode-Jänisch, Stefanie; Havermann, Robert; Germerott, Tanja; Fieguth, Armin
As the percentage of elderly people in the population grows, violence against persons of advanced age constitutes an increasing social problem. The findings of the clinical forensic examinations (CE group) and autopsies performed on elderly violence victims (> or = 60 years) between 1999 and 2008 at the Institute of Legal Medicine of the Hanover Medical School were retrospectively analysed. In all, the study material comprised 55 victims of the CE group (35 females and 20 males, median age 73.5 years) and 55 autopsies (33 females and 22 males, median age 72.7 years). In most of the autopsy cases, the suspect was a family member or partner. In contrast, the alleged perpetrator was a stranger in most cases of the CE group. Blunt force injuries were most often found in the CE group victims (63.6%). Altogether, 38.2% (CE group) and 20.0% (autopsy cases) of the violent assaults were associated with robbery. In the majority of the CE cases, the victims suffered potentially or acute life-threatening injuries. In summary, the analysis shows that elderly people frequently become victims of robbery and blunt force injury. In most homicides of old people, the perpetrator is familiar to the victim. In surviving elderly violence victims, the assault is more likely to be reported to the police if the suspect is a stranger. PMID:21254704
This article highlights findings of a study on the suicides of three academically talented male adolescents. Results of the psychological autopsies are reported in terms of commonalities with adolescent suicide in the general population; commonalities among the three cases related to their giftedness; and themes emerging across the cases,…
Aquila, I; Falcone, C; Di Nunzio, C; Tamburrini, O; Boca, S; Ricci, P
We report the case of a 70-year-old woman found dead in her apartment in the South of Italy in February 2011. The detailed data showed that the victim was affected by familiar-type paranoid schizophrenia. This finding was confirmed by the discovery of antipsychotic and tricyclic antidepressant drugs in the house and the deposition of her psychiatric therapist. Before the autopsy, a multislice computed tomography (MSCT) scanning of the thoracic and facial maxillo-cervical area was performed that has allowed anatomical identification and diagnosis of a mechanical obstruction as the cause of death. The autopsy has showed the presence of materials obstructing the trachea totally. Histological and toxicological investigations were carried out on the victim. The toxicological investigation has shown the presence of metabolites of tricyclic antidepressants and antipsychotics in the blood and urine. The histology showed the presence of foreign-origin materials (starch fibres) inside the pulmonary alveolus. The cause of death was asphyxia due to obstruction by food-origin material. In this case the radiological data have been compared with the autopsy and toxicological and histological data. The comparison of results has shown that MSCT scanning may aid in identification of occlusion and then in determination of the cause of death. In conclusion, MSCT scanning can be proposed in the cases of suspected asphyxia, as the screening procedure of first instance to produce preliminary information useful to rapidly develop the successive autopsy performance. PMID:23582265
Grieger, Ingrid; Greene, Paul
Discusses psychological autopsies as a way of preventing suicide on college campuses. A review team develops a narrative of events leading up to incident, reviews actions taken within the campus emergency process, gathers information about the student, makes recommendations for prevention activities, and provides debriefing for those responsible…
Hjelmeland, Heidi; Dieserud, Gudrun; Dyregrov, Kari; Knizek, Birthe L.; Leenaars, Antoon A.
One of the most established "truths" in suicidology is that almost all (90% or more) of those who kill themselves suffer from one or more mental disorders, and a causal link between the two is implied. Psychological autopsy (PA) studies constitute one main evidence base for this conclusion. However, there has been little reflection on the…
Lumadue, Richard T.
Institutional autopsies can teach much about why learning centers fail the test of time. St. Augustine Junior College in north Florida, the brainchild of Dr. George Apel, was begun in 1942 and ended seven years later in 1949. The purposes of the short-lived college are identified for discussion in this paper. Also identified are the reasons for…
Christian educators can learn much from institutional autopsies of Christian schools of higher education that have failed. The untold story of the now-defunct American Theological Seminary (ATS) in St. Augustine, Florida, provides an excellent example of critical errors that Christian educators can learn from to avoid the same fate. An…
... inmate of the facility in the event of homicide, suicide, fatal illness or accident, or unexplained death... level of Acting Warden. (2) When the conducting of an autopsy requires permission of the family or next-of-kin, the following message is to be included in the telegram notifying the family or...
Price, S K; Hughes, J E; Morrison, S C; Potgieter, P D
A 25-year-old refrigeration technician died 85 days after accidental massive anhydrous ammonia inhalation; the case history and autopsy findings are described. The latter included bronchiectasis and obliterative bronchiolitis, but interstitial fibrosis and emphysema were conspicuously absent. The roles of dosage, infection, and healing are discussed. PMID:6648731
... 42 Public Health 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Autopsies and other post-mortem operations. 35.16 Section 35.16 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE AND EXAMINATIONS HOSPITAL AND STATION MANAGEMENT General § 35.16 Autopsies and other post-mortem operations. Autopsies, or other...
A study found that a 50-minute lecture on the value of autopsy had little effect on housestaff patterns of requesting autopsies. Housestaff (n=27) attending the lecture did not request more autopsies or obtain more permissions than did the control group (n=26). Results suggest more sophisticated techniques than lectures should be used. (Author/MSE)
Makihara, Kosuke; Hamada, Tetsuo; Kasai, Kentaro; Tanaka, Toshiko; Sato, Hiroaki
We had a forensic autopsy case that required additive pathological examination for the asbestos-related lung disease compensatory application afterwards. A man in his sixties with a history of occupational asbestos inhalation who had neither visited a hospital nor received a physical examination received forensic autopsy because of his death from unknown cause. An inmate said, "He developed cough and dyspnea, and died in the progression of the symptoms." The autopsy revealed widespread pleural plaques on both sides of the parietal pleura and multiple tumors in both sides of the lungs. The cause of death was diagnosed as lung cancer. Additional pathological examination was asked by his family to certify that he had suffered from asbestos-related lung disease in order to apply to the Asbestos-related Damage Relief Law. The Japanese criteria of the compensation law of asbestos-related lung cancer is the detection of more than 5,000 asbestos bodies per gram of dry lung tissue, while his number of asbestos bodies was 4,860. Asbestos bodies were reported to be accumulated in the distal lung parenchyma with no pathological changes. The present lung samples were collected from proximal section around the tumor, which might have made the number of asbestos bodies less than the criteria. Both the number of patients suffering from asbestos-related lung disease and the number of forensic autopsy cases have increased in Japan. Collecting lung samples from the appropriate lung section is essential and should be noted when the lung cancer is suspected at forensic autopsy in order to apply for asbestos-related lung disease compensation. PMID:26972947
Cappella, A; Castoldi, E; Sforza, C; Cattaneo, C
Forensic anthropologists and pathologists are more and more requested to answer questions on bone trauma. However limitations still exist concerning the proper interpretation of bone fractures and bone lesions in general. Access to known skeletal populations which derive from cadavers (victims of violent deaths) who underwent autopsy and whose autopsy reports are available are obvious sources of information on what happens to bone trauma when subjected to taphonomic variables, such as burial, decomposition, postmortem chemical and mechanical insults; such skeletal collections are still however quite rare. This study presents the results of the comparative analysis between the autopsy findings on seven cadavers (six of which victims of blunt, sharp or gunshot wounds) and those of the anthropological assessment performed 20 years later on the exhumed dry bones (part of the Milano skeletal collection). The investigation allowed us to verify how perimortem sharp, blunt and gunshot lesions appear after a long inhumation period, whether they are still recognizable, and how many lesions are no longer detectable or were not detectable at all compared to the autopsy report. It also underlines the importance of creating skeletal collections with known information on cause of death and trauma. PMID:25315679
van den Tweel, Jan G; Wittekind, Christian
The purpose of medical autopsy has changed to issues of quality assurance today. In addition, autopsies are considered valuable in medical education, e.g., delivering cases for problem-based learning for students. Many studies underscore the need for autopsies also in the era of technical progress emphasizing the continuing discrepancies between antemortem and post mortem diagnoses. Despite these important tasks, we face a decline of autopsy for several reasons with complex interactions. The role of all persons involved in this decline is evaluated and suggestions for changes are proposed. Last but not least, the future of the autopsy is in the hands of pathology itself. PMID:26316183
Gualco, M; Benzi, D; Fulcheri, E
This work evaluates the benefits and applications of computers and multimedia systems in post-mortem examination practice and, more in particular, in the definition of data collection protocols. We examined issues concerning the different aims of autopsy (e.g. diagnostic, scientific, educational, legal), and found that the pathologist's main duty is to acquire a large amount of data in the best possible way. However, despite the will to carry out detailed post-mortem examinations, many pathologic anatomy services face objective difficulties in doing so, especially due to understaffing, lack of time and high costs. The Institute for Pathologic Anatomy of the University of Genoa has developed software for data handling and for outcome reporting, a particularly important aspect in fetal-perinatal diagnosis. The system consists of a relational database in a client-server environment (Fourth Dimension) with two integrated parts. The first part, with unrestricted access, contains patients' personal data, including gender, age, time and date of death, hospital department of origin, person and department requiring the post-mortem examination, hour and time of autopsy, pathologist's name, and clinical diagnosis of death. Using a scanner, a copy of the autopsy application is also field, together with the patient's medical file and any diagnostic images useful to document the case history. The second part of the information system is accessible by pathologists only, and contains the autopsy report. This part is organized to balance two different needs: it allows sufficient space and freedom for autopsy description while providing guidelines for presentation of the report. The structure of the conventional autopsy protocol has been maintained, with subdivisions for all the organs and apparatuses according to topographic criteria. Before this part, a section is dedicated to external cadaver examination and anthropometric data; weight, shape, volume and texture are described for
Knoll, James L; Hatters-Friedman, Susan
Homicide-suicide represents a single episode of violence which may decimate an entire family. This study aimed to further describe motives and context of these tragedies. Psychological autopsies were completed for 18 homicide-suicide cases in Dallas, Texas. This included postevent interviews with surviving family members and review of police and coroner records. Two-thirds of perpetrators had made either verbal or written threats prior to the homicide-suicide. A simplified typology describing victim-perpetrator relationship and motive type is suggested for future studies and clinical ease. Two-thirds of perpetrators fell into the category of Intimate-Possessive, most of whom were depressed men who were abusing substances and undergoing separation. Additional categories included Intimate-Ailing, Filial-Revenge, Familial-Psychotic, and Friend-Psychotic. Further, implications from this psychological autopsy study regarding risk assessment include use of collateral interviews regarding threats and past violence. PMID:26259152
Durão, Carlos; Carpinteiro, Dina; Pedrosa, Frederico; Machado, Marcos P; Cunha, Eugénia
Enlarged parietal foramina (EPF) are a quite rare developmental defect of the parietal bone which has to be distinguished from the normal small parietal foramina. We report a forensic case of an individual found in an advanced state of putrefaction in his own house with an undetermined cause of death. No evidence of trauma was observed, and the toxicological exam was negative. The victim was a 40-year-old man with a history of epilepsy. The large biparietal foramina, a rare anatomical variation and unusual autopsy finding, were observed at autopsy. The recognition of anatomical variations is important to avoid false interpretations and conclusions and has a significant potential as an identity factor, thus contributing to positive identification. PMID:26233611
Kakkar, Nandita; Menon, Santosh; Radotra, B D
A retrospective analysis of pediatric autopsies in the past 18 years was done with the aim of studying the histomorphology of renal dysplasia. Renal dysplasia comprised 150 (3.66%) of the 4,099 pediatric autopsies from 20 weeks of gestation to 1 year of life. Primitive ducts with the fibromuscular collar, the sine qua non of renal dysplasia, was seen in all cases. Lobar disorganization and cysts were seen in all cases except for the 7 cases of hypodysplasia. Other elements were seen in varying proportions: cartilage in 33.7%, bone in 1.08%, thickening of basement membrane of the primitive ducts in 64.13%, extramedullary hematopoiesis in 98.9%, nerve twigs in 72.8%, and nodular renal blastema in 2.17% cases. In unilateral multicystic dysplasia/renal agenesis, the contralateral kidney showed abnormalities in 44.45% and 47.37% of cases, respectively. PMID:16908457
Oda, Eri; Hashimoto, Daisuke; Shiomi, Yuko; Ohnishi, Koji; Hayashi, Hiromitsu; Chikamoto, Akira; Takeya, Motohiro; Baba, Hideo
Cancer of unknown primary is associated with unknown biology and dismal prognosis. The most common primary sites of cancer of unknown primary were usually the lungs in autopsy studies, and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is rare. We describe the case of a 57-year-old male patient with systemic lymph node metastasis. Imaging examination failed to reveal primary cancer; however, immunostaining of cytokeratins 7, 19, and 20 of a metastatic axillary lymph node suggested a pancreaticobiliary cancer as a primary lesion. He died of liver abscess and sepsis, and then, autopsy indicated occult intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. We discuss the clinical course of this rare cholangiocarcinoma including the diagnostic procedure and also present a review of the English literature regarding patients with cancer of unknown primary. PMID:26943425
Naidoo, R.N.; Robins, T.G.; Murray, J.
Studies of dose-response relationships between respiratory outcomes at autopsy and coal dust exposure are limited. The Pathology Automation System (PATHAUT) database of South African miners, is one of the largest autopsy databases of occupational lung disease. This study described the prevalence of respiratory outcomes among South African coal miners at autopsy, and determined whether dose response relationships existed between emphysema and exposure. Autopsies conducted from 1975 to 1997 on coal miners with exclusive coal mining exposure and having exposure duration information (n = 3,167) were analyzed from PATHAUT Logistic regression was used to determine relationships between exposure and outcomes, controlling for race, smoking and age on a subset for whom smoking history was available (n = 725). The prevalence of silicosis, tuberculosis (TB), coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), and moderate and marked emphysema were 10.7%, 5.2%, 7.3%, and 64%, respectively. All diseases, except TB, were associated with exposure duration. Black miners had 8.3 and 1.2 fold greater risks for TB and CWP, respectively, than white miners. White miners had an increased risk of 1.4 and 5.4 for silicosis and moderate to marked emphysema, respectively. In models unadjusted for age, and including smoking, moderate to marked emphysema was strongly associated with exposure duration (OR = 3.4; 95% CI = 1.9-5.9 for highest tercile of exposure duration). Exposure-related risk estimates were reduced when age was introduced into the model. However age and duration of exposure were highly correlated, = 0. 68) suggesting a dilution of the exposure effect by age. There were significant dose related associations of disease, including emphysema, with coal dust exposure.
Adams, V I; Carrubba, C
Twenty autopsy reports, comprising 1 fall, 1 cutting, 1 burn, 1 drowning, 1 strangulation, 3 gunshot wound, and 13 traffic fatalities, were scored by the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) and the Injury Severity Score (ISS). The codes were adequate for wounds of skin and long bones, and for most wounds of viscera. The autopsy descriptions were more detailed than the coding criteria for craniocerebral, cervicovertebral and muscular trauma, and less detailed for thoracoabdominal visceral, and long bone trauma. Lung contusions and rib fractures received scores that seemed unduly high, possibly reflecting the greater sensitivity of autopsy diagnosis over clinical diagnosis for these lesions. Complete hinge fractures of the skull base scored 4 (severe), which does not reflect the almost universally lethal nature of the accompanying cerebral concussion, which was itself not codeable. AIS scores were low and did not seem to reflect the lethal outcome when the lethal mechanism was purely physiologic and without a striking morphologic derangement, as in instances of cerebral or cardiac concussion, compression of the neck, occlusive airway hemorrhage, and visceral herniation into an adjacent body cavity. The scores were similarly low when therapy was delayed or adverse. Low AIS and ISS scores in a fatality from blunt or penetrating trauma may be useful retrospective clues to the presence of purely physiologic death mechanisms or therapeutic problems. PMID:9760090
Bolliger, Stephan A.; Thali, Michael J.
In order to create a three-dimensional (3D) documentation of findings which can be reassessed if necessary by other experts, the research project ‘Virtopsy®’ was launched in the late 1990s. This project combined autopsy results with forensic imaging in the form of computed tomography, magnetic resonance tomography and 3D surface scanning. The success of this project eventually succeeded in convincing the courts in Switzerland to accept these novel methods as evidence. As opposition towards autopsies has grown over the last decades, Virtopsy also strives to find and elaborate additional methods which can answer the main forensic questions without autopsy. These methods comprise post-mortem angiography for illustration of the vascular bed and image-guided tissue and fluid sampling for histological, toxicological and microbiological examinations. Based on the promising results, post-mortem imaging, especially with 3D surface scanning, has meanwhile also been applied to living victims of assault, who have suffered patterned injuries due to bites, blows with objects, etc. In our opinion, forensic imaging is an objective method which offers the possibility for a reassessment of the findings by other experts, even after burial or cremation of the corpse, or healing of the injuries in living victims, thus leading to a greater security in court. PMID:26101279
Bolliger, Stephan A; Thali, Michael J
In order to create a three-dimensional (3D) documentation of findings which can be reassessed if necessary by other experts, the research project 'Virtopsy®' was launched in the late 1990s. This project combined autopsy results with forensic imaging in the form of computed tomography, magnetic resonance tomography and 3D surface scanning. The success of this project eventually succeeded in convincing the courts in Switzerland to accept these novel methods as evidence. As opposition towards autopsies has grown over the last decades, Virtopsy also strives to find and elaborate additional methods which can answer the main forensic questions without autopsy. These methods comprise post-mortem angiography for illustration of the vascular bed and image-guided tissue and fluid sampling for histological, toxicological and microbiological examinations. Based on the promising results, post-mortem imaging, especially with 3D surface scanning, has meanwhile also been applied to living victims of assault, who have suffered patterned injuries due to bites, blows with objects, etc. In our opinion, forensic imaging is an objective method which offers the possibility for a reassessment of the findings by other experts, even after burial or cremation of the corpse, or healing of the injuries in living victims, thus leading to a greater security in court. PMID:26101279
Raman, Mekala R.; Preboske, Gregory M.; Przybelski, Scott A.; Gunter, Jeffrey L.; Senjem, Matthew L.; Vemuri, Prashanthi; Murphy, Matthew C.; Murray, Melissa E.; Boeve, Bradley F.; Knopman, David S.; Petersen, Ronald C.; Parisi, Joseph E.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Jack, Clifford R.
Objective: To determine antemortem MRI findings associated with microinfarcts at autopsy. Methods: Patients with microinfarcts (n = 22) and patients without microinfarcts (n = 44) who underwent antemortem MRI were identified from a dementia clinic–based, population–based, and community clinic–based autopsy cohort. The microinfarct and no-microinfarct groups were matched on age at MRI, age at death, sex, APOE status, Mini-Mental State Examination score, and pathologic diagnosis of Alzheimer disease. Brain infarcts were assessed on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MRI. White matter hyperintensities on FLAIR MRI and hippocampal volumes on T1-weighted MRI were quantified using automated methods. A subset of subjects with microinfarcts (n = 15) and a matched group of subjects without microinfarcts (n = 15) had serial T1-weighted MRIs and were included in an analysis of global and regional brain atrophy rates using automated methods. Results: The presence of cortical (p = 0.03) and subcortical (p = 0.02) infarcts on antemortem MRI was associated with presence of microinfarcts at autopsy. Higher numbers of cortical (p = 0.05) and subcortical (p = 0.03) infarcts on antemortem MRI were also associated with presence of microinfarcts. Presence of microinfarcts was not associated with white matter hyperintensities and cross-sectional hippocampal volume on antemortem MRI. Whole-brain and regional precuneus, motor, and somatosensory atrophy rates were higher in subjects with microinfarcts compared to subjects without microinfarcts. Conclusions: Microinfarcts increase brain atrophy rates independent of Alzheimer disease pathology. Association between microinfarct pathology and macroinfarcts on MRI suggests either common risk factors or a shared pathophysiology and potentially common preventive targets. PMID:24793188
Bywaters, E G; Evans, S
This study describes the prevalence, distribution, pathology and pathogenesis of lumbar interspinous bursitis (described as a clinical syndrome by Baastrup in 1933). It is based on an anatomic study of 152 lumbar spines derived from routine and random postmortem material, together with selected specimens from autopsies on patients with various rheumatic diseases. From a statistical study of 50 randomly chosen spines, bursae are found when the interspinous distance is small compared with the total height of the lumbar spine ('bursal index'): nearly all bursal spaces show some sign of inflammation and a few show severe bony erosion. Crystal deposits therein are also described. PMID:7178764
Wainwright, H C
An opportunity to determine the cause of death, factors that may have a role in it, and the extent and cause of malformations is provided by perinatal autopsy. The family may be assisted in finding closure after the death of their infant by the information obtained. Insight into classifying infants appearing normal into one of three groups, small, appropriate and large for gestational age, has been provided, as each group tends to have specific causes of death. In infants with congenital anomalies, patterns of malformation may lead us to the diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is required to provide counselling for a subsequent pregnancy. PMID:16803946
Philip, Saji; Bharati, Sarasa; Cherian, Kottureth Mammen; Bharati, Saroja
Uhl anomaly is a rare form of congenital hypoplasia of the right ventricular myocardium. Here, we report, a rare finding in fetal cardiac ultrasound in a 33-year-old woman who presented at 20 weeks' of gestation. A diagnosis of Uhl anomaly was made. An autopsy was performed at 23weeks gestation after obtaining permission for medicolegal termination of pregnancy. Histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis. Diagnosing Uhl anomaly in fetal life is essential since mortality and survival mainly depend on the severity of right ventricle dysfunction related to, the either partial or complete absence of the myocardium. Hence, surviving cases need to be followed up carefully and counselled accordingly. PMID:26929879
Philip, Saji; Bharati, Sarasa; Cherian, Kottureth Mammen; Bharati, Saroja
Uhl anomaly is a rare form of congenital hypoplasia of the right ventricular myocardium. Here, we report, a rare finding in fetal cardiac ultrasound in a 33-year-old woman who presented at 20 weeks' of gestation. A diagnosis of Uhl anomaly was made. An autopsy was performed at 23weeks gestation after obtaining permission for medicolegal termination of pregnancy. Histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis. Diagnosing Uhl anomaly in fetal life is essential since mortality and survival mainly depend on the severity of right ventricle dysfunction related to, the either partial or complete absence of the myocardium. Hence, surviving cases need to be followed up carefully and counselled accordingly. PMID:26929879
Usumoto, Yosuke; Kudo, Keiko; Sameshima, Naomi; Sato, Kazuo; Tsuji, Akiko; Ikeda, Noriaki
Zolpidem is a widely used ultrashort-acting non-benzodiazepine in clinical practice; compared with benzodiazepines, it does not have side effects such as daytime hangover, rebound insomnia, and development of tolerance. We report an autopsy case of abnormal behaviour induced by zolpidem. A man in his 60's had suffered from postherpetic neuralgia about 2 months ago and had been prescribed zolpidem for insomnia. According to his family, he had no memory of his actions such as striking a wall, taking his futon outside, and eating 5 times a day after he took zolpidem. Because his postherpetic neuralgia did not improve, he was hospitalized and treated with an epidural block. During hospitalization, he took off his clothes, removed the epidural block catheter by himself, and slept on others' beds. He disappeared from the hospital one day; the next day, he was found dead in a narrow water storage tank 10 km away from the hospital. He was thought to have driven a car by himself to reach the place. Forensic autopsy revealed that the cause of death was drowning. Zolpidem and several other drugs were detected by toxicological analysis of his blood; the concentrations of these drugs were within therapeutic range. There are several reports about somnambulism induced by zolpidem such as sleepwalking, sleep driving, and eating. Considering the strange episodes following zolpidem administration, his behaviour on the day of his death was considered abnormal behaviour induced by zolpidem. PMID:26306385
Hjelmeland, Heidi; Dieserud, Gudrun; Dyregrov, Kari; Knizek, Birthe L; Leenaars, Antoon A
One of the most established "truths" in suicidology is that almost all (90% or more) of those who kill themselves suffer from one or more mental disorders, and a causal link between the two is implied. Psychological autopsy (PA) studies constitute one main evidence base for this conclusion. However, there has been little reflection on the reliability and validity of this method. For example, psychiatric diagnoses are assigned to people who have died by suicide by interviewing a few of the relatives and/or friends, often many years after the suicide. In this article, we scrutinize PA studies with particular focus on the diagnostic process and demonstrate that they cannot constitute a valid evidence base for a strong relationship between mental disorders and suicide. We show that most questions asked to assign a diagnosis are impossible to answer reliably by proxies, and thus, one cannot validly make conclusions. Thus, as a diagnostic tool psychological autopsies should now be abandoned. Instead, we recommend qualitative approaches focusing on the understanding of suicide beyond mental disorders, where narratives from a relatively high number of informants around each suicide are systematically analyzed in terms of the informants' relationships with the deceased. PMID:24563941
Coldiron, V.R.; Ward, J.B. Jr.; Trieff, N.M.; Janssen, H.E. Jr.; Smith, J.H.
The formaldehyde exposures occurring in the autopsy service of a medical complex were evaluated as part of a study to detect genetically harmful effects of chemical exposures. Determination of time-weighted average (TWA) exposures and characterization of the patterns of exposure experienced by individuals with different work responsibilities in this occupational setting were sought. Both general area and breathing zone samples were evaluated. Estimated weekly time-weighted average exposures for pathologists, residents and technicians were determined to be between 0.61 and 1.32 parts per million with little difference between work roles. While the averages were similar, the patterns of exposure of technicians and physicians were different. Technicians were exposed to a baseline level of formaldehyde for a prolonged period of time. In contrast, physicians were exposed for shorter times but experienced higher levels during specific tasks, particularly tissue-sectioning and examination. Evaluations of work procedures and environmental conditions in autopsy services are recommended to reduce personnel exposure to formaldehyde vapor.
Minayo, Maria Cecília de Souza; Grubits, Sonia; Cavalcante, Fátima Gonçalves
The article describes the research realization phases of field work in ten municipalities in five regions entitled "Is it possible to prevent the anticipation of the end? Suicide among the elderly in Brazil and the possibilities for action by the Health Sector." The sample comprises 51 psychosocial autopsies of 5 elderly people who committed suicide in 9 locations and 6 in another. 84 family members were interviewed. Semi-structured psychosocial autopsies and contextual observations were used. Each interview lasted 60 minutes on average and in the majority of the cases there was more than one encounter with family members. The study consisted of a collective process that involved bibliographic review, discussion of the samples, approach strategies, field results and empirical analysis. This article highlights the theoretical, conceptual and practical preparation of researchers and production and standardization of instruments; information about existing data sources and those that are actually used; introduction of institutional credentials; assessment of the family context, difficulties and strategies for empirical study; entrance to and exit from the field; and the impact of the research on the investigators. PMID:22899144
Aligbe, J U; Akhiwu, W O; Nwosu, S O
A prospective study of 726 cases of coroner's autopsies carried out over a period of two years (1st January, 1996 - 31st December, 1997) was reviewed. The causes and circumstances of death are defined and classified into natural and unnatural deaths. Fifty cases (6.3%) were children while the remaining 676 cases (93.1%) were adults in a male to female ratio of 2.6 to 1. The most common indications for coroner's autopsies were sudden unnatural deaths (SUDs) accounting for 485 cases (66.8%) and also sudden unexpected natural deaths (SUNDs) (241 cases) accounting for 33.2%. In the first category, road traffic accidents accounted for 86.7% of cases with deaths involving motor vehicle drivers and their passengers (41.8%); pedestrians (37.1%); and motorcyclists and their passengers (18.6%). The commonest causes of death in all road traffic accidents were craniocerebral injuries and haemorrhagic shock. In the second category the most common causes of sudden unexpected natural death were cardiovascular diseases resulting from complications of hypertension (54.7%) occurring in apparently healthy individuals. Other causes of death were pneumonia, pulmonary tuberculosis, typhoid fever and neoplastic diseases. This study showed that in Nigeria, with an increasing acquisition of dietary and life style habits of the developed western world, there is becoming a concomitant risk of deaths from road traffic accidents and sudden unexpected natural deaths from hypertensive cardiovascular disease. PMID:12487517
Folkerth, R D; Alroy, J; Lomakina, I; Skutelsky, E; Raghavan, S S; Kolodny, E H
Mucolipidosis Type IV is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder characterized by corneal opacification, mental retardation, and delayed motor milestones. Whereas lysosomal storage material has been demonstrated in biopsied tissues and leukocytes, the complete autopsy pathology, including neuropathology, is unknown. The metabolic defect remains speculative. We report the general and neuropathologic findings of the only known autopsy. In the central nervous system, neuronal loss in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, deep cerebellar nuclei, and brainstem nuclei was marked by astrocytosis; the cytoplasm of residual neurons had brown granules. These granules were positive with periodic acid-Schiff, Concanavalia ensiformis, and Sudan black, but not with Luxol-fast blue. Ultrastructurally, neurons contained lysosomes laden with osmiophilic, amorphous and granular material, and few lamellated membrane structures. Hepatocytes, epithelia, endothelia, chondrocytes, and tissue macrophages also stained positively with Datura stramonium and Ricinus communis-I agglutinins, with renal glomeruli also staining with peanut agglutinin; most non-neural cells contained osmiophilic granules on toluidine blue-stained, plastic embedded sections, corresponding to lamellated membrane structures. These findings complement the previously reported ocular morphology and brain and liver biochemistry performed in the same patient, and suggest that the storage material in neurons differs from that in non-neural cells. Furthermore, the underlying defect is not likely to be a deficiency of a single enzyme (i.e. a lysosomal hydrolase). PMID:7876885
Hitosugi, Masahito; Tsukada, Chie; Yamauchi, Shinobu; Matsushima, Kazumi; Furukawa, Satoshi; Morita, Satomu; Nagai, Toshiaki
We describe a first fatal case of repellent air freshener ingestion. A 79-year-old Japanese man with Alzheimer-type senile dementia orally ingested repellent air freshener containing three surfactants: polyoxyethylene 9-lauryl ether, polyoxyethylene (40) hydrogenated castor oil, and lauric acid amidopropyl amine oxide (weight ratio of 1.3%). About 1h after the collapse, he was in cardiopulmonary arrest and subsequently died 10h after his arrival. The forensic autopsy performed 5.5h after death revealed the 380ml of stomach contents with a strong mint perfume identical to that of the repellent air freshener and the findings of acute death. Toxicologically, 9.1μg/ml and 558.2μg/ml of polyoxyethylene 9-lauryl ether were detected from the serum and stomach contents taken at autopsy. Generally, ingestion of anionic or non-ionic surfactants have been considered as safe. However, because the patient suffered from cardiac insufficiency with a low dose of repellent air freshener ingestion, medical staff members must evaluate the elderly patient for cardiac and circulatory problems regardless of the ingested dose. Not only medical and nursing staff members, but also families who are obliged to care for elderly persons must be vigilant to prevent accidental ingestion of toxic substances generally used in the household. PMID:25982958
Demir, Ibrahim; Koyuncu, Ismail; Guclu, Serkan; Yildiz, Senol; Balahorli, Vahit; Caglar, Suphi; Turken, Turker; Pasaoglu, Mehmet E.; Kaya, Recep; Sengur-Tasdemir, Reyhan
Komurcuoda leachate treatment plant, Istanbul, which consists of membrane bioreactor (MBR) and nanofiltration (NF) system, faced rapid flux decline in membranes after 3-year successful operation. To compensate rapid flux decline in membranes, the fouled membranes were renewed but replacement of the membranes did not solve the problem. To find the reasons and make a comprehensive analysis, membrane autopsy was performed. Visual and physical inspection of the modules and some instrumental analysis were conducted for membrane autopsy. Membranes were found severely fouled with organic and inorganic foulants. Main foulant was iron which was deposited on surface. The main reason was found to be the changing of aerator type of MBR. When surface aerators were exchanged with bottom diffusers which led to increasing of dissolved oxygen (DO) level of the basin, iron particles were oxidized and they converted into particulate insoluble form. It was thought that probably this insoluble form of the iron particles was the main cause of decreased membrane performance. After the diagnosis, a new pretreatment alternative including a new iron antiscalant was suggested and system performance has been recovered. PMID:26137593
Autopsy of a 3200-year-old Egyptian mummy by an international multidisciplinary team yielded much information about diseases of the ancient past. Major contributions were made by the disciplines of anatomy, dentistry, genetics, hematology, histology, microbiology, nuclear medicine, occupational medicine, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, pathology, pediatrics, plastic surgery, radiology and virology. Scientists from Toronto, Detroit, Philadelphia and Cardiff participated in the investigation. The following were the main findings of medical interest: skeleton, infection or malnutrition as suggested by Harris's lines in distal femoral metaphyses; muscle (intercostal), cyst of Trichinella spiralis; lungs, deposits of anthracotic pigment and granite particles; spleen, enlargement with evidence of possible rupture; liver, early cirrhosis and calcified ova of Schistosoma sp.; kidney, calcified ova of Schistosoma sp.; and large and small intestines, calcified ova of Schistosoma and Taenia spp. This autopsy demonstrated the value of well coordinated efforts by specialists in various medical disciplines. Such efforts are essential when such a rare scientific endeavour is to yield a maximum of useful and reliable information. PMID:332299
... Section 35.16 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE... located to permit an autopsy or such other post-mortem operation under the circumstances of the particular... the autopsy or other post-mortem operation shall be observed. Documents embodying consent shall...
... Section 35.16 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE... located to permit an autopsy or such other post-mortem operation under the circumstances of the particular... the autopsy or other post-mortem operation shall be observed. Documents embodying consent shall...
... Section 35.16 Public Health PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL CARE... located to permit an autopsy or such other post-mortem operation under the circumstances of the particular... the autopsy or other post-mortem operation shall be observed. Documents embodying consent shall...
... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false X-ray, biopsy, and autopsy evidence of... Pneumoconiosis § 410.428 X-ray, biopsy, and autopsy evidence of pneumoconiosis. (a) A finding of the existence of... roentgenogram (X-ray) establishes the existence of pneumoconiosis classified as Category 1, 2, 3, A, B, or...
... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false X-ray, biopsy, and autopsy evidence of... Pneumoconiosis § 410.428 X-ray, biopsy, and autopsy evidence of pneumoconiosis. (a) A finding of the existence of... roentgenogram (X-ray) establishes the existence of pneumoconiosis classified as Category 1, 2, 3, A, B, or...
Wiener, Lori; Sweeney, Corinne; Baird, Kristin; Merchant, Melinda S.; Warren, Katherine E.; Corner, Geoffrey W.; Roberts, Kailey E.; Lichtenthal, Wendy G.
Research has suggested that autopsy in pediatrics is a valued way for parents to better understand and process their child's death, yet physicians often express hesitancy in discussing this topic with parents. To better assist clinicians with initiating discussion about this often sensitive topic, the current study examined bereaved parents' preferences about the timing and content of the autopsy discussion as well as reasons for considering autopsy. This study explored the views of 30 parents who lost a child to a variety of malignancies between 6 months and 6 years ago. Results showed that 36.7% of parents recalled having a discussion about autopsy, and the vast majority of those who did not recall a discussion (89.5%) would have considered an autopsy if it had been discussed. The majority of participants in this study indicated their preference to have the first conversation about autopsy when it becomes clear that cure is no longer possible. Findings suggest that educating parents about the clinical, emotional and potential research benefits of autopsy and tissue procurement will ultimately help them make informed decisions and understand the importance of autopsy in medical progress. The future research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:24309611
Kotch, Jonathan B.; Cohen, Susan R.
The North Carolina Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Project surveyed 47 newly trained local Sudden Infant Death Syndrome counselors to evaluate use of autopsy report as a counseling tool. Counselors reported that sharing the autopsy report with bereaved parents was a valuable part of the counseling process. (Author/NRB)
Takano, Junichiro; Miwa, Akiyoshi
Second primary malignancies (SPMs) are issues for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). There may have been some limitations in prior studies, such as difficulties in a longer follow-up and absence of established screening methods. Therefore, we studied autopsied cases to overcome these limitations. This study aimed to examine SPMs using autopsy reports. Ninety-one cases of MM autopsied at our institution from 1979 to 2013 were analyzed. Median age of autopsied patients was 64.1 years, and proportion of male/female was 59/32. Autopsy was performed in 35.3% of patients died of MM. There were five cases of SPMs with a median confirmation time of 38 (12-132) months from the diagnosis of MM. In three of the five patients, the diagnosis of SPMs was established at autopsy. One case was of myelodysplastic syndrome, and the others were of non-hematological malignancies. The annual risk of SPM estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method was approximately 1%. Three of five SPM cases were detected at autopsy. Analysis of autopsy may contribute to estimate the actual risk of SPMs in MM. PMID:26788269
Zerbini, Talita; da Silva, Luiz Fernando Ferraz; Ferro, Antonio Carlos Gonçalves; Kay, Fernando Uliana; Junior, Edson Amaro; Pasqualucci, Carlos Augusto Gonçalves; do Nascimento Saldiva, Paulo Hilario
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present work is to analyze the differences and similarities between the elements of a conventional autopsy and images obtained from postmortem computed tomography in a case of a homicide stab wound. METHOD: Comparison between the findings of different methods: autopsy and postmortem computed tomography. RESULTS: In some aspects, autopsy is still superior to imaging, especially in relation to external examination and the description of lesion vitality. However, the findings of gas embolism, pneumothorax and pulmonary emphysema and the relationship between the internal path of the instrument of aggression and the entry wound are better demonstrated by postmortem computed tomography. CONCLUSIONS: Although multislice computed tomography has greater accuracy than autopsy, we believe that the conventional autopsy method is fundamental for providing evidence in criminal investigations. PMID:25518020
The availability of advanced diagnostic tools has grown in the past decades. Hence, a growing false belief exists that everything is known about the patient before death. Moreover, intensivists may wrongly believe that autopsy findings do not contribute to the understanding of pathophysiological events. The immediate result is that few ICUs nowadays assemble enough autopsy cases with new and interesting clinicopathological features. However, we believe that, at least in tertiary ICUs, autopsies remain a valuable examination, as a tool for quality control, as a way of establishing gold standards for diagnostic examinations and as an aid in developing guidelines for treatment and diagnosis of diseases frequently encountered in the ICU. Finally, due to the ever-expanding armamentarium of immunosuppressive agents, a growing list of opportunistic infections is discovered during autopsy. The present article gives an overview of autopsy studies conducted in the ICU and discusses the pros and cons of performing these. PMID:20565845
Lane, Megan; Vercler, Christian J
When a hospitalization ends in death, a request for an autopsy can lead to an emotionally charged encounter between a physician and the deceased patient's family. A case is presented in which a cardiac surgeon, believing he might have made a mistake, requests an autopsy, but members of the deceased patient's family believe that she would not have wanted an autopsy performed. A central question discussed in this commentary is whether and when consent for autopsy is necessary. We discuss two theoretical frameworks that support differing views on this question. Beyond engaging this philosophical discussion, we also highlight a practical approach to discussing an autopsy with a grieving family by using the case presented. PMID:27550560
McCormack, Carmen A; Lo Gullo, Roberto; Kalra, Mannudeep K; Louissaint, Abner; Stone, James R
Purpose Assessment of body size at autopsy is important for interpreting organ weight measurements and in some cases body identification. The reliability of post-mortem body size measurements, the causes for perturbations in these measurements from their corresponding pre-mortem values, and the impact of such perturbations on heart weight interpretation have not been fully explored. Methods Autopsy body length and weight measurements and pre-mortem height and body weight measurements were compared in 132 autopsies. Clinical records were evaluated for peripheral edema and serum albumin levels. Causes of death, body cavity fluid collections, and heart weights were obtained from the autopsy reports. A subset of patients underwent quantitative post-mortem computed tomography assessment of anasarca. Results At autopsy, body weight differed from the pre-mortem value by 11 ± 1 %, compared with -0.2 ± 0.3 % for body length (P < 0.0001). The percent change in body weight at autopsy correlated with the presence of peripheral edema (14 ± 2 % vs. 7 ± 2 %, P = 0.01), serum albumin < 3.0 g/dL (16 ± 2 % vs. 7 ± 2 %, P = 0.001), and the degree of anasarca (P = 0.01). In 4 % of autopsies, heart weights were abnormal based on the pre-mortem body weight, but would be classified as normal based on the elevated post-mortem body weight. Conclusions At autopsy, body weight is a less reliable parameter than body length in correlating with the corresponding pre-mortem measurement. Autopsy body weights are elevated in part due to peripheral edema/anasarca. Alterations in body weight at autopsy can confound the interpretation of organ weight measurements. PMID:27020890
Cohle, S D; Sampson, B A
One of the most frustrating challenges faced by the forensic pathologist is the inability to determine the cause of death in a young person previously thought healthy. The four steps in the investigation of a sudden death include obtaining the history and scene information, performing a gross and microscopic autopsy, performing appropriate laboratory tests, and making the diagnosis. When examining the heart grossly it is important to preserve the anatomic landmarks, section the coronary arteries closely, and recognize lethal abnormalities such as anomalous origin of the coronary arteries. Specimens useful for toxicologic analysis include whole blood, serum, vitreous humor, gastric contents, bile, urine a purple top tube of blood, and frozen myocardium and spleen. Lethal cardiac diseases with minimal or no anatomic findings include Brugada and Garg's syndromes, the long QT syndrome, and Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. Consultation with other experts, including cardiac pathologists, cardiologists, electrophysiologists, and molecular biologists, may be helpful in determining a cause of death. PMID:11673059
Mallick, Saumyaranjan; Panda, Shasanka Shekhar; Ray, Ruma; Shukla, Rashmi; Kabra, Madhulika; Agarwal, Ramesh
Holoprosencephaly (HPE) is the most common forebrain developmental anomaly with a prevalence of 1:16 000 live-births. Possible aetiological agents include environmental factors and genetic defects such as trisomies (13, 18) and deletions (18p, 7q, 2p and 21q). This complex malformation is due to incomplete division of the cerebral hemisphere. The phenotypes of HPE include alobar, semilobar, lobar and midline interhemispheric fusion variants. Craniofacial anomalies occur in 80% of cases. Severely affected babies die in the neonatal period. Here we report an autopsied case of semilobar HPE with pituitary and adrenal agenesis with 21q22 deletion. Additional findings are noted that would help expand the spectrum of 21q22 deletion. PMID:24626384
Matsuda, Katsuya; Yamaryo, Takeshi; Akazawa, Yuko; Kawakami, Kenji; Nakashima, Masahiro
We report a case of pleural angiosarcoma in an adult male patient confirmed by autopsy and possibly associated with pneumoconiosis. The lesion was characterized by thickened pleura of both lungs with nodular tumors. Histologically, the tumor was composed of spindle-to-polygonal epithelioid cells that were positive for CD31, CD34, vimentin, and cytokeratin on immunohistochemical staining but were negative for calretinin. Further examination revealed mix-dust pathological findings consistent with the existence of pneumoconiosis; dystrophic ossification, anthracosis, and fractal small dust particles were observed in the lung parenchyma and a hilar lymph node. The current case suggests that pneumoconiosis-associated pathologies may be risk factors for the development of angiosarcoma in the pleura. PMID:26314557
Acinas, Maria Patricia; Robles, José I; Peláez-Fernández, M Ángeles
When a death occurs under traumatic, ambiguous, unknown, or uncertain circumstances, a death of suicidal origin can be considered. On many occasions, a suicide note is found next to body that helps to clarify certain aspects needed for the investigation to elucidate whether the death is really due to suicide or other causes. There are several types of suicide note (farewell, instructions, accusation of others, request for forgiveness, justification of one’s own suicide) that can contribute to the study of the victim’s psychological state and the circumstances that led to death. There is no unanimously approved way to conduct the psychological autopsy, but there are protocols for obtaining relevant information and preparing the report. PMID:25999154
Andola, Uma S; AM, Anita; Ahuja, Mukta; Andola, Sainath K
Background Congenital malformations remain a common cause of perinatal deaths and even though ultrasonogram can give fairly accurate diagnosis, perinatal autopsy is essential to confirm the diagnosis and look for associated malformations. Objectives To emphasize the importance of perinatal autopsy in diagnosing congenital malformations and to compare the same with the prenatal ultrasound findings. Methods The present study comprises 100 consecutive perinatal autopsies conducted after obtaining the approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee. In cases where prenatal ultrasound findings were available they were compared with the autopsy findings. Results Out of 100 perinatal autopsies, 44 cases were congenital anomalies with M:F = 1:1.5. Majority of the fetuses with congenital malformations (36.36%) were therapeutically terminated, Cental nervous system malformations being the commonest indication. The most common timing of therapeutic termination being 20 -24weeks. Congenital malformations were common between 35-39 weeks gestational age and birth weight range 350- 1000g. The malformations involving the central nervous system were commonest, seen in 15 cases (34.09%) followed by renal anomalies in 9 cases (20.45%) and multiple malformations in 7cases ( 15.91%). Autopsy confirmed the prenatal ultrasound findings in 50% of the cases, added to diagnosis in 29.54%, while it completely changed the primary diagnosis in 9.09% of the cases. Conclusion This study highlights the importance of perinatal autopsy in confirming the diagnosis of congenital anomalies by prenatal ultrasound findings. PMID:23373038
"At first glance the lungs may seem uncomplicated, but many wise men have gone astray in their labyrinths." These words were written by Dr. A.A. Liebow, a famous pathologist, in a foreword to the first edition of Pathology of the Lung by H. Spencer. This same thought can also be applied to the field of medicolegal autopsies. 1. The gross appearance of the lungs in medicolegal autopsies Plucks consisting of the lungs, neck organs, the esophagus and the aorta were removed from human cadavers and after taking photos of the frontal and rear view, the lungs were carefully examined to reveal whether the lung shows characteristic morphological changes depending on causes of death. Based on their appearance, the lungs were classified into the 3 following types: a collapsed, a non-collapsed and an inflated type, each of these types reflecting the probable cause of death. The collapsed type of lung was seen in cases of death from exanguination, and the lung falling into shrinkage due to traumatic pneumo- and/or hemo-thorax was also classified into the collapsed type. The non-collapsed type of lung was seen in cases whose lungs were thermo-coagulated and in a case of death from a pulmonary embolism. Also, the deflating lungs of drowning victims before falling into collapse, were classified into a non-collapsed type. The inflated type of lung consisted of lungs that showed ballooning soon after death by drowning, and lungs that had inflated due to emphysema or edema from various causes. This lung study has reconfirmed that the lungs show hypostatic changes more clearly than any other organs of the body, and in the absence of skin color changes reflecting hypostasis, the settling of the blood in the lung could be detected in most cases. 2. Early histopathological lung changes induced by shock One hundred and thirty medicolegal cases were reviewed to detect early histopathological changes of the lung induced by shock. In many cases of death from various causes, pulmonary edema
Tester, David J.; Medeiros-Domingo, Argelia; Will, Melissa L.; Haglund, Carla M.; Ackerman, Michael J.
Objective To perform long QT syndrome and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia cardiac channel postmortem genetic testing (molecular autopsy) for a large cohort of cases of autopsy-negative sudden unexplained death (SUD). Methods From September 1, 1998, through October 31, 2010, 173 cases of SUD (106 males; mean ± SD age, 18.4±12.9 years; age range, 1-69 years; 89% white) were referred by medical examiners or coroners for a cardiac channel molecular autopsy. Using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, and DNA sequencing, a comprehensive mutational analysis of the long QT syndrome susceptibility genes (KCNQ1, KCNH2, SCN5A, KCNE1, and KCNE2) and a targeted analysis of the catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia type 1–associated gene (RYR2) were conducted. Results Overall, 45 putative pathogenic mutations absent in 400 to 700 controls were identified in 45 autopsy-negative SUD cases (26.0%). Females had a higher yield (26/67 [38.8%]) than males (19/106 [17.9%]; P<.005). Among SUD cases with exercise-induced death, the yield trended higher among the 1- to 10-year-olds (8/12 [66.7%]) compared with the 11- to 20-year-olds (4/27 [14.8%]; P=.002). In contrast, for those who died during a period of sleep, the 11- to 20-year-olds had a higher yield (9/25 [36.0%]) than the 1- to 10-year-olds (1/24 [4.2%]; P=.01). Conclusion Cardiac channel molecular autopsy should be considered in the evaluation of autopsy-negative SUD. Several interesting genotype-phenotype observations may provide insight into the expected yields of postmortem genetic testing for SUD and assist in selecting cases with the greatest potential for mutation discovery and directing genetic testing efforts. PMID:22677073
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Office of Justice Programs Autopsy Performance Criteria: Standards, Guidelines and Best Practices AGENCY... and Best Practices''. The opportunity to provide comments on this document is open to...
Maujean, Géraldine; Malicier, Daniel; Fanton, Laurent
Today, little is known about the bacteriological environment of the autopsy room and its potential interest for medico-legal practices. Seven hundred fifty microbiological samples were taken from surface (n = 660), air (n = 48), and water (n = 42) to evaluate it in a French University Forensic Department. Median bacterial counts were compared before and during autopsy for air samples, and before and after autopsy for surface samples, using Wilcoxon matched pairs signed ranks test. Bacterial identification relied on traditional phenotypic methods. Bacterial counts in the air were low before autopsy, increased significantly during procedure, and seemed more linked to the number of people in the room than to an important production of aerosol-containing bacteria. Despite cleaning, human fecal flora was omnipresent on surfaces, which revealed insufficient disinfection. Bacteriological sampling is an easy way to monitor cleaning practices in postmortem rooms, but chiefly a way to improve the reliability of medico-legal proofs of infectious deaths. PMID:22309163
Yu, Lin-Sheng; Ye, Guang-Hua; Fan, Yan-Yan; Li, Xing-Biao; Feng, Xiang-Ping; Han, Jun-Ge; Lin, Ke-Zhi; Deng, Miao-Wu; Li, Feng
Despite advances in medical science, the causes of death can sometimes only be determined by pathologists after a complete autopsy. Few studies have investigated the importance of forensic autopsy in medically disputed cases among different levels of institutional settings. Our study aimed to analyze forensic autopsy in 120 cases of medical disputes among five levels of institutional settings between 2001 and 2012 in Wenzhou, China. The results showed an overall concordance rate of 55%. Of the 39% of clinically missed diagnosis, cardiovascular pathology comprises 55.32%, while respiratory pathology accounts for the remaining 44. 68%. Factors that increase the likelihood of missed diagnoses were private clinics, community settings, and county hospitals. These results support that autopsy remains an important tool in establishing causes of death in medically disputed case, which may directly determine or exclude the fault of medical care and therefore in helping in resolving these cases. PMID:25929602
Asaranti, Kar; Pranati, Mohanty; Tushar, Kar; Jagadish, Behera; Susmita, Behera; Amarendra, Nayak
Thoracoomphalopagus is the commonest type of conjoined twin where the bodies are fused from upper chest to lower chest. The autopsy done can help counsil the parents for further pregnancies and determine the prognosis depending upon the type of cardiac anomaly by Seo classification when detected antenatally. We describe the detail pathological autopsy of such a case with single heart and single liver. A detail autopsy was done on the twin fetus. The twins shared a single heart and sometimes the liver and part of digestive system. The combined weight was 4.1 KG. Both were full-term male babies joined from below the nipple till umbilicus. Autopsy in conjoined twins helps in deciding the type of fusion of the body and also of the heart and great vessels. It can help in counseling parents about future pregnancies that there is no chance of recurrence of this abnormality and no need to be scared. PMID:22957286
Burton, Julian L
The autopsy has had a checkered history, much of which has been surrounded by controversy. The roots of human dissection are found in the ancient world where rumors flourished that the prosectors of the day were engaged in vivisection as well as dissection. Bound up with the prevailing religious and political systems of the day, the autopsy has alternately been prohibited and encouraged, used to explore the nature of disease, and conceal questionable political policy. This review explores the history of the autopsy from its ancient roots in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Alexandria, and the Far East through the dark ages to medieval times and beyond into the renaissance. The development of the autopsy in Europe during the 17th to 19th centuries is discussed before briefly considering the decline of this diagnostic tool in the 20th century. PMID:25868447
Toru, Havva Serap; Sanhal, Cem Yasar; Uzun, Özlem Ceren; Ocak, Guzide Ayse; Mendilcioğlu, İnanç; Karaveli, Fatma Şeyda
Neural tube defects (NTD), the consequences of aberrant neural tube closure during embryogenesis, have been mostly investigated in terms of their high prevalence, rate of mortalities and serious morbidities. A proper prenatal outcome counseling of couples coming across a fetal anomaly necessitates the detection and categorization of the primer abnormality, all the co-existing malformations. The aim of this work is to study the incidence and relevance of associated malformations in order to offer a complete pathology report with a true diagnosis. In this study, among 542 fetal autopsy 62 (%11.4) cases with NTD was recorded by the Akdeniz University Pathology Department between January 2006 and June 2012. Twenty (32.4%) NTD cases were associated with anomaly. Twelve cases of associated groups consisted of a congenital syndrome/association, spondylothoracic dysplasia, amniotic band syndrome, Meckel-Gruber syndrome, schisis association. The frequency of associated NTD was 32%, this result was higher than previous reports. NTDs have a significant genetic component to their etiology that interacts with environmental risk factors, which might pose Turkey to be a country with high prevalence of NTD. We want to emphasize that intensive screening, documentation of co-existent abnormalities of NTD, should be conducted in order to exhibit certain diagnosis, to perform proper prenatal genetic counseling of parents for on-going/future pregnancies. PMID:25800566
Reichert, C. M.; O'Leary, T. J.; Levens, D. L.; Simrell, C. R.; Macher, A. M.
The acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a devastating new illness which appears to be sexually and parenterally transmissible. AIDS was first described in the male homosexual community; however, the disease has more recently been described among intravenous drug abusers, Haitians, hemophiliacs, and others. The etiologic agent is unknown. AIDS may represent an infection by a previously undescribed organism, a mutant of a known microorganism, or a multifactorial combination of environmental, immunologic, and genetic factors. As a consequence of the disease's seemingly irreversible ablation of the cell-mediated immune system, AIDS victims succumb to a variety of infections and/or unusual neoplasms. In its fully developed form, mortality approaches 100%. At autopsy the gross and microscopic pathology of the syndrome can be divided into three general categories: 1) morphologic manifestations of profound lymphoid depletion; 2) infections, usually with mixed opportunistic pathogens; and 3) unusual neoplasms, most frequently Kaposi's sarcoma or high-grade lymphomas. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11 Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 14 Figure 15 Figure 16 Figure 17 Figure 18 Figure 19 Figure 20 Figure 21 PMID:6311021
Quigley, M. A.; Armstrong Schellenberg, J. R.; Snow, R. W.
The verbal autopsy (VA) questionnaire is a widely used method for collecting information on cause-specific mortality where the medical certification of deaths in childhood is incomplete. This paper discusses review by physicians and expert algorithms as approaches to ascribing cause of deaths from the VA questionnaire and proposes an alternative, data-derived approach. In this validation study, the relatives of 295 children who had died in hospital were interviewed using a VA questionnaire. The children were assigned causes of death using data-derived algorithms obtained under logistic regression and using expert algorithms. For most causes of death, the data-derived algorithms and expert algorithms yielded similar levels of diagnostic accuracy. However, a data-derived algorithm for malaria gave a sensitivity of 71% (95% Cl: 58-84%), which was significantly higher than the sensitivity of 47% obtained under an expert algorithm. The need for exploring this and other ways in which the VA technique can be improved are discussed. The implications of less-than-perfect sensitivity and specificity are explored using numerical examples. Misclassification bias should be taken into consideration when planning and evaluating epidemiological studies. PMID:8706229
Hu, Xiaowen; Yi, Eunhee S.; Ryu, Jay H.
Background Aspiration can cause a diverse spectrum of pulmonary disorders some of which can lead to death but can be difficult to diagnose. Patients and Methods The medical records and autopsy findings of 57 consecutive patients in whom aspiration was the immediate cause of death at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) over a 9-yr period, from January 1 2004 to December 31 2012 were analyzed. Results The median age at death was 72 years (range, 13–95 years) and included 39 (68%) males. The most common symptom before death was dyspnea (63%) and chest radiography revealed bilateral infiltrates in the majority (81%). Most common precipitating factors for aspiration were depressed consciousness (46%) and dysphagia (44%). Aspiration-related syndromes leading to death were aspiration pneumonia in 26 (46%), aspiration pneumonitis in 25 (44%), and large airway obstruction in 6 patients (11%). Aspiration was clinically unsuspected in 19 (33%) patients. Antimicrobial therapy had been empirically administered to most patients (90%) with aspiration pneumonia and aspiration pneumonitis. Conclusion We conclude aspiration-related deaths occur most commonly in the elderly with identifiable risks and presenting bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. One-third of these aspiration-related pulmonary syndromes were clinically unsuspected at the time of death. PMID:25076409
Chaux, Alcides; Reuter, Victor; Lezcano, Cecilia; Velazquez, Elsa; Codas, Ricardo; Cubilla, Antonio L
The aim of this study was to describe pathologic features found at autopsy of 14 patients with penile cancer. Nine patients died from disseminated disease; 5 of them presented local/regional recurrences. Five patients died from other causes, 2 of them postoperatively. Local recurrence sites were corpus cavernosum, Buck's fascia and urethra, regional skin, and prostate. Metastatic sites were lymph nodes (9 cases), liver (7 cases), lungs (6 cases), heart (5 cases), adrenals, bone and skin (3 cases each), thyroid and brain (2 cases each), and pancreas, spleen, and pleura (1 case each). Patients with heart metastasis had arrhythmias. Patients who died and who did not die from penile cancer had different profiles: low-grade superficial tumors with usual and warty subtypes versus high-grade deeply invasive basaloid or hybrid verrucous/sarcomatoid carcinomas. A natural history model for penile cancer routes of spread is proposed: local intrapeneal, regional and systemic nodes, regional skin, liver, lungs, heart, and other multiple sites. PMID:19411278
Mortensen, Elin; Kearney, Michael Shelley
We studied the incidence, severity, and significance of intrauterine meconium aspiration (IUMA) in the midtrimester fetus. Lung sections from 219 midtrimester fetuses were examined for meconium, identified by finding meconium corpuscles. There were 21 cases (9.6%) with IUMA. Gestational age ranged from 13 to 23 weeks (mean 18.7 weeks); 11 were female, and 10 were male. Eighteen were spontaneous abortions, 11 of which were macerated, and 1 of these was associated with an intrauterine contraceptive device. There were 3 terminations of pregnancy, 2 for fetal abnormality and 1 for severe preeclampsia. One fetus was conceived by in vitro fertilization. Fifteen cases (71.4%) showed slight IUMA, 5 cases (23.8%) showed moderate IUMA, and in 1 case (4.8%) IUMA was massive. The incidence of IUMA in an autopsy series of midtrimester fetuses was 9.6%. The amount of aspirated meconium was usually small and possibly physiologic. When IUMA was moderate or massive, it was associated with severe abnormality of the umbilical cord or placenta, particularly subchorionic hematoma. PMID:19323599
Zhang, J.; Wieczorek, W.; Conwell, Y.; Tu, X.-M.; Wu, B. Y.-W.; Xiao, S.; Jia, C.
Background Patterns of suicide rates in China differ in many ways from those in the West. This study aimed to identify the risk factors characteristic for young rural Chinese suicides. Method This was a case-control psychological autopsy (PA) study. The samples were suicides and living controls (both aged 15–34 years) from 16 rural counties of China. We interviewed two informants for each suicide and each control with pretested and validated instruments to estimate psychosocial, psychiatric and other risk factors for suicides. Results The prevalence of mental disorders was higher among the young Chinese who died by suicide than among the living controls, but was lower than among suicides in the West. Marriage was not a protecting factor for suicide among young rural Chinese women, and never-married women who were involved in relationships were about three times more likely to commit suicide than single women who were unattached. Religion/religiosity was not a protecting factor in Chinese suicide, as it tended to be stronger for suicides than for controls. Impulsivity was significantly higher for suicides than for controls. Psychological strain, resulting from conflicting social values between communist gender equalitarianism and Confucian gender discrimination, was associated significantly with suicide in young rural Chinese women, even after accounting for the role of psychiatric illness. Conclusions Risk factors for suicide in rural China are different from those in the West. Psychological strain plays a role in suicide. Suicide prevention programs in China should incorporate culture-specific considerations. PMID:19656428
Chikkannaiah, Panduranga; Nagaraju, Smitha; Kangle, Rajit; Gosavi, Mansi
Ectodermal dysplasia are group of inherited disorders involving the developmental defects of ectodermal structures like hair, teeth, nails, sweat glands, and others. X-linked recessive inheritance is most common. Here we describe perinatal autopsy findings in a case of de novo ectodermal dysplasia in a female fetus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first fetal autopsy description in a case of ectodermal dysplasia. PMID:26417167
The paper discusses the problem of autopsy in the XVII century. As inspiration for reflections some paintings of Rembrandt are used. Autopsy merges in them as the last, though not the only one, act of body torment performance, thanks to which not only the secrets of human body interior but also empirical horizons of medical research are disclosed. The intellectual background of that period (Bacon's empiricism, rationalism of Descartes, mechanics) allows for medical experience and scientific knowledge about the human body. PMID:11625459
Gunasekera, R S; Brown, A B; Costas, E H
We report an autopsy case of a 42-year-old woman who, when discovered, had been dead in her apartment for approximately 1 week under circumstances involving treachery, assault and possible drug overdose. This case is unique as it involved two autopsies of the deceased by two different medical examiners who reached opposing conclusions. The first autopsy was performed about 10 days after death. The second autopsy was performed after an exhumation approximately 2 years after burial. Evidence collected at the crime scene included blood samples from which DNA was extracted and analysed, fingerprints and clothing containing dried body fluids. The conclusion of the first autopsy was accidental death due to cocaine toxicity; the conclusion of the second autopsy was death due to homicide given the totality of evidence. Suspects 1 and 2 were linked to the death of the victim by physical evidence and suspect 3 was linked by testimony. Suspect 1 received life in prison, and suspects 2 and 3 received 45 and 20 years in prison, respectively. This case indicates that cocaine toxicity is difficult to determine in putrefied tissue and that exhumations can be important in collecting forensic information. It further reveals that the combined findings of medical examiners, even though contradictory, are useful in determining the circumstances leading to death in criminal justice. Thus, this report demonstrates that such criminal circumstances require comparative forensic review and, in such cases, scientific conclusions can be difficult. PMID:22687773
Benharroch, Daniel; Shvarts, Shifra; Jotkowitz, Alan; Shelef, Ilan
Background: Reports on a marked reduction of the number of autopsies performed worldwide to less than 5% of hospital deaths remain without a satisfactory explanation. The premature disappearance of the autopsy might represent a medical tragedy of a major order. One of the causes for the decrease in autopsies is poorly documented: we suspect that the attending physician might show some reluctance when requesting a consent for an autopsy from the bereaved family. Moreover, this officer might consider that the post mortem will add little information to that already obtained from the computerized tomography scanner or the magnetic resonance imaging. Methods: In order to confirm our hypothesis, we carried out a review of 300 articles indexed as "radiologic-histologic correlation", 118 of which were selected for a significant correlation. From the abstracts, we retrieved the type of the article, the degree of correlation as assessed by the authors and the form of imaging employed, and we computed them. Results & conclusions: The most striking correlation was observed in the small prospective series. An additional search for the "radiologic-autopsy correlation" supported a marked reduction in the number of post-mortems, especially those related with prospective studies. Based on the present study, we cannot determine precisely the role of the house officer in this tragedy. We may have demonstrated, however, that the modern radiologic methods have not yet reached a high enough performance quality to achieve the status of a candidate substitute for the autopsy. PMID:26722367
Padubidri, Jagadish Rao; Menezes, Ritesh G; Pant, Sadip; Shetty, Soumya B
Unnatural deaths in women of reproductive age (range 12-49 years) have a serious psychological and social impact on the family and community. Deaths among women of reproductive age reported as medico-legal cases were investigated to see the trend in terms of cause and manner of death. The study group consisted of a series of 328 consecutive forensic autopsies on women in the reproductive age group, performed between 2009 and 2011 at the Government Wenlock District Hospital, Mangalore, India by qualified specialist forensic medicine experts. Unnatural deaths formed 93.6% of the cohort. The top three causes of death included burns, poisoning and hanging forming 69.5% of the cases. The manner of death was suicide in 45.4% cases, accident in 43.6% cases and homicide in 4.6% cases. The circumstances of death were related to alleged medical negligence in 2.4% cases. Death in 4% cases was natural mannered with a disease being the cause of death. Three-fourths of the victims were married. Married women formed 63.1% of the suicidal victims. Homicidal deaths were not reported among unmarried women. The preponderant method of suicide was by poisoning at 42.3% (63 cases), followed by hanging (34.9%), burns (11.4%) and drowning (9.4%). These four methods comprised 98% of the total suicidal deaths in this study cohort. Accidental deaths were predominantly caused by burns (62.2%) and road traffic accident (23.1%). Two-thirds of the homicidal deaths were due to assault caused by blunt-force trauma, ligature strangulation and sharp-force trauma. One-third of the homicidal victims died due to burns. With a clear understanding of the cause and manner of death, it may be possible to predict, and hopefully prevent, future cases of unnatural deaths in women of reproductive age who form a very important group of society. PMID:23910855
Karch, Steven B
No matter how meticulous the autopsy, non-traumatic deaths in the young go unexplained from 5-10% of the time. The percentage is higher in children and young adults. Advances in molecular biology and DNA technology now make it possible to explain many of those deaths. This development is not without irony. At the same time that many clinicians are expressing frustration about the lack of tangible gains provided by the Human Genome Project [Greenhalgh T. The Human Genome Project. J R Soc Med. Dec 2005;98(12):545], and pathologists are wondering about the viability of their field, DNA technology is about to reshape the field of forensic pathology. Emerging evidence suggests that the underlying cause of death in many is genetic, and that both the heart and liver abnormalities can both play a role. The problem is that death from a wide variety of genetic defects may leave no histological markers. The ability to identify these "invisible diseases" with postmortem genetic testing has become a reality far more quickly than anyone had ever imagined. The US Food and Drug Administration is about to place "black box" warnings on warfarin advising doctors screen potential recipients for the ability to metabolize that drug and the American Heart Association has recently editorialized that because of genetic-induced variations in electrical conduction that all newborns should have a screening electrocardiogram before they leave the hospital. The introduction of large-scale genetic screening will have an enormous effect on the practice of forensic pathology, far beyond anything seen in our lifetimes. It will also change the practice of medicine as we know it. This paper reviews the current status of the problem. PMID:17720589
Folio, R Les; Harcke, H Theodore; Luzi, Scott A
Radiology-assisted autopsy traditionally has been plain film-based, but now is being augmented by computed tomography (CT). The authors present a two-fatality rotary wing crash scenario illustrating application of advanced radiographic techniques that can guide and supplement the forensic pathologist's physical autopsy. The radiographic findings also have the potential for use by the aircraft mishap investigation board. Prior to forensic autopsy, the two crash fatalities were imaged with conventional two-dimensional radiographs (digital technique) and with multidetector CT The CT data were used for multiplanar two-dimensional and three-dimensional (3D) image reconstruction. The forensic pathologist was provided with information about skeletal fractures, metal fragment location, and other pathologic findings of potential use in the physical autopsy. The radiologic autopsy served as a supplement to the physical autopsy and did not replace the traditional autopsy in these cases. Both individuals sustained severe blunt force trauma with multiple fractures of the skull, face, chest, pelvis, and extremities. Individual fractures differed; however, one individual showed hand and lower extremity injuries similar to those associated with control of the aircraft at the time of impact. The concept of "control injury" has been challenged by Campman et al., who found that control surface injuries have a low sensitivity and specificity for establishing who the pilot was in an accident. The application of new post mortem imaging techniques may help to resolve control injury questions. In addition, the combination of injuries in our cases may contribute to further understanding of control surface injury patterns in helicopter mishaps. PMID:19378913
Saab, Jad; Salvatore, Steven P.
Background. Obesity is a growing public health problem associated with increased morbidity and rate of death. Postmortem examination is imperative to determine the cause of death, to detect clinically unsuspected disease entities, and consequently to determine the actual impact of obesity on patient mortality. Methods. A total of 849 adult autopsies were retrospectively reviewed. Obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and nonobese patients were separately studied. The primary cause of death in each group was categorized into malignancy, infection, stroke, ischemic and nonischemic heart disease, pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage, and primary nonneoplastic diseases of different organ systems. Results. Of 849 autopsies, 32.3% were obese. The leading causes of death in the obese population were malignancy (31.4%), infection (25.9%), ischemic heart disease (12.8%), and pulmonary embolism (6.2%). Obese individuals were statistically more likely to die from pulmonary embolism and liver disease and less likely to die from neurologic diseases and nonischemic heart disease. Conclusion. Autopsies on obese individuals constitute a third of all adult medical autopsies in our center. Increased death rates in the obese due to pulmonary embolism and liver disease should receive special clinical attention. Autopsy findings in the obese population should contribute to overall premortem disease detection, prevention, and management. PMID:25653872
Winter, Eduard; Höflmayer, Doris; Patzak, Beatrix; Feigl, Walter
Vienna has a long tradition of clinical autopsies. In the period from 1817 to 2012 there are over 300,000 autopsies documented in the Vienna General Hospital. From five other community hospitals with departments for pathology and some closed hospitals, autopsy reports exist since 1865. Until the nineteenth century the reports are written in Kurrent, then Latin script and since the 1920s they are stored as machine written copies. This incredible high number of preserved reports was only possible because of the tradition started by Rokitansky and the possibility of storing this large amount of records in the Pathologic anatomical collection in the Narrenturm, the Vienna Municipal Archives and various hospitals. The aim of this study was to create a documentary of the repositories of the autopsy records, to make the records available and easier accessible for different kinds of research. The autopsy records should be easier to find and access, be it for the use in statistics or other scientific projects. PMID:23670601
Bély, M; Apáthy, A
In the randomized autopsy material of 161 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a letal, generalized septic infection (GSI) was observed in 22 cases (13.66%). The GSI was accompanied by a pyarthros in 12 (7.45%) and no pyarthros in 10 (6.21%) cases. The clinical parameters of 22 septic RA patients were compared with 139 age and sex matched RA patients without GSI. The average age of septic patients decreased (p < 0.02), with low serum electrophoretic b-globulin level (p < 0.04), and high Waaler-Rose (p < 0.02) and Latex level (p < 0.004). The clinical parameters of 22 septic patients were compared with 76 age and sex matched RA patients without sepsis, vasculitis, or generalized secondary amyloidosis (GSA), and/or miliary epitheloid granulomas of tuberculous type (mT). The differences between the two groups of patients were the same, with a statistically more pronounced age difference (p < 0.005). 29 out of 161 patients (18.01 %) suffered from a clinically manifest diabetes mellitus (in 6 patients accompanied by sepsis), and 11 (6.83 %) from a clinically latent diabetes mellitus (in 2 patients accompanied by sepsis). There was no significant relationship between sepsis and manifest diabetes mellitus. The controlled and treated diabetes mellitus does not influence the frequency of lethal sepsis. Significant correlations were found between sepsis and latent diabetes mellitus (based on the histological detection of amyloid deposition localized to the islets of Langerhans (p < 0.02). 34 out of 161 patients (21.12%) suffered from a generalized secondary amyloidosis (in 3 patients accompanied by sepsis). There was no significant relationship between sepsis and generalized secondary amyloidosis. The thickness of adrenal cortex represents the effect of steroid therapy. Critical random check, using the Mann-Whitney tests, supports significance relationship between the adrenal cortex atrophy and fatal sepsis (p < 0.010). The follicular lymphoid depletion in the spleen
Khoury, S. A.; Massad, D.; Fardous, T.
Mortality indicators and causes of death in Jordan were assessed by verbal autopsy. A random sample of 100 clusters of ca. 300 households each were monitored for one year by notification assistants selected from the study area itself. Registered deaths were reported to research assistants who visited the family to complete the verbal autopsy form, which was structured and contained about 100 questions. Causes of death were determined by two physicians according to preset algorithms. A total of 965 deaths were reported among 198,989 persons, giving a crude death rate of 5 per 1000 population per year. The three leading causes of death were diseases of the circulatory system, malignancies and accidents. In the absence of a health information system, verbal autopsy as implemented in Jordan can serve as a reliable substitute. PMID:10516786
Kogure, Yasunori; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Shinozaki-Ushiku, Aya; Watanabe, Akira; Kamei, Katsuhiko; Yoshizato, Tetsuichi; Nannya, Yasuhito; Fukayama, Masashi; Kurokawa, Mineo
Mucormycosis is an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality for patients with hematological malignancies. The diagnosis of mucormycosis usually requires mycological evidence through tissue biopsy or autopsy because the signs and symptoms are nonspecific and there are currently no biomarkers to identify the disease. We herein present two autopsied cases of acute myeloid leukemia with prolonged neutropenia who developed invasive mucormycosis accompanied by pulmonary artery embolism. Our cases were featured by unexplained fever and rapidly progressive dyspnea. Computed tomography scan detected nodular lesions or nonspecific consolidations in the lungs. Cultures, cytological study, and serum fungal markers consistently gave negative results. Autopsy revealed embolism of the pulmonary artery which consisted of fibrin clots by filamentous fungi. Genomic DNA was extracted from the paraffin-embedded clots and was applied to polymerase chain reaction amplification, leading to the diagnosis of infection by Rhizopus microsporus. We should carefully search for life-threatening pulmonary embolism when patients with hematological malignancies develop pulmonary mucormycosis. PMID:25031775
Al-Waheeb, Salah; Al-Kandary, Nadia; Aljerian, Khaldoon
Autopsies are performed in the majority of Arab, Muslim countries. Several of these countries face social challenges and others do not have well established academic programs to teach the science. In this article we intend to review the history and practice of the forensic part of autopsies in a few Arab, Muslim countries (Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Kuwait) and compare it with the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK), 2 countries where the practice of forensic science and Forensic pathology is well established. This was achieved by pub med literature search and the distribution of a questionnaire to colleagues in Arab countries. We recommend that Arab countries explore the field of virtual autopsy to overcome some of the social challenges related to dissection of the cadaver. Kuwait can benefit from the introduction of Forensic training given the high workload in the country. PMID:25882141
Background Verbal Autopsy (VA) is widely viewed as the only immediate strategy for registering cause of death in much of Africa and Asia, where routine physician certification of deaths is not widely practiced. VA involves a lay interview with family or friends after a death, to record essential details of the circumstances. These data can then be processed automatically to arrive at standardized cause of death information. Methods The Population Health Metrics Research Consortium (PHMRC) undertook a study at six tertiary hospitals in low- and middle-income countries which documented over 12,000 deaths clinically and subsequently undertook VA interviews. This dataset, now in the public domain, was compared with the WHO 2012 VA standard and the InterVA-4 interpretative model. Results The PHMRC data covered 70% of the WHO 2012 VA input indicators, and categorized cause of death according to PHMRC definitions. After eliminating some problematic or incomplete records, 11,984 VAs were compared. Some of the PHMRC cause definitions, such as ‘preterm delivery’, differed substantially from the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 equivalent. There were some appreciable inconsistencies between the hospital and VA data, including 20% of the hospital maternal deaths being described as non-pregnant in the VA data. A high proportion of VA cases (66%) reported respiratory symptoms, but only 18% of assigned hospital causes were respiratory-related. Despite these issues, the concordance correlation coefficient between hospital and InterVA-4 cause of death categories was 0.61. Conclusions The PHMRC dataset is a valuable reference source for VA methods, but has to be interpreted with care. Inherently inconsistent cases should not be included when using these data to build other VA models. Conversely, models built from these data should be independently evaluated. It is important to distinguish between the internal and external validity of VA models. The effects of
Puri, Ratna Dua; Kotecha, Udhaya; Lall, Meena; Dash, Pratima; Bijarnia-Mahay, Sunita; Verma, Ishwar Chander
The utility of fetal autopsy to corroborate antenatal ultrasound findings and to aid genetic counseling is well known. However, the ability to identify an underlying cause for the common indications for which it is performed is not well studied. This study aimed to determine if the diagnostic yield of fetal autopsy in identifying the underlying cause is determined by the indication of the autopsy. Five groups of fetuses were defined based on the indication for the autopsy performed in 903 cases: (i) malformations, (ii) intrauterine death (IUD), (iii) cystic hygroma and hydrops fetalis, (iv) isolated abnormalities of amniotic fluid, and (v) intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). The highest diagnostic yield was in fetuses with isolated abnormalities of amniotic fluid (77%), followed by those with IUGR (75%), with IUD (69.6%), those in group five (55.2%) and lowest (45%) in fetuses with malformations (P < 0.001). A cause was identified in 77.8% fetuses with multiple malformations compared to 37.5% with isolated malformations (P < 0.001), with chromosomal abnormalities in 31.8% versus 9.9% respectively (P < 0.001) and malformation syndromes in 42.5% versus 26.3% (P < 0.001). Placental examination provided the highest yield in IUD, IUGR, and oligohydramnios (43.1%; P < 0.003) whereas chromosomal analysis was most useful in cystic hygroma/NIHF (28.9%; P < 0.001). This information on the diagnostic yield in fetal autopsy related its common indications, can be utilized to counsel families of the utility of autopsy to establish cause and recurrence risks and thereby assist then to make an informed decision to consent for the procedure. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27197608
Gervacio, G; Lim, M; Reganit, P; Encinas, M; Macapugay, L; Palmero, J; Nierras, C; De los Reyes, C; Geronimo, F
Aim Sudden unexplained nocturnal death syndrome (SUNDS) has been linked to the Brugada syndrome. In some places, acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis is widely held to cause it. We conducted a systematic, controlled autopsy study on Filipino SUNDS victims to rule out structural heart findings as well as acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis as causes. Methods and results A case control autopsy study was conducted comparing SUNDS victims between 18 and 50 years of age who died within 1 h of symptom onset with age- and gender-matched controls. There were 24 SUNDS (mean age 34.5 years) and 24 controls (mean 32.7 years). The autopsy incidence of structural heart disease was 8.3% (95% CI (1% to 27%)) and focal pancreatic haemorrhage was 4.17% (95% CI (0.1% to 20%)) but zero for true acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis among SUNDS victims. Autopsy findings in SUNDS versus controls were not significantly different from each other, showing no diagnostic abnormality in any of the organs. There was no significant difference in the incidence of acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis in both the SUNDS and control groups. We did not find fetal dispersion of the atrioventricular (AV) node, sclerosis or fibrosis of the AV conduction system, in a substudy of SUNDS cases. Conclusions We have shown that there is no significant difference in the overall autopsy findings between SUNDS and controls. Autopsy findings were normal in 70% of SUNDS; no cardiac structural pathology was found in 87% of cases. Haemorrhagic pancreatitis is the cause of death in a minority of SUNDS. The cardiac conduction system is normal in a subgroup of SUNDS studied. PMID:27326155
Mollo, F.; Andrion, A.; Colombo, A.; Segnan, N.; Pira, E.
The relationship between the occurrence of neoplastic diseases and the presence of pleural plaques was studied in a series of 1097 autopsies performed in Turin from the adult general population. In men, pleural plaques showed an association with the presence of laryngeal, pulmonary, esophageal, and colorectal cancer. Only cancer of the larynx was strongly related to the occurrence of such pleural changes. This autopsy investigation confirms previous observations by others based on x-ray findings, and suggests that pleural plaques may be regarded as risk indicators of possibly asbestos-related tumors in the general population.
Tette, Edem; Yawson, Alfred E.; Tettey, Yao
Background Autopsies can provide a good indication of the quality of patient care, in terms of the accuracy of clinical diagnosis and the quality of treatment given. Designs This was a cross-sectional study among clinicians at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in 2012. Data were collected with a 69-item, self-administered, structured questionnaire. A total of 215 questionnaires were sent out and 119 clinicians responded. Data were collected on the benefits and utility of autopsies for medical practice, care of patients, and management of clinical wards. Survey data were analyzed by simple descriptive statistics (i.e. proportions, ratios, and percentages). Data were analyzed using SPSS version 21. Objective This study examined the views of clinicians regarding the utility of autopsies and their influence on clinical practice in a large teaching hospital in Ghana. Results Overall, clinicians in KBTH agreed that autopsy reports are useful in answering clinical questions (55/119; 46.2%), confirming or verifying clinical diagnoses (54/119; 45.4%), providing information on unsuspected diagnoses (40/119; 33.6%), and for medical education (90/119; 75.6%). Overall, 70/119 (58.8%) of clinicians agreed that autopsy findings improve completeness and reliability of death certification and provide information on clinical effectiveness of treatment and patient management. However, only 23/119 (19.3%) of sampled clinicians had personal interactions with a pathologist during autopsy processes and 93/119 (78.2%) had not attended any autopsy demonstrations in the past 6 months. Attendance of pathologists at clinicopathological meetings of clinical departments of KBTH was minimal. Unfortunately, the use of autopsy reports for auditing clinical diagnostic performance was not seen as essential. Conclusion Strengthening the interaction between doctors and pathologists is essential in improving the autopsy process and utilization in the hospital. KBTH should create opportunities for
He, Fanggang; Li, Liliang; Bynum, Jennifer; Meng, Xiangzhi; Yan, Ping; Li, Ling; Liu, Liang
Medical disputes in China are historically poorly documented. In particular, autopsy-based evaluation and its impact on medical malpractice claims remain largely unstudied. This study aims to document autopsy findings and medical malpractice in one of the largest cities of China, Wuhan, located in Hubei Province. A total of 519 autopsies were performed by the Department of Forensic Medicine, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, China, over a 10-year period between 2004 and 2013. Of these cases, 190 (36.6%) were associated with medical malpractice claims. Joint evaluation by forensic pathologists and clinicians confirmed that 97 (51.1%) of the 190 claims were approved medical malpractice cases. The percentage of approved malpractice cases increased with patient age and varied according to medical setting, physician specialty, and organ system. The clinico-pathological diagnostic discrepancy was significantly different among various physician specialties (P = 0.031) and organ systems (P = 0.000). Of those cases involved in malpractice claims, aortic dissection, coronary heart disease, and acute respiratory infection were most common. Association between incorrect diagnosis and malpractice was significant (P = 0.001). This is the first report on China's medical malpractice and findings at autopsy which reflects the current state of health care services in one of the biggest cities in China. PMID:26559306
Samaraweera, Sudath; Sumathipala, Athula; Siribaddana, Sisira; Sivayogan, S.; Bhugra, Dinesh
Sri Lanka has the one of highest rates of suicide. Important factors associated with suicide were determined via the psychological autopsy approach (which had not been carried out previously in Sri Lanka). Over a 3-month period, in a catchment area, 31 suicides among Sinhalese were identified and 27 were investigated. Males were more likely to…
Hays, Fred H.; DeLurgio, Stephen A.
Finance students today live in the midst of an enormous financial crisis. Institutions both large and small are failing or being rescued through government intervention. This environment presents a host of learning opportunities for instructors as well as students. This paper discusses financial autopsies as a form of experiential learning…
Celbis, Osman; Aydin, N Engin; Kok, Ahmet Nezih
European Union (EU) is expanding its territories, and Turkey has been making adaptive changes in many aspects for an integration with EU. In this regard, amendments on forensic autopsy procedures have been effective from June 1, 2005. This article delineates these changes, emphasizing the differences between the previous and the current procedures. PMID:17133036
Conner, Kenneth R.; Beautrais, Annette L.; Brent, David A.; Conwell, Yeates; Phillips, Michael R.; Schneider, Barbara
The psychological autopsy (PA) is a systematic method of assessing the psychological and contextual circumstances preceding suicide. The method requires interviews with one or more proxy respondents (i.e., informants) of suicide decedents. Procedural challenges that need to be addressed to conduct PA interviews are described in this article and…
Takayama, Mio; Kashiwagi, Masayuki; Matsusue, Aya; Waters, Brian; Hara, Kenji; Ikematsu, Natsuki; Kubo, Shin-ichi
The aim of the present study was to quantify neuropathological findings using image analysis software for the diagnosis of dementia in deceased who underwent forensic autopsy. Of the autopsies performed within 48 hours of death and excluding those of patients with head injury, thermal injury, heat stroke, or intracranial lesions, 8 were of autopsy cases clinically diagnosed with dementia and thus included in the dementia group (D). The non-dementia group (non-D) consisted of 6 deceased without dementia. To compare the D and non-D groups, 6 regions and 7 types of pathological findings were observed semi-quantitatively using 4 conventional stainings. Quantitative analysis of collected image data was performed using image analysis software. Semiquantitative analysis of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles was performed with Bielschowsky-Hirano's silver staining image data. An easy, simple, and effective quantification method of the pathological findings was achieved. However, no significant differences were observed between the two groups, and diagnosis of dementia by the quantification of pathological findings was not successful. Diagnosis of dementia using image data may be possible in future studies with an increased number of autopsies, and by utilizing staining techniques with higher specificity and sensitivity, such as immunohistochemical staining. PMID:27040064
Bolster, Ferdia; Ali, Zabiullah; Southall, Pamela; Fowler, David
Generalized arterial calcification in infancy is a rare genetic disorder characterized by abnormal calcification of large and medium sized arteries and marked myointimal proliferation resulting in arterial stenosis. The condition is often fatal secondary to complications of cardiac ischemia, hypertension and cardiac failure. In this report we describe the findings at post mortem computed tomography, histology and autopsy. PMID:26165490
The ability of a battery of genetic monitoring tests to detect occupational formaldehyde exposure in a population of a hospital autopsy service workers was investigated. Eleven exposed individuals and 11 matched controls were evaluated for sperm count, abnormal sperm morphology a...
Results of analysis for platinum in 97 autopsy sets are presented. Analysis was performed by a specially developed emission spectrochemical method. Almost half of the individuals studied were found to have detectable platinum in one or more tissue samples. Platinum was found to b...
Conner, Kenneth R.; Beautrais, Annette L.; Brent, David A.; Conwell, Yeates; Phillips, Michael R.; Schneider, Barbara
The psychological autopsy (PA) is a systematic method to understand the psychological and contextual circumstances preceding suicide. The method requires interviews with one or more proxy respondents (i.e., informants) of decedents. The methodological challenges that need to be addressed when determining the content of these research interviews…
Slater, Greta Yoder
Social, economic, violence, political, and gun access predictors of suicide and gun suicide were examined via sociological autopsy. The model predicting suicide rates overall had the best results, X[superscript 2](9, N = 50) = 5.279 (CMIN, the goodness of fit statistic that represents the minimum discrepancy between the unrestricted sample…
Makino, Yohsuke; Itoda, Nozomi; Ikegaya, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Naoko; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Motomura, Ayumi; Uno, Takashi; Iwase, Hirotaro
We herein introduce 3 cases illustrating a new application for pre-autopsy postmortem computed tomography (PMCT). In all 3 cases, there was insufficient background information about the victims provided to the forensic pathologists' department. PMCT showed metallic particles in the prostate gland, an indication of metallic seeds containing radioactive isotopes. In 2 of 3 cases, migrated seeds were also detected by CT imaging in the lungs and the heart. Also in 2 of 3 cases, authorities reinvestigated the victim's history before autopsy was completed, which resulted in following appropriate procedure for dealing with the seeds. Although all 3 cadavers were cremated after autopsy, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) discourages cremation for deaths soon after radioactive seeds implantation to prevent air pollution by radioactive isotopes in the ash. Our opinion from the present cases is that pre-autopsy PMCT can be recommended for use by forensic pathologists and guidelines for investigating deaths after permanent brachytherapy should include how to deal with cadavers when medical history is limited. PMID:27334769
Significant reasons militate for the implementation of clinical autopsies: On the part of physicians and nurses, there is quality assurance, establishment of legal certainty regarding possible accusations of medical errors and development of treatment methods. On the part of patients and their relatives, there is consolation and relief in cases of unexpected death, insight into genetic dispositions and insurance law concerns, to name only a few. However, a continuing decrease of clinical autopsies can be observed in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The thesis asserting that the often required informed consent of the deceased during his/her lifetime or of close relatives is a crucial reason for this decrease needs to be called into question due to recent studies. Mainsprings are rather structural reasons, such as the often deficient communication with the patient or close relatives, economic reasons, namely the frequently insufficient remuneration for the clinical autopsy, organizational causes, in particular the repeatedly encountered suboptimal collaboration between the individual departments and the pathology department, the high administrative effort and probably the decreasing appreciation of the clinical autopsy. PMID:21805100
Nausheen, Sidrah; Soofi, Sajid B.; Sadiq, Kamran; Habib, Atif; Turab, Ali; Memon, Zahid; Khan, M. Imran; Suhag, Zamir; Bhatti, Zaid; Ahmed, Imran; Bahl, Rajiv; Bhutta, Shireen; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A.
Objective To assess performance of the WHO revised verbal autopsy tool for ascertaining the causes of still birth in comparison with reference standard cause of death ascertained by standardized clinical and supportive data. Methods All stillbirths at a tertiary hospital in Karachi, Pakistan were prospectively recruited into study from August 2006- February 2008. The reference standard cause of death was established by two senior obstetricians within 48 hours using the ICD coding system. Verbal autopsy interviews using modified WHO tool were conducted by trained health workers within 2- 6 weeks of still birth and the cause of death was assigned by second panel of obstetricians. The performance was assessed in terms of sensitivity, specificity and Kappa. Results There were 204 still births. Of these, 80.8% of antepartum and 50.5% of intrapartum deaths were correctly diagnosed by verbal autopsy. Sensitivity of verbal autopsy was highest 68.4%, (95%CI: 46-84.6) for congenital malformation followed by obstetric complication 57.6%, (95%CI: 25-84.2). The specificity for all major causes was greater than 90%. The level of agreement was high (kappa=0.72) for anomalies and moderate (k=0.4) for all major causes of still birth, except asphyxia. Conclusion Our results suggest that verbal autopsy has reasonable validity in identifying and discriminating between causes of stillbirth in Pakistan. On the basis of these findings, we feel it has a place in resource constrained areas to inform strategic planning and mobilization of resources to attain Millennium Development Goals. PMID:24130814
Campobasso, Carlo P; Laviola, Domenica; Grattagliano, Ignazio; Strada, Luigi; Dell'Erba, Alessandro S
Patricide (killing the father) is uncommon form of homicide. Usually the assaults occur at home in the absence of witnesses and adult sons are frequently involved. Homicides in a domestic context usually do not tend to recurrence, because the motivation for the crime ends with the death of the parent. However, this is not what was observed in the present case study dealing with the death of a 70 years old white man originally misclassified as accident and discovered three years later only after an additional homicide in a family context of a 60 years old white lady. Multiple stab wounds to the neck and thorax were misinterpreted at the external male body examination as blunt trauma falling down stairs. No forensic autopsy was requested and no comparison of medical findings with the results from the death scene, such as a bloodstain analysis was performed by the police officers nor required by the judicial authority. This was quite surprising because an additional but preliminary post-mortem external examination performed by a general practitioner on the male body already raised the suspicion that the external lesions were stab wounds thus requiring a forensic autopsy. Only the exhumation of the elderly body, performed years later, confirmed the diagnostic hypothesis raised by the first physician. The present case is quite representative of a death investigation not run professionally and performed by individuals with no specific training where most of the medico-legal investigations (especially for traumatic and violent deaths) are restricted to an external body examination without subsequent autopsy. Although misinterpretation of external lesions is inevitable and significant discrepancies between external body examination and forensic autopsy are not rare, in the case of contradictory results of post-mortem external examination or unclear/suspicious cause and manner of death, investigation should proceed necessarily with a forensic autopsy. PMID:26165662
Joshi, Rohina; Praveen, Deversetty; Jan, Stephen; Raju, Krishnam; Maulik, Pallab; Jha, Vivekanand; Lopez, Alan D.
Objective This paper aims to determine the cost of establishing and sustaining a verbal-autopsy based mortality surveillance system in rural India. Materials and Methods Deaths occurring in 45 villages (population 185,629) were documented over a 4-year period from 2003–2007 by 45 non-physician healthcare workers (NPHWs) trained in data collection using a verbal autopsy tool. Causes of death were assigned by 2 physicians for the first year and by one physician for the subsequent years. Costs were calculated for training of interviewers and physicians, data collection, verbal autopsy analysis, project management and infrastructure. Costs were divided by the number of deaths and the population covered in the year. Results Verbal-autopsies were completed for 96.7% (5786) of all deaths (5895) recorded. The annual cost in year 1 was INR 1,133,491 (USD 24,943) and the total cost per death was INR 757 (USD 16.66). These costs included training of NPHWs and physician reviewers Rs 67,025 (USD 1474), data collection INR 248,400 (USD 5466), dual physician review for cause of death assignment INR 375,000 (USD 8252), and project management INR 341,724 (USD 7520). The average annual cost to run the system each year was INR 822,717 (USD18104) and the cost per death was INR 549 (USD 12) for the next 3 years. Costs were reduced by using single physician review and shortened re-training sessions. The annual cost of running a surveillance system was INR 900,410 (USD 19814). Discussion This study provides detailed empirical evidence of the costs involved in running a mortality surveillance site using verbal-autopsy. PMID:25955389
Madea, Burkhard; Preuss, Johanna
A multicentre retrospective analysis of 4450 autopsies carried out due to suspicion of medical malpractice in 17 German institutes of forensic medicine from 1990 to 2000 was performed for the German Federal Ministry of Health. During the time period analysed an increase of cases could be mentioned. The main results of the study are: in the cooperating institutes the total number of autopsies due to suspected medical malpractice ranged from 1.4 to 20%. In more than 40% of the cases preliminary proceedings were started because the manner of death was certified as non-natural or not clarified. Hospital doctors were more affected by medical malpractice claims than doctors in private practice. However, the number of confirmed cases of medical malpractice was higher for doctors in private practice than for hospital doctors. Although surgery is still at the top of the disciplines involved in medical malpractice claims the number of confirmed surgical cases was below the average. Mistakes in care were confirmed to be above the average. Medico-legal autopsies are still a very sufficient method to evaluate cases of medical malpractice: 2863 cases could already be clarified by autopsy. Up to now there is no systematic registration of medical malpractice charges in Germany. A systematic registration should be initiated to build up and/or improve error reporting systems and, thus, to improve patient safety. Compared to other sources of medical malpractice claims (arbitration committees of the medical chambers, reference material of health and insurance companies, files of civil courts) the data of the present multicentre study are in so far unique as only lethal cases were evaluated and a complete autopsy report was available as basis of an expert opinion in alleged medical malpractice cases. PMID:19524380
Allotey, Pascale A.; Reidpath, Daniel D.; Evans, Natalie C.; Devarajan, Nirmala; Rajagobal, Kanason; Bachok, Ruhaida; Komahan, Kridaraan
Background Verbal autopsies have gained considerable ground as an acceptable alternative to medically determined cause of death. Unlike with clinical or more administrative settings for data collection, verbal autopsies require significant involvement of families and communities, which introduces important social and cultural considerations. However, there is very little clear guidance about the methodological issues in data collection. The objectives of this case study were: to explore the range of bereavement rituals within the multi-ethnic, multi-faith population of the district; to investigate the preparedness of communities to talk about death; to describe the verbal autopsy process; to assess the effects of collecting verbal autopsy data on data collectors; and to determine the most accurate sources of information about deaths in the community. Methods A case study approach was used, using focus group discussions, indepth interviews and field notes. Thematic analyses were undertaken using NVivo. Results Consideration of cultural bereavement practices is importance to acceptance and response rates to verbal autopsies. They are also important to the timing of verbal autopsy interviews. Well trained data collectors, regardless of health qualifications are able to collect good quality data, but debriefing is important to their health and well being. This article contributes to guidance on the data collection procedures for verbal autopsies within community settings. PMID:26140728
Swain, Rajanikanta; Mallick, Saumyaranjan; Behera, C; Murty, O P
Many times at autopsy, on the basis of colour change of the stomach and intestinal mucosa, the forensic pathologist is able to suspect a particular nature of poisoning which leads to conclusive investigation of the case. An intense bluish discolouration of the gastric mucosa owing to capsule shell instead of the content is rarely encountered at autopsy. We report a case of fatal dextropropoxyphene poisoning, where gastric and small intestinal mucosa showed bluish discolouration owing to the gelatine capsule of the drug. Other causes of bluish discolouration of gastrointestinal tract mucosa at autopsy are also discussed. PMID:23606385
Shin, Sang Eon; Lee, Hyun Ju; Park, Ji Hye; Ko, Kwang Soo; Kim, Yu-Hoon; Kim, Kyung Ryoul; Park, Seong Hwan
Forensic entomology applies insect evidence to legal problems such as the estimation of minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). For this purpose, knowledge of the insect fauna that are attracted to human cadavers in each geographic region is a prerequisite. Despite many studies investigating the insect fauna attracted to meat, there has been no survey of the entomofauna on human cadavers in the East Asian temperate climate zone, particularly in Korea. Therefore, this study reports the entomofauna collected from medicolegal autopsies in northeastern Seoul and its suburbs. Insect samples were collected from 35 medicolegal autopsies in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Molecular and morphological methods were utilized for taxonomic identification. Among 1398 individual samples belonging to 3 orders, 13 families, 18 genera, and 32 species, the dominant family and species were Calliphoridae and Lucilia sericata, respectively. Despite its limited scale, this study provides a snapshot of the general entomofauna that are attracted to human cadavers in this region. PMID:26185759
Collardeau-Frachon, Sophie; Cordier, Marie-Pierre; Rossi, Massimiliano; Guibaud, Laurent; Vianey-Saban, Christine
This review highlights the importance of performing an autopsy when faced with fetal abortion or termination of pregnancy with suspicion of an inborn error of metabolism. Radiological, macroscopic and microscopic features found at autopsy as well as placental anomalies that can suggest such a diagnosis are detailed. The following metabolic disorders encountered in fetuses are discussed: lysosomal storage diseases, peroxisomal disorders, cholesterol synthesis disorders, congenital disorders of glycosylation, glycogenosis type IV, mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders, transaldolase deficiency, generalized arterial calcification of infancy, hypophosphatasia, arylsulfatase E deficiency, inborn errors of serine metabolism, asparagine synthetase deficiency, hyperphenylalaninemia, glutaric aciduria type I, non-ketotic hyperglycinemia, pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency, pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, glutamine synthase deficiency, sulfite oxidase and molybdenum cofactor deficiency. PMID:27106218
Hatamaru, Keiichi; Azuma, Shunjiro; Akamatsu, Takuji; Seta, Takeshi; Urai, Shunji; Uenoyama, Yoshito; Yamashita, Yukitaka; Ono, Kazuo
We report an extremely rare case of pulmonary lipiodol embolism with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A 77-year-old man who was diagnosed with a huge HCC was admitted for TACE. Immediately after the procedure, this patient experienced severe dyspnea. We suspected that his symptoms were associated with a pulmonary lipiodol embolism after TACE, and we began intensive treatment. However, his condition did not improve, and he died on the following day. A subsequent autopsy revealed that the cause of death was ARDS due to pulmonary lipiodol embolism. No cases have been previously reported for which an autopsy was performed to explain the most probable mechanism of pulmonary lipiodol embolism; thus, ours is the first report for such a rare case. PMID:25632211
Slot, Liselott; Larsen, Peter K; Lynnerup, Niels
In this pilot study, the authors tested whether photogrammetry can replace or supplement physical measurements made during autopsies and, based on such measurements, whether virtual computer models may be applicable in forensic reconstructions. Photogrammetric and physical measurements of markers denoting wounds on five volunteers were compared. Virtual models of the volunteers were made, and the precision of the markers' locations on the models was tested. Twelve of 13 mean differences between photogrammetric and physical measurements were below 1 cm, which indicates that the photogrammetric method has a high accuracy. The precision of the markers' location on the models was somewhat less, although the method is still promising and potentially superior to the current procedures used for reconstructions. The possibility to measure any distance on a body, even after the autopsy is concluded and the corpse is no longer available, is one of the biggest benefits of photogrammetry. PMID:24117866
The study examined the effect of exposure to autopsy workers to formaldehyde using urinary mutagenicity testing with Salmonella typhimurium. A matched control group was also studied. Additional studies including the recovery of histidine from urine samples, the determination of h...
Ruangritchankul, Komkrit; Chindamporn, Ariya; Worasilchai, Navaporn; Poumsuk, Ubon; Keelawat, Somboon; Bychkov, Andrey
Invasive fungal disease (IFD) has high mortality rate, especially in the growing population of immunocompromised patients. In spite of introduction of novel diagnostic approaches, the intravital recognition of IFD is challenging. Autopsy studies remain a key tool for assessment of epidemiology of visceral mycoses. We aimed to determine species distribution and trends of IFD over the last 10 years in unselected autopsy series from a large university hospital. Forty-five cases of visceral mycoses, confirmed by histopathology and panfungal PCR, were found in 587 consecutive autopsies. Major underlying diseases were diabetes mellitus (20%), hematologic malignancies (15.6%) and systemic lupus erythematosus (15.6%). There was a high risk for disseminated IFD in immunocompromised patients stayed in the hospital over 1 month with a fever longer than 3 weeks. The most common fungi were Aspergillus spp. (58%), Candida spp. (16%), Mucorales (14%) and Fusarium spp. (10%). We found significant increase in Aspergillus flavus (P = 0.04) and Mucorales (P < 0.01) infections over the last 5 years. Concordance rate between histopathology and panfungal PCR was 89.5% to the genus level. All 6 cases of fusariomycosis were misinterpreted as aspergillosis by histology alone. The precise species identification, necessary for targeted antifungal treatment, was rendered only by the molecular technique. Panfungal PCR showed high performance on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens, providing important epidemiological data in retrospective autopsy series. Rapid detection of fungi by panfungal PCR assay has high potential for intravital diagnostics of IFD in surgical and biopsy specimens. PMID:26823814
Thali, Michael J; Kneubuehl, Beat P; Vock, Peter; Allmen, Gabriel v; Dirnhofer, Richard
The authors documented and evaluated experimental gunshots to a skull-brain model with high-speed photography and subsequent radiographic examination for comparison of the morphologic findings in the model. The artificial skull was a polyurethane ball constructed in layers, with a porous diploe sandwiched between a tabula externa and a tabula interna. The brain itself was simulated with gelatin 10% at 4 degrees C, a material well known in wound ballistics. Gunshots were fired at the model from a distance of 10 m and documented with high-speed photography (up to 50 million frames/sec). Subsequently, a complete examination of the artificial skull was performed, including spiral computed tomography (with two-dimensional and three-dimensional reconstructions) and classic skull autopsy. The high-speed photographs clearly showed the dynamic development of the skull fracture system from an external perspective. The subsequent radiographic examination of the entire head volume created two-dimensional reformations in any plane and three-dimensional reconstructions of the gunshot injury of the polyurethane skull-brain model, especially the wound channel and the fracture system. Thanks to the model and high-speed photographs, the dynamic development of the morphology of a gunshot wound could be documented and studied. The data from computed tomography, using two-dimensional and three-dimensional postprocessing with a perspective view, were very similar to those from classic head autopsy, but derived in a hands-off and nondestructive manner. This examination method leads the way to radiographic digital autopsy or virtual autopsy. PMID:12198345
Sousse, Linda E.; Herndon, David N.; Andersen, Clark R.; Zovath, Andrew; Finnerty, Celeste C.; Mlcak, Ronald P.; Cox, Robert A.; Traber, Daniel L.; Hawkins, Hal K.
Pulmonary abnormalities occur in 30–80% of fatalities after burn injury. The objective of our study is to investigate lung pathology in autopsy tissues of pediatric burn patients. METHODS Three scientists with pathology training in pediatric burn care reviewed masked autopsy slides of burned children who died after admission to a burn center from 2002–2012 (n=43). Autopsy lung tissue was assigned scores for histologic abnormalities in 9 categories, including alveolar and interstitial fibrosis, hyaline membranes, and type II epithelial cell proliferation. Scores were then tested for correlation with age, TBSA burn, number of days between burn and death, time between burn and admission, and the presence of inhalation injury using analyses with linear models. RESULTS Type II epithelial cell proliferation was significantly more common in cases with a longer time between burn and admission (p<0.02). Interstitial fibrosis was significantly more severe in cases with longer survival after burn (p<0.01). The scores for protein were significantly higher in cases with longer survival after burn (p<0.03). Enlarged air spaces were significantly more prominent in cases with longer survival after burn (p<0.01), and in cases with the presence of inhalation injury (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS Histological findings associated with Diffuse Alveolar Damage (DAD), which is the pathological correlate of the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), were seen in approximately 42% of autopsies studied. Protein-rich alveolar edema, which is the abnormality that leads to ARDS, may occur from multiple causes, including inhalation injury. PMID:25445004
Karata, Hiroki; Tanaka, Tomonori; Egashira, Ryoko; Tabata, Kazuhiro; Otani, Kyoko; Hayashi, Ryuji; Hori, Takashi; Fukuoka, Junya
We report an educational autopsy case of combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. Radiological patterns of the upper lung were considered as mostly emphysema, but pathological observation revealed significant interstitial fibrosis of usual interstitial pneumonia as a major pathology. The patient eventually developed acute exacerbation of background interstitial pneumonia. Careful radiological and pathological correlation of the current case indicates that regions with distal acinar emphysema on computed tomography image may possess histologically marked dense fibrosis of lethal interstitial pneumonia. PMID:26185436
Zamarrón-de Lucas, Ester; García-Fernández, Eugenia; Carpio, Carlos; Alcolea, Sergio; Martínez-Abad, Yolanda; Álvarez-Sala, Rodolfo
The fat replacement of myocardial cells is a degenerative process that usually affects the right ventricle and is found in 50% of the elderly. The problem arises when this degeneration occurs to a massive degree, a differential diagnosis with other pathologies being necessary. We present the case of a patient who died suddenly and a massive cardiac lipomatosis was found on autopsy, as the only explanation of the outcome. PMID:27143526
Background Accurate measurement of maternal mortality is needed to develop a greater understanding of the scale of the problem, to increase effectiveness of program planning and targeting, and to track progress. In the absence of good quality vital statistics, interim methods are used to measure maternal mortality. The purpose of this study is to document experience with three community-based interim methods that measure maternal mortality using verbal autopsy. Methods This study uses a post-census mortality survey, a sample vital registration with verbal autopsy, and a large-scale household survey to summarize the measures of maternal mortality obtained from these three platforms, compares and contrasts the different methodologies employed, and evaluates strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Included is also a discussion of issues related to death identification and classification, estimating maternal mortality ratios and rates, sample sizes and periodicity of estimates, data quality, and cost. Results The sample sizes vary considerably between the three data sources and the number of maternal deaths identified through each platform was small. The proportion of deaths to women of reproductive age that are maternal deaths ranged from 8.8% to 17.3%. The maternal mortality rate was estimable using two of the platforms while obtaining an estimate of the maternal mortality ratio was only possible using one of the platforms. The percentage of maternal deaths due to direct obstetric causes ranged from 45.2% to 80.4%. Conclusions This study documents experiences applying standard verbal autopsy methods to estimate maternal mortality and confirms that verbal autopsy is a feasible method for collecting maternal mortality data. None of these interim methods are likely to be suitable for detecting short term changes in mortality due to prohibitive sample size requirements, and thus, comprehensive and continuous civil registration systems to provide high quality vital
Wick, Regula; Gilbert, John D; Byard, Roger W
To examine the characteristic features of fatal food asphyxia and to develop an autopsy approach to such cases a retrospective study of autopsy files was undertaken at Forensic Science SA (Adelaide, Australia) over a 10 year period from 1993 to 2002 for all cases of food asphyxia/café coronary syndrome. Forty-four cases were identified (M;F=21:23), with one infant (11 mths) and 43 adults (30-96 yrs; mean 68.9 yrs), with a preponderance of victims (57%) aged between 71 and 90 yrs. Deaths occurred in nursing homes (N=22) cases, at home (N=11) and in restaurants (N=4). Twenty-seven of the victims (61%) had histories of neurological or psychiatric disorders such as dementia (N=8), schizophrenia (N=6), Alzheimer disease (N=4), atherosclerotic cerebrovascular disease (N=4), mental impairment (N=2), multiple sclerosis (N=1), Parkinson disease (N=1) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (N=1). Twenty-seven cases (61%) were described as either edentulous or having significant numbers of teeth missing. Toxicological evaluation of blood revealed alcohol and a variety of psychotropic prescription medications in 19 cases. Sudden collapse during or shortly after a meal should always raise the possibility of café coronary and the autopsy examination should not only attempt to demonstrate airway occlusion by a bolus of food, but also to identify or exclude underlying neurological disease. Such cases may raise issues concerning adequacy of care and appropriateness of medication. The diagnosis of café coronary syndrome can only be made with confidence after the clinical history and circumstances of death have been clearly established, impacted material has been demonstrated in the airway at autopsy (or recorded by those attempting resuscitation), risk factors have been identified and other possible causes of death have been excluded. PMID:16356749
Heggtveit, H. Alexander
Twenty-six cases of syphilitic aortitis were found among 4173 autopsies performed at the Ottawa General Hospital since 1950. Although 10 aortic aneurysms, nine instances of coronary ostial stenosis and five examples of aortic incompetence were present in 20 cases, a clinical diagnosis of syphilitic aortitis had been established in only two patients. It is paradoxical that the clinical diagnosis of syphilitic aortitis is becoming less accurate as surgical techniques for the correction of its complications are being constantly improved. PMID:14282945
Suzuki, Hideto; Hayashi, Kino; Fukunaga, Tatsushige
Herein, we report the findings of 2 forensic autopsy cases, in which unexpected pituitary lesions were the underlying cause of death. Case 1: A 56-year-old woman was found dead at her home during a cold winter spell. Macroscopic autopsy findings included a difference in the color of blood that filled her left and right cardiac chambers (deep red and dark red, respectively), collapse of both lungs, atrophy of the thyroid gland, and a large tumor arising from the sella turcica. Microscopic examination revealed a pituitary adenoma along with extensive bleeding. The cause of death was considered to be hypothermia, resulting from dysregulation of thermogenesis due to the pituitary adenoma. Case 2: An 86-year-old man with a history of pollakiuria was found dead in a bathtub, with his face and chest submerged in bathwater and his legs positioned outside the bathtub. The macroscopic findings of the autopsy included hyper-inflated lungs, fluid collection in the thoracic cavity, and aspiration of gastric contents in the bronchi. The atherosclerotic changes of the man's coronary and cerebral arteries were considered mild for his age. Microscopic examination showed a marked infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells in the posterior pituitary gland, as well as in the liver, pancreas, and submandibular gland. Considering the results of the autopsy and the findings from the investigation conducted at the death scene, we concluded that the man probably lost consciousness following a neurally mediated syncope, which was induced by diabetes insipidus (lymphocytic hypophysitis). After losing consciousness, the man likely fell in the filled bathtub and then drowned. These 2 cases highlight the need for a thorough post-mortem investigation, including a microscopic examination of the pituitary gland. In addition, forensic pathologists should carefully study the pituitary gland in cases where the cause of death is thought to be related to dysfunction of thermoregulation or
Autopsy of animals that die in the perianesthetic period allows identification of anesthetic and surgical complications as well as preexisting disease conditions that may have contributed to mortality. In most studies to date investigating perianesthetic mortality in animals, inclusion of autopsy data is very limited. This retrospective study evaluated autopsy findings in 221 cases of perianesthetic death submitted to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory from primary care and referral hospitals. Canine (n = 105; 48%) and feline (n = 90; 41%) cases predominated in the study, involving elective (71%) and emergency (19%) procedures. The clinical history provided to the pathologist was considered incomplete in 42 of 221 cases (19%), but this history was considered essential for evaluating the circumstances of perianesthetic death. Disease had been recognized clinically in 69 of 221 animals (31%). Death occurred in the premedication or sedation (n = 19; 9%), induction (n = 22; 11%), or maintenance (n = 73; 35%) phases or in the 24 hours postanesthesia (n = 93 animals; 45%). Lesions indicative of significant natural disease were present in 130 of 221 animals (59%), mainly involving the heart, upper respiratory tract, or lungs. Surgical or anesthesia-associated complications were identified in 10 of 221 cases (5%). No lesions were evident in 80 of 221 animals (36%), the majority of which were young, healthy, and undergoing elective surgical procedures. Lesions resulting from cardiopulmonary resuscitation were identified in 75 of 221 animals (34%). Investigation of perianesthetic death cases should be done with knowledge of prior clinical findings and antemortem surgical and medical procedures; the autopsy should particularly focus on the cardiovascular and respiratory system, including techniques to identify pneumothorax and venous air embolism. PMID:27371539
The autopsy report of Ludwig van Beethoven written by Dr Johann Wagner in 1827 reveals that he had renal calculi that had not been diagnosed during his lifetime, together with perirenal fibrosis. The most comprehensive interpretation of this autopsy finding is that the regular calcareous deposits in every one of his renal calices represented calcified necrotic papillae. Severe urinary obstruction or diabetes as possible causes of papillary necrosis were not present. Analgesic abuse because of headaches, back pain, and attacks of rheumatism or gout may be presumed on the basis of Beethoven's uncontrolled way of taking medication. Salicin, a commonly used analgesic substance of that time (dried and powdered willow bark), is able to cause papillary necrosis. Perirenal fibrosis may be due to chronic infection or drug intake. Beethoven's other well-known diseases are deafness caused by otosclerosis of the inner ear, relapsing attacks of diarrhea as the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and liver cirrhosis following viral hepatitis and chronic alcohol consumption. Liver cirrhosis also may cause papillary necrosis. In Beethoven's case, renal papillary necrosis was most probably the consequence of analgesic abuse together with decompensated liver cirrhosis. The autopsy report of Beethoven is the first case of papillary necrosis recorded in the literature. PMID:8503419
Blaabjerg, Morten; Ruprecht, Klemens; Sinnecker, Tim; Kondziella, Daniel; Niendorf, Thoralf; Kerrn-Jespersen, Bjørg Morell; Lindelof, Mette; Lassmann, Hans; Kristensen, Bjarne Winther; Paul, Friedemann
Objective: To examine if there is widespread inflammation in the brain of patients with chronic lymphocytic inflammation with pontine perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids (CLIPPERS) syndrome by using histology and ultra-high-field MRI at 7.0T. Methods: We performed a detailed neuropathologic examination in 4 cases, including 1 autopsy case, and studied 2 additional patients by MRI at 7.0T to examine (1) extension of inflammation to areas appearing normal on 3.0T MRI, (2) potential advantages of 7.0T MRI compared to 3.0T MRI in reflecting widespread inflammation, perivascular pathology, and axonal damage, and (3) the possibility of lymphoma. Results: In the autopsy case, perivascular inflammation dominated by CD4+ T cells was not only detected in the brainstem and cerebellum but also in brain areas with normal appearance on 3.0T MRI, including supratentorial regions and cranial nerve roots. There was no evidence of lymphoma in any of the 4 patients. The 7.0T MRI in clinical remission also revealed supratentorial lesions and perivascular pathology in vivo with contrast-enhancing lesions centered around a small venous vessel. Ultra-high-field MRI at 7.0T disclosed prominent T1 hypointensities in the brainstem, which were not seen on 3.0T MRI. This corresponded to neuropathologic detection of axonal injury in the autopsy case. Conclusion: Our findings suggest more widespread perivascular inflammation and postinflammatory axonal injury in patients with CLIPPERS. PMID:27144217
Brinkerhoff, Brian T; Houghton, Donald C; Troxell, Megan L
Renal injury in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients may be related to a combination of factors including chemotherapy, radiation, infection, immunosuppressive agents, ischemia, and graft-versus-host disease, and can involve glomerular, tubulointerstitial, and vascular structures. We reviewed renal pathology from 67 patients at a single institution (2009-2014), including 14 patients with biopsy for clinical dysfunction, 6 patients with surgical kidney resection for other causes, and 47 autopsy patients. Kidney specimens frequently contained multiple histopathologic abnormalities. Thrombotic microangiopathy, membranous nephropathy, minimal change disease, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis were the most common glomerular findings. Pathologies not previously reported in the hematopoietic cell transplant setting included collapsing glomerulopathy, antiglomerular basement membrane disease, fibrillary glomerulonephritis, and in the case of two surgical resections distinctive cellular segmental glomerular lesions that defied classification. Kidney specimens frequently demonstrated acute tubular injury, interstitial fibrosis, arteriolar hyaline, and arteriosclerosis. Other kidney findings at autopsy included leukemia and amyloid (both recurrent), diabetic nephropathy, bacterial infection, fungal invasion, and silver deposition along glomerular and tubular basement membranes. Also in the autopsy cohort, C4d immunohistochemistry demonstrated unexpected membranous nephropathy in two patients, yet C4d also colocalized with arteriolar hyaline. This retrospective hematopoietic cell transplant cohort illustrates multifaceted renal injury in patients with renal dysfunction, as well as in patients without clinically recognized kidney injury. PMID:27015134
Sloan, N. L.; Langer, A.; Hernandez, B.; Romero, M.; Winikoff, B.
OBJECTIVE: To reassess the practical value of verbal autopsy data, which, in the absence of more definitive information, have been used to describe the causes of maternal mortality and to identify priorities in programmes intended to save women's lives in developing countries. METHODS: We reanalysed verbal autopsy data from a study of 145 maternal deaths that occurred in Guerrero, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí, Mexico, in 1995, taking into account other causes of death and the WHO classification system. The results were also compared with information given on imperfect death certificates. FINDINGS: The reclassification showed wide variations in the attribution of maternal deaths to single specific medical causes. CONCLUSION: The verbal autopsy methodology has inherent limitations as a means of obtaining histories of medical events. At best it may reconfirm the knowledge that mortality among poor women with little access to medical care is higher than that among wealthier women who have better access to such care. PMID:11584727
Zhang, Jie; Wieczorek, William F.; Jiang, Chao; Zhou, Li; Jia, Shuhua; Sun, Yueji; Jin, Shenghua; Conwell, Yeates
As China opens its door to the world, suicide research is making rapid progress using methods and instruments developed in the West. This is a feasibility study of the psychological autopsy methodology applied in China, with its emphasis on the social and cultural environments. With samples of 66 completed suicides and 66 community normal living controls, the authors found that it is feasible to interview at least two informants for each suicide case and each control, between 2 and 6 months after the suicide. With the Chinese-cultivated contacting method of recruiting cases, the refusal rate is nearly zero. The Western-developed methodology per se proved to be valid in the Chinese culture. Ethical considerations in the context of Chinese culture are as important as in the West. Psychological autopsy technique is shown to be an equally applicable method for the study of completed suicides in Chinese culture as it is in the West. Future epidemiological research on Chinese suicide should use the psychological autopsy method to collect data from larger samples in order to increase our understanding of the risk factors for Chinese suicides. PMID:12501962
Takamiya, Masataka; Biwasaka, Hitoshi; Niitsu, Hisae; Saigusa, Kiyoshi; Aoki, Yasuhiro
We encountered an autopsy case related to a terrorist attack using a ball-bearing bomb. The decedent was a 51-year-old male without significant medical histories. During dinner in a restaurant, the perpetrator suddenly exploded a ball-bearing bomb, the blast from which blew the victim off his chair. The victim was found to be unresponsive, and pronounced dead. X-ray photographs taken before autopsy revealed six spherical shadows. Three penetrating wounds in the head, one in the neck and chest, and two in the left upper arm were observed in vivo. Six projectiles recovered from the body were identified as ball-bearings, one of which traveled through the midbrain, diencephalon, and left temporal lobe. Although blast injuries and penetrating wounds are often combined in bomb attack victims, penetrating brain injury would be the cause of death in this case. Lethal injuries to major organs can thus occur even though the destructive force of a ball-bearing bomb is weak. X-ray films were informative for detecting the ball-bearings in this case, suggesting that autopsy imaging is essential in cases of terrorism victims. PMID:18783977
Ishikawa, Y.; Nakagawa, K.; Satoh, Y.; Kitagawa, T.; Sugano, H.; Hirano, T.; Tsuchiya, E.
The characteristics of lung cancers induced by inhaled chromate were studied in 13 consecutive autopsies on male ex-chromate workers. In addition to histopathology, we examined: (1) the relationship between the occurrence of lung cancer and the amount of chromium (Cr) deposited in the lung as determined by atomic absorptiometry and (2) the chronological changes in five precancerous lung lesions followed by bronchoscopy till death. Twenty-one cancers were identified, including 16 lung tumours observed either during follow-up or at autopsy. Of these 16 tumours, 13 were found in six subjects, implying a high frequency of multiple cancers. Eleven (69%) out of the 16 tumours were of squamous cell type (including carcinoma in situ), this being twice as frequent as in age-matched controls. A further characteristic was predominance in the central part of lung (69%). The lung Cr burden was very much higher [40-15,800 micrograms g-1 (dry)] in patients with lung tumours than in those without (8-28 micrograms g-1). Five of the precancerous lesions followed by bronchoscopy originated at bronchial bifurcations. Four of these cases showed a return to normal histology at autopsy even without therapy, and the other did not progress. Images Figure 2 PMID:8018529
Dignani, María Cecilia
Invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients and cost to health services. They are difficult to prevent, diagnose, and treat. This difficulty in diagnosis leads us to treat them empirically by using several tools, including epidemiological data, non-culture methods and images. Most of the available epidemiological information may not be accurate because we are dealing with a disease that only has an estimated 50% chance of being diagnosed before death. Therefore, autopsy reports become a valuable tool, not only to define the real epidemiology, but also to address the trend in pre-mortem diagnosis, which is the best marker available to prove the efficiency of the research in IFD. This article reviews and analyzes the data on IFD obtained from 11 single-center, multi-center and nationwide autopsy reports published between 2008 and 2013, and also discusses the issues we need to address in order to improve the quality of the epidemiological data on invasive fungal disease obtained from autopsy reports. PMID:25343038
Invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients and cost to health services. They are difficult to prevent, diagnose, and treat. This difficulty in diagnosis leads us to treat them empirically by using several tools, including epidemiological data, non-culture methods and images. Most of the available epidemiological information may not be accurate because we are dealing with a disease that only has an estimated 50% chance of being diagnosed before death. Therefore, autopsy reports become a valuable tool, not only to define the real epidemiology, but also to address the trend in pre-mortem diagnosis, which is the best marker available to prove the efficiency of the research in IFD. This article reviews and analyzes the data on IFD obtained from 11 single-center, multi-center and nationwide autopsy reports published between 2008 and 2013, and also discusses the issues we need to address in order to improve the quality of the epidemiological data on invasive fungal disease obtained from autopsy reports. PMID:25343038
Kida, Jun-ichiro; Kanaji, Nobuhiro; Kishi, Sosuke; Imaida, Katsumi; Bandoh, Shuji
Patient: Male, 74 Final Diagnosis: Spindle cell carcinoma of the lung Symptoms: — Medication: Pemetrexed • carboplatin Clinical Procedure: Biopsy and autopsy Specialty: Oncology Objective: Rare disease Background: Spindle cell carcinoma (SPCC) of the lung is a subset of sarcomatoid carcinoma. Its clinical features are unclear because of its rarity. Here, we report an autopsy case of SPCC and review CT findings and chemotherapeutic regimens based on previous reports of this disease. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of pemetrexed used to treat SPCC. Case Report: A 74-year-old Japanese male presented with dyspnea and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) showed abundant left pleural effusion and a mass in lower lobe of the left lung. By the tumor biopsy, he was diagnosed for SPCC of the lung, cT3N0M1a, stage IV. The tumor was resistant to chemotherapy with carboplatin and pemetrexed, and rapidly progressed. Autopsy revealed abundant hemorrhage within the tumor, which apparently reflects a low-density area in CT. Conclusions: Present case and the accumulation of cases indicate that low-density areas in CT and rapid tumor progression may be common SPCC findings. PMID:26558362
Background The most common method for determining cause of death is certification by physicians based either on available medical records, or where such data are not available, through verbal autopsy (VA). The physician-certification approach is costly and inconvenient; however, recent work shows the potential of a computer-based probabilistic model (InterVA) to interpret verbal autopsy data in a more convenient, consistent, and rapid way. In this study we validate separately both physician-certified verbal autopsy (PCVA) and the InterVA probabilistic model against hospital cause of death (HCOD) in adults dying in a district hospital on the coast of Kenya. Methods Between March 2007 and June 2010, VA interviews were conducted for 145 adult deaths that occurred at Kilifi District Hospital. The VA data were reviewed by a physician and the cause of death established. A range of indicators (including age, gender, physical signs and symptoms, pregnancy status, medical history, and the circumstances of death) from the VA forms were included in the InterVA for interpretation. Cause-specific mortality fractions (CSMF), Cohen's kappa (κ) statistic, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive values were applied to compare agreement between PCVA, InterVA, and HCOD. Results HCOD, InterVA, and PCVA yielded the same top five underlying causes of adult deaths. The InterVA overestimated tuberculosis as a cause of death compared to the HCOD. On the other hand, PCVA overestimated diabetes. Overall, CSMF for the five major cause groups by the InterVA, PCVA, and HCOD were 70%, 65%, and 60%, respectively. PCVA versus HCOD yielded a higher kappa value (κ = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.48, 0.54) than the InterVA versus HCOD which yielded a kappa (κ) value of 0.32 (95% CI: 0.30, 0.38). Overall, (κ) agreement across the three methods was 0.41 (95% CI: 0.37, 0.48). The areas under the ROC curves were 0.82 for InterVA and 0
Subedi, Nuwadatta; Yadav, B.N.; Jha, Shivendra; Gurung, Sharmila; Pradhan, Amshu
Background: Liver is the largest gland in the body and it frequently gets wounded. The objective of this study was to determine the patterns, types and severities of liver injuries which were caused by mechanical trauma and to study the organs associated with liver injuries. Material and Methods: This was a hospital based, cross sectional study which was conducted on the autopsies showing the evidence of liver injuries in the mortuary of a tertiary hospital in eastern Nepal. All consecutive autopsy cases which were handled within one year’s time (n=46) were included in our study. The cases were studied in detail for liver injuries, which included age, sex, severity, associated injuries, site of the injury, description of the injury, etc. Results: The mean age of the victims was 33.87 years and there was a male: female ratio of 3.6:1. The injuries had resulted from blunt trauma in 41 (89.1%) cases, the most common of which was road traffic accidents, constituting 37(80.4%) cases. Grade III injuries were seen in 14 (30.4%) cases. Laceration of the liver was the most frequent finding that was evident in 34 (73.9%) cases. Right lobe of the liver was injured in 30 (74%) cases. The sole presence of liver injuries among abdomino-pelvic organs was seen in 14 (30.4%) cases. In 40 (87%) cases, liver injuries were associated with other regional injuries. Conclusion: Laceration is the most common liver injury among autopsy cases. Right lobe is mostly affected and grade III injuries are the most common ones. Liver injuries are frequently associated with other abdomino-pelvic organs and multiple regional injuries. PMID:24086875
Unal, Esra Ozgun; Koc, Sermet; Unal, Volkan; Akcan, Ramazan; Javan, Gulnaz T
Death is the most severe consequence of violence against women. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of violence-related deaths among women and the general characteristics of fatal violence cases against women in Istanbul, Turkey. A total of 20,486 forensic autopsies performed between 2006 and 2010, in Istanbul, were retrospectively analyzed. Of these, 537 violence-related deaths among women were included in the study. The victims were investigated in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, exposed type of violence, and autopsy findings. Out of all female deaths (n = 4165), 12.9% were due to violence against women, which comprised 2.6% of all autopsies (n = 20,456) performed during the study period in Istanbul. The median age of the victims was 43 years, and a significant proportion of victims (49.7%) were between the ages of 21 and 40 years. The deaths occurred most commonly in private residences (51.2%, n = 275), whereas the street was the crime scene for 14.5% (n = 78) of cases. Firearm injuries (50.1%, n = 269) were the most common cause of death, followed by stab wounds (28.3%, n = 152) and strangulation (8.4%, n = 45). Among the identified perpetrators, 52.3% were victims' spouses or boyfriends. The perpetrators were female in 4.4% (n = 16) of cases. Istanbul is the most important and cosmopolitan city of Turkey, representing the country's cultural characteristics. Therefore, the data obtained in this study may be strong indicators of violence against women in Turkey. PMID:27016881
Kawabe, Naoko; Nagasawa, Miho; Nakanishi, Masako
Generally, amebic colitis is localized around the mucosal membrane and often accompanied by diarrhea and abdominal pain. We describe a patient with a history of rheumatoid arthritis who had received prolonged steroid therapy. The patient complained of breathing difficulties because of rheumatoid lung disease. Although the patient was given antibacterial agent, the symptoms did not improve until death. We did an autopsy and found that he had fulminant amebic colitis, although the patient was not previously examined. Histochemical analysis revealed severe inflammation and full-thickness necrosis of the colon by ameba, suggesting the involvement of ameba in the progression of the overall condition. PMID:27382497
Mulhern, B.M.; Reichel, W.L.; Locke, L.N.; Lamont, T.G.; Belisle, A.A.; Cromartie, E.; Bagley, G.E.; Prouty, R.M.
Sixty-nine bald eagles found moribund or dead in 25 States during 1966-68 were analyzed for pesticide residues. Residues of polychlorinated biphenyls and DDE were detected in all samples of eagle carcasses; residues of dieldrin were detected in 68 and residues of DDD in 64; DDT, heptachlor epoxide, and DCBP were detected less frequently. Eight specimens had levels of dieldrin in the brain within the lethal range, and another probably died of DDT poisoning. Autopsy revealed that illegal shooting was the most frequent cause of mortality of these eagles; electrocution, impact injuries, probable lead poisoning, and infectious avian diseases were other causes of mortality.
Williams, D.T.; LeBel, G.L.; Junkins, E.
Human adipose tissue samples obtained during autopsies in a Canadian Great Lakes community, Kingston, Ontario, and a second community, Ottawa, Ontario, were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorobiphenyls, chlorobenzenes, and chlorophenols. Significantly different levels of Dichlorodiphenyl-dichlorethane, mirex, hexachlorobenzene, and 2,3,4,6-tetrachlorophenol were found in Kingston adipose tissues compared to Ottawa tissues. Residue levels of oxychlordane, mirex, and polychlorinated biphenyls were significantly different in Kingston males versus Kingston females. The means and ranges of residue levels were contrasted with those reported in previous Canadian surveys.
Prouty, R.M.; Reichel, W.L.; Locke, L.N.; Belisle, A.A.; Cromartie, E.; Kaiser, T.E.; Lamont, T.G.; Mulhern, B.M.; Swineford, D.M.
Thirty-nine bald eagles found sick or dead in 13 States during 1969 and 1970 were analyzed for pesticide residues. Residues of DDE, dieldrin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), and mercury were detected in all bald eagle carcasses; DDD residues were detected in 38; DDT, heptachlor epoxide, and dichlorobenzophenone (DCBP) were detected less frequently. Six eagles contained possible lethal levels of dieldrin in the brain, and one contained a lethal concentration of DDE (385 ppm) in the brain together with 235 ppm of PCB's. Autopsy revealed that 18 bald eagles were illegally shot; other causes of death were impact injuries, electrocution, emaciation, and infectious diseases.
Cromartie, E.; Reichel, W.L.; Locke, L.N.; Belisle, A.A.; Kaiser, T.E.; Lamont, T.G.; Mulhern, B.M.; Prouty, R.M.; Swineford, D.M.
Thirty-seven bald eagles found sick or dead in 18 States during 1971-72 were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's). DDE and PCB's were detected in all bald eagle carcasses; 30 carcasses contained DDD and 28 contained dieldrin. Four eagles contained possibly lethal levels of dieldrin and nine eagles had been poisoned by thallium. Autopsies revealed that illegal shooting was the most common cause of mortality. Since 1964 when data were first collected, 8 of the 17 eagles obtained from Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida possibly died from dieldrin poisoning; all four specimens from Maryland and Virginia were from the Chesapeake Bay Tidewater area.
Kaneko, Kazuma; Matsuda, Masayuki; Sekijima, Yoshiki; Hosoda, Waki; Gono, Takahisa; Hoshi, Kenichi; Shimojo, Hisashi; Ikeda, Shu-ichi
This report concerns a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who died of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) 1 day after the onset of pulmonary symptoms. Autopsy demonstrated severe hemophagocytosis in the bone marrow and histopathology indicating a marked increase in vascular permeability in both lungs and kidneys. In this patient, active SLE and associated hemophagocytic syndrome may have induced an increase in the production of inflammatory cytokines, which immediately induced ARDS. Since fatal ARDS can occur as a life-threatening complication of SLE, careful observation is necessary, particularly when there are clinical findings suggestive of associated hemophagocytic syndrome. PMID:15338452
Chachamovich, Eduardo; Haggarty, Jack; Cargo, Margaret; Hicks, Jack; Kirmayer, Laurence J.; Turecki, Gustavo
Introduction The increasing global prevalence of suicide has made it a major public health concern. Research designed to retrospectively study suicide cases is now being conducted in populations around the world. This field of research is especially crucial in Aboriginal populations, as they often have higher suicide rates than the rest of the country. Objective This article presents the methodological aspects of the first psychological autopsy study on suicide among Inuit in Nunavut. Qaujivallianiq Inuusirijauvalauqtunik (Learning from lives that have been lived) is a large case-control study, including all 120 cases of suicide by Inuit that occurred in Nunavut between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2006. The article describes the research design, ethical considerations and strategies used to adapt the psychological autopsy method to Nunavut Inuit. Specifically, we present local social and cultural issues; data collection procedures; and the acceptability, reliability and validity of the method. Method A retrospective case-control study using the psychological autopsy approach was carried out in 22 communities in Nunavut. A total of 498 individuals were directly interviewed, and medical and correctional charts were also reviewed. Results The psychological autopsy method was well received by participants as they appreciated the opportunity to discuss the loss of a family member or friend by suicide. During interviews, informants readily identified symptoms of psychiatric disorders, although culture-specific rather than clinical explanations were sometimes provided. Results suggest that the psychological autopsy method can be effectively used in Inuit populations. PMID:23539438
... be sufficient to reach a definitive diagnosis. The Importance of Planning Ahead AFTD Board member Colleen Quinn ... of your loved one all of the relevant professionals can be in direct contact with each other ...
Moore, G. William; Hutchins, Grover M.
Diagnoses made at autopsy are usually yes-no (binary) decisions inferred from clinicopathologic data. A major conceptual problem in determining cause of death is that variables used in classifying some patients may be missing in other patients. A model with too few logical implications will be mathematically incomplete for small data sets; but a model too many implications may be inconsistent with large data sets. We examined the 155 patients autopsied after coronary artery bypass surgery from The Johns Hopkins Hospital autopsy database of 43200 cases. Diagnoses entered on a word processor and transmitted to a minicomputer were solved by the Quine-McCluskey algorithm. Our analysis disclosed that 41% of patients suffered a fatal complication of cardiac surgery; 43% had established surgical complications or unrelated causes of death; and in 17% of cases the cause of death was unexplained. Computerized symbolic logic analysis of medical information is useful in testing the completeness of a proposed set of causes of death.
Bang, A. T.; Bang, R. A.
In the absence of medical certification of deaths in developing countries, lay reporting and verbal autopsy have emerged as useful alternative methods for collecting data on causes of death. Of these, verbal autopsy offers advantages and is widely used in field studies and child survival programmes. However, because uniform and valid criteria for the diagnosis of common causes of death are lacking, comparison of the results of different studies becomes meaningless. This article proposes such a set of criteria for the cause of death among neonates and for those aged 1-59 months. The criteria are based on the findings of earlier validation studies, a Delphi survey and the experience gained from performing 1000 verbal autopsies in Gadchiroli, India. The emergence of such standardized criteria of causes of death should be of immense value for health planning, monitoring and evaluation purposes and for interregional comparisons. PMID:1394784
Stuart, C. A.; Wen, G.; Jiang, J.
GLUT3 is expressed in rat muscle, but this glucose transporter protein has not been identified previously in adult human skeletal muscle. We quantified the rapidity of disappearance of mRNA and protein from human skeletal muscle at room temperature and at 4 degrees C. Fifty percent of the immunologically detectable GLUT3 protein disappeared by 1 hour at 20 degrees C and by 2 hours at 4 degrees C. mRNA for GLUT3 was decreased 50% by 2.2 hours at 20 degrees C and by 24 hours at 4 degrees C. Half of the measurable mRNAs for GLUT4, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), alpha-actin, and beta-myosin disappeared by 0.8 to 2.1 hours at 20 degrees C and by 5.0 to 16.6 hours at 4 degrees C. Previous conclusions that GLUT3 is not expressed in human muscle were likely drawn because of artifacts related to degradation of GLUT3 protein in the specimens prior to study. Because of the rapid degradation of protein and mRNA, autopsy specimens of muscle must be obtained within 6 hours of death, and even then, protein and mRNA data will likely dramatically underestimate their expression in fresh muscle. Some previously published conclusions and recommendations regarding autopsy specimens are not stringent enough to consistently yield useful protein and mRNA.
Kambhampati, Madhuri; Perez, Jennifer P.; Yadavilli, Sridevi; Saratsis, Amanda M.; Hill, Ashley D.; Ho, Cheng-Ying; Panditharatna, Eshini; Markel, Melissa; Packer, Roger J.; Nazarian, Javad
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is one of the least understood and most deadly childhood cancers. Historically, there has been a paucity of DIPG specimens for molecular analysis. However, due to the generous participation of DIPG families in programs for postmortem specimen donation, there has been a recent surge in molecular analysis of newly available tumor specimens. Collaborative efforts to share data and tumor specimens have resulted in rapid discoveries in other pediatric brain tumors, such as medulloblastoma, and therefore have the potential to shed light on the biology of DIPG. Given the generous gift of postmortem tissue donation from DIPG patients, there is a need for standardized postmortem specimen accrual to facilitate rapid and effective multi-institutional molecular studies. We developed and implemented an autopsy protocol for rapid procurement, documenting and storing these specimens. Sixteen autopsies were performed throughout the United States and Canada and processed using a standard protocol and inventory method, including specimen imaging, fixation, snap freezing, orthotopic injection, or preservation. This allowed for comparative clinical and biological studies of rare postmortem DIPG tissue specimens, generation of in vivo and in vitro models of DIPG, and detailed records to facilitate collaborative analysis. PMID:25749048
Yamaguchi, Tadashi; Hirai, Kazuki; Yamada, Hiroyuki; Ebara, Masaaki; Hachiya, Hiroyuki
It is very important to diagnose liver cirrhosis noninvasively and correctly. In our previous studies, we proposed a processing technique to detect changes in liver tissue in vivo. In this paper, we propose the evaluation of the relationship between liver disease and echo information using autopsy specimens of a human liver in vitro. It is possible to verify the function of a processing parameter clearly and to compare the processing result and the actual human liver tissue structure by in vitro experiment. In the results of our processing technique, information that did not obey a Rayleigh distribution from the echo signal of the autopsy liver specimens was extracted depending on changes in a particular processing parameter. The fiber tissue structure of the same specimen was extracted from a number of histological images of stained tissue. We constructed 3D structures using the information extracted from the echo signal and the fiber structure of the stained tissue and compared the two. By comparing the 3D structures, it is possible to evaluate the relationship between the information that does not obey a Rayleigh distribution of the echo signal and the fibrosis structure.
Kon, Tomoya; Mori, Fumiaki; Tanji, Kunikazu; Miki, Yasuo; Wakabayashi, Koichi
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is divided into two clinical subtypes: MSA with predominant parkinsonian features (MSA-P) and MSA with predominant cerebellar dysfunction (MSA-C). We report a 71-year-old Japanese man without clinical signs of MSA, in whom post mortem examination revealed only slight gliosis in the pontine base and widespread occurrence of glial cytoplasmic inclusions in the central nervous system, with the greatest abundance in the pontine base and cerebellar white matter. Neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs) and neuronal nuclear inclusions (NNIs) were almost restricted to the pontine and inferior olivary nuclei. It was noteworthy that most NCIs were located in the perinuclear area, and the majority of NNIs were observed adjacent to the inner surface of the nuclear membrane. To our knowledge, only four autopsy cases of preclinical MSA have been reported previously, in which neuronal loss was almost entirely restricted to the substantia nigra and/or putamen. Therefore, the present autopsy case of preclinical MSA-C is considered to be the first of its kind to have been reported. The histopathological features observed in preclinical MSA may represent the early pattern of MSA pathology. PMID:23581648
Nara, Akina; Nagai, Hisashi; Yamaguchi, Rutsuko; Makino, Yohsuke; Chiba, Fumiko; Yoshida, Ken-ichi; Yajima, Daisuke; Iwase, Hirotaro
Pediculus humanus humanus (known as body lice) are commonly found in the folds of clothes, and can cause skin disorders when they feed on human blood, resulting in an itching sensation. Body lice are known as vectors of infectious diseases, including typhus, recurrent fever, and trench fever. An infestation with blood-sucking body lice induces severe cutaneous pruritus, and this skin disorder is known as "vagabond's disease." A body lice infestation is sometimes complicated with iron deficiency anemia. In the present case, a man in his late 70s died of lethal hypothermia in the outdoors during the winter season. The case history and autopsy findings revealed that the cause of the lethal hypothermia was iron deficiency anemia, which was associated with a prolonged infestation of blood-sucking body lice. Also, he had vagabond's disease because the skin on his body was abnormal and highly pigmented. This is an unusual autopsy case since the body lice contributed to the cause of the death. PMID:26384507
Kondo, Takeshi; Nagasaki, Yasushi; Takahashi, Motonori; Nakagawa, Kanako; Kuse, Azumi; Morichika, Mai; Sakurada, Makoto; Asano, Migiwa; Ueno, Yasuhiro
We report an autopsy case of hemopericardium caused by rupture of a ventricular aneurysm associated with acute myocarditis in an infant boy aged 2 years and 10 months. Three days before his death, the patient developed fever. On the day of death, he described an urge to defecate and attempted to do so in an upright position. While straining to defecate without success for a prolonged period, he stopped breathing and collapsed. On autopsy, his heart weighed 91.7 g and cardiac tamponade was evident, the pericardial cavity being filled with 140 mL of blood that had come from a 1.5-cm-long rupture in a 2.7×1.5 cm ventricular aneurysm in the posterior left ventricular wall. Patchy grayish-white discoloration was noted in the myocardium. Histologically, CD3-positive T lymphocytic infiltration accompanied by pronounced macrophage infiltration was observed in the myocardium. Hemorrhagic necrosis was detected in the area of the ventricular aneurysm. Staining for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression revealed abundant MMP-2, MMP-7, and MMP-9. Polymerase chain reaction to detect viruses failed to identify any specific causative viruses in the myocardium. In this case of lymphocytic (viral) and histiocytic myocarditis with pronounced macrophage infiltration and upregulation of MMP expression, myocardial remodeling and associated wall weakening had resulted in formation and rupture of an aneurysm. PMID:26832375
Tominaga, Mariko; Michiue, Tomomi; Oritani, Shigeki; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi
For drug screening and pharmaco-/toxicokinetic analysis, bile as a major drug excretion route in addition to urine may be used in forensic autopsy cases; however, there are limited published data on correlations between bile and blood or urine drug concentrations. The present study retrospectively investigated drug concentrations in bile, compared with blood and urine concentrations, reviewing forensic autopsy cases during 6 years (January 2009-December 2014). Drugs were analyzed using automated gas chromatography-mass spectrometry following solid-liquid phase extraction. Compared with peripheral blood concentrations, bile concentrations were higher for most drugs; however, caffeine concentrations were similar. Bile concentrations were mostly lower than urine concentrations for amphetamines, caffeine and methylephedrine, but were usually similar to or higher for other drugs. Significant correlations were detected between bile and peripheral blood concentrations for amphetamines, several cold remedies, phenobarbital, phenothiazine derivatives and diazepam, as well as between bile and urine concentrations for amphetamines, caffeine, diphenhydramine, phenobarbital and promethazine derivatives. These findings suggest that bile can provide supplemental data useful in routine forensic toxicology, for the spectrum of drugs mentioned above, as well as for investigating pharmaco-/toxicokinetics and postmortem redistribution when analyzed in combination with drug concentrations at other sites. PMID:27185819
Semsarian, Christopher; Ingles, Jodie; Wilde, Arthur A M
The sudden death of a young, apparently fit and healthy person is amongst the most challenging scenarios in clinical medicine. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a devastating and tragic outcome of a number of underlying cardiovascular diseases. While coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction are the most common causes of SCD in older populations, genetic (inherited) cardiac disorders comprise a substantial proportion of SCD cases aged 40 years and less. This includes the primary arrhythmogenic disorders such as long QT syndromes and inherited cardiomyopathies, namely hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In up to 30% of young SCD, no cause of death is identified at postmortem, so-called autopsy-negative or sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS). Management of families following SCD begins with a concerted effort to identify the cause of death in the decedent, based on either premorbid clinical details or the pathological findings at postmortem. Where no cause of death is identified, genetic testing of deoxyribonucleic acid extracted from postmortem blood (the molecular autopsy) may identify a cause of death in up to 30% of SADS cases. Irrespective of the genetic testing considerations, all families in which a sudden unexplained death has occurred require targeted and standardized clinical testing in an attempt to identify relatives who may be at-risk of having the same inherited heart disease and therefore also predisposed to an increased risk of SCD. Optimal care of SCD families therefore requires dedicated and appropriately trained staff in the setting of a specialized multidisciplinary cardiac genetic clinic. PMID:25765769
Lobo, Flora D.; Adiga, Deepa Sowkur Anandarama
Background. Tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Many cases are diagnosed on autopsy and a subset of patients may require surgical intervention either due to the complication or sequelae of TB. Materials and Methods. 40 cases of resected lung specimens following surgery or autopsy in which a diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis was made were included. Histopathological pattern analysis of pulmonary tuberculosis along with associated nonneoplastic changes and identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli was done. Results. The mean age of diagnosis was 41 years with male predominance (92.5%). Tuberculosis was suspected in only 12.1% of cases before death. Seven cases were operated upon due to associated complications or suspicion of malignancy. Tubercular consolidation was the most frequent pattern followed by miliary tuberculosis. The presence of necrotizing granulomas was seen in 33 cases (82.5%). Acid fast bacilli were seen in 57.5% cases on Ziehl-Neelsen stain. Conclusion. Histopathology remains one of the most important methods for diagnosing tuberculosis, especially in TB prevalent areas. It should be considered in the differential diagnosis of all respiratory diseases because of its varied clinical presentations and manifestations. PMID:27088035
Fang, L; Zhang, J
Two informants were interviewed for each of 416 living controls (individuals sampled from the normal population) interviewed in a Chinese case-control psychological autopsy study. The validity of proxy data, obtained using seven psychological autopsy information reconstruction techniques (types 1, 2 and A - E), was evaluated, with living controls' self reports used as the gold-standard. Proxy data for reconstruction technique types 1, 2 and D on the Impulsivity Inventory Scale (total impulsivity score) were no different from the living controls' self report gold standard, whereas data for types A and E were smaller than data from living controls. On the 'acceptance or resignation' sub-scale of the avoidance coping dimension of the Moos Coping Response Inventory, information obtained by reconstruction technique types 1 and D was not significantly different from the living controls' self reports, whereas proxy data from types 2, A and E were smaller than those from the living controls. No statistically significant differences were identified for other proxy data obtained by reconstruction technique types 1, 2, A, D and E. These results indicate that using a second informant does not significantly enhance information reconstruction for the target. PMID:20819420
Mobley, C C; Boerma, J T; Titus, S; Lohrke, B; Shangula, K; Black, R E
Verbal autopsy uses a caretaker interview to determine the cause of death. We conducted a study of the major causes of child death in Namibia to determine the validity of this method. A questionnaire, including signs and symptoms of the diagnoses of interest was administered to the caretaker in 135 deaths of children < 5 years old who were identified from hospital records. The 243 diagnoses included malnutrition (77), diarrhoea (73), pneumonia (36), malaria (33), and measles (24). Sensitivity and specificity of various algorithms of reported signs and symptoms were compared to the medical diagnoses. An algorithm for malnutrition (very thin or swelling) had 73 per cent sensitivity and 76 per cent specificity. An algorithm for cerebral malaria (fever, loss of consciousness or convulsion) had 72 per cent sensitivity and 85 per cent specificity, while for all malaria deaths the same algorithm had low sensitivity (45 per cent) and high specificity (87 per cent). For diarrhoea, loose or liquid stools had high sensitivity (89 per cent), but low specificity (61 per cent). Cough with dyspnoea or tachypnoea had 72 per cent sensitivity and 64 per cent specificity. An algorithm for measles (age > or = 120 days, rash) had 71 per cent sensitivity and 85 per cent specificity. The study results suggest verbal autopsy data can be useful to ascertain the leading causes of death in childhood, but may have limitations for health impact evaluation. PMID:9009566
Suzuki, Hideto; Tanifuji, Takanobu; Hasegawa, Iwao; Fukunaga, Tatsushige
Irradiation is one of the standard modalities of treatment for neck cancer; however, it occasionally causes severe late complications. Here, we report an autopsy case of a death from laryngeal stenosis due to a late complication of radiotherapy. A man in his 70s who underwent radiotherapy for laryngeal cancer 6months before death was found dead in his home. Complete regression of the cancer was obtained after treatment, and signs suggestive of cancer recurrence were not evident before his death. Postmortem computed tomography showed severe narrowing of the upper airway due to glottic tissue swelling. The autopsy revealed an edematous epiglottis and supraglottic-glottic tissue with an ulcerative lesion, which severely narrowed the upper airway. Histopathological findings showed edema, hyalinization, and a proliferation of granulation tissue at the affected site. Neither a gross recurrence of cancer or finding suggestive of infection was observed in the specimen. This case is instructive to forensic pathologists regarding noting a radiotherapy complication as one of the possible causes of sudden death when the decedent previously underwent radiotherapy for neck cancer, and stresses the importance of detailed history taking and careful examination of the neck organs. PMID:27161915
Minayo, Maria Cecília de Souza; Cavalcante, Fátima Gonçalves; Mangas, Raimunda Matilde do Nascimento; Souza, Juliana Rangel Alves de
This study analyses psychological autopsies and contextualizes problems and issues that led to elderly people taking their own lives in the city of Rio de Janeiro between 2004 and 2007. The study began with an analysis of 26 expert findings of elderly men and women who committed suicide in the central, northern and southern areas of Rio de Janeiro. The sample was contacted by letter and telephone and after that, by a one-on-one conversation. Eight psychological autopsies were conducted, in which identification data and family genograms were collected followed by an interview to profile the life style and the reasons for the self-inflicted violence. The interviewees were family members, friends and acquaintances of the victims. The suicides are associated with depression, serious physical and mental illness, as well as socio-cultural factors related to professional and socio-economic decline. The suicides occurred with and without family support, with and without medical care. The cumulative fragility of personal and social resources within the life cycle reveals that the risk of suicide among the elderly demands permanent care from the public health authorities. PMID:23099763
Kawamoto, Osamu; Ishikawa, Takaki; Oritani, Shigeki; Kuramoto, Yuko; Michiue, Tomomi; Maeda, Hitoshi
We report an autopsy case of death due to accidental ingestion of a liquid laundry detergent with special regard to the histochemical findings. A female inpatient suffering from schizophrenia in a psychiatric institution, was found unconscious lying on the floor of her room, with a container of detergent nearby, and died despite intensive life-support measures. At autopsy, the stomach and duodenum contained whitish translucent foamy viscous fluid, and the mucous membranes, from the esophagus to the duodenum, had diffuse erosions with congestion and edema. There was otherwise no significant pathology other than signs of acute death and hemolysis. Toxicological investigations detected 1-methyl-4-prop-1-en-2-ylcyclohexene (detergent additive) in the gastric contents using headspace-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and a nonionic surfactant by a color identification test. Although these substances could not be detected in the blood, body fluid or viscera, histochemical examination using Oil red O demonstrated droplet-like staining in the pulmonary alveoli, suggesting aspiration of detergent, and similar staining in the vasculature of the lung, Kupffer cells of the liver, Bowman capsules of the kidney, and capillaries of the brain, suggesting the systemic effect of ingested/aspirated detergent. These findings were in keeping with death from ingestion of detergent and demonstrated the importance of preventing accidents such as this in healthcare facilities for elderly people. PMID:23212210
Kozawa, Shuji; Murakami, Tomonori; Kakizaki, Eiji; Ikemura, Mayumi; Nakagawa, Yasuhisa; Kiyofuji, Yuma; Ikematsu, Kazuya; Nata, Masayuki
Acute gastric volvulus resulting in abdominal compartment syndrome was determined to be the cause of death in a 4-year-old girl who presented with abdominal distension. At about 1AM on the day of her death, she was brought to our emergency medical center. Physical examination and plain abdominal X-ray revealed pronounced gastric dilatation. A decompression procedure was performed, followed by observation. She went into cardiopulmonary arrest around 1PM on the same day and died. Postmortem investigation, including an autopsy and computed tomography (CT), was performed to determine the cause of death. The findings included that the stomach was severely distended. Evidence was seen of mucosal hemorrhage in the gastric mucosa on the greater curvature side, which was thinned in places but without perforation. No necrosis of the gastric mucosa was observed; reversible changes were evident on histopathological examination. The postmortem CT images suggested that the pyloric region was positioned cranioventrally to the cardiac region. None of the findings indicated sudden blockage, and the cause of death was determined to be acute gastric volvulus resulting in abdominal compartment syndrome. The abnormal placement of the organs was difficult to determine based on physical examination alone; postmortem CT and careful examination were helpful in conducting the autopsy in this case. PMID:25957510
Reis, M A; Costa, R S; Ferraz, A S
A study was conducted on 102 patients submitted to renal transplant who died and were autopsied at the University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, from 1968 to 1991. The cause of death, based on a review of medical records and autopsy reports, was assigned to one of the following categories: infectious (69.6%); cardiovascular (12.7%); gastrointestinal (7.8%); graft rejection (6.9%); tumoral (2.0%); and undetermined (1.0%). Among the 71 cases of death caused by infection, 28 (39.4%) showed disseminated agents involving two or more organs. Isolated pneumonia involved 17 patients (23.9%), followed by acute pyelonephritis in the transplanted kidney in 10 patients (14.1%). The most frequent agents were: bacteria (58.0%), divided into 'non-classified' (83.0%), Nocardia (10.6%) and Mycobacterium (6.4%); fungi (27.5%) represented by Cryptococcus (22.7%), Aspergillus, Candida and Pneumocystis carinii (18.1% each), Histoplasma (13.6%), Mucor and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis (4.5% each); viruses (6.2%) represented by Herpes simplex (60.0%); metazoa (5.0%, S. stercoralis), and protozoa (2.5%, T. cruzi). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) was identified in the lungs of 12 patients and was not directly correlated with death but was associated with other agents. In conclusion, immunodepressed patients such as renal transplant recipients should be carefully monitored for infection due to the high mortality rate. PMID:7884765
Maekawa, I; Yosida, K; Hirasawa, K; Mayumi, T; Kanda, M
An autopsy case of smoldering adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is presented. 67 year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with complaints of fever, cough and increasing dyspnea on October 2, 1985. Laboratory findings revealed high LDH, azothermia and slightly leukocytosis with low percentage of flower cells. CRP was strongly positive. Gas disturbance was markedly. Anti-ATLA antibody using indirect immunofluorescence method was X40 positive. Subsets of peripheral lymphocytes showed OKT 4 dominant. (OKT 3; 67.5%, OKT4; 60.6%, OKT8; 8.8%). A chest X-ray film revealed cardiomegaly and fine granular shadows in bilateral lower pulmonary fields. Diagnosis of interstitial pneumonitis was defined in transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB) specimen. O2 therapy, steroid therapy added antibiotics were ineffective, respiratory failure and renal failure were progressive, she died by septic shock in 39th hospital days. In autopsy, no characteristic histological changes of ATL were found in lymph node, bone marrow, spleen, liver, kidney and lung. Sepsis was the cause was of death. Finally this case diagnosed smoldering ATL and pulmonary fibrosis due to bronchial ectasia with repeated pulmonary bacterial infections. The pulmonary complications of patients with ATL were discussed. PMID:2886412
Sasaki, Ryogen; Mimuro, Maya; Kokubo, Yasumasa; Imai, Hiroshi; Yoshida, Mari; Tomimoto, Hidekazu
We report an autopsy case of globular glial tauopathy (GGT) presenting clinically with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with dementia. A 79-year-old female developed weakness in the right upper limb, which progressed gradually. She developed apathy and speech disorder at 80 years of age. On neurological examination, she showed signs of upper and lower motor neuron disorder and dementia, but no extrapyramidal signs. The clinical diagnosis was ALS with dementia. The autopsy revealed left predominant marked atrophy of the frontal lobe due to severe neuronal loss and Gliosis. Immunohistochemistry using anti-4-repeat tau antibody revealed numerous globular glial inclusions. Severe neurodegeneration in the primary motor cortex and corticospinal tract was observed. There were distinctive tau-positive inclusions in both Betz and anterior horn cells. TDP-43-positive inclusions in motor neurons were not detected. Sequence analysis of the tau gene revealed no mutations in exons 1-5, 7, 9-13, or the adjacent intronic sequences. GGT can cause a clinical phenotype of ALS with dementia. (Received December 28, 2015; Accepted February 23, 2016; Published August 1, 2016). PMID:27503823
Gürler, Ahmet Selçuk; Daş, Taner; Gitmiş, Gökhan; Apaydin, Nedim; Kara, Erdoğan; Özdemirel, Rifat Özgür; Çelik, Safa; Özdeş, Emel; Sezer, Yiğit
A lithopedion is a rare complication of pregnancy that occurs when a fetus in an intraabdominal location dies, and it is too large to be reabsorbed by the body. The case was an 87-year-old woman, and she was transferred to the morgue department in April 2014 to determine the cause of death. During autopsy, an intraabdominally located calcified dead fetus and a 12-cm diameter calcified cyst in the right ovary were incidentally detected. It was aged 25 to 29 weeks (according to femur and humerus measurements) with a size of 12.5 × 8 × 5 cm and a weight of 227 g. According to investigation reports, her husband died in 1990, and she had 3 deliveries, the most recent of which was in 1946. Because the menopause age of the case was not exactly known, the retention time of the lithopedion was supposed to be 24 to 68 years according to the date of the most recent pregnancy and the date of her spouse's death. It is the first case that has been incidentally detected and identified during an autopsy in Turkey and also one of the oldest cases in the literature. PMID:27389692
Knudsen, P J; Theilade, P
The 7.62 mm x 51 military rifle bullet (7.62 mm NATO) as manufactured in Denmark, and in some other countries as well, has been claimed to fragment when fired at ranges encountered in forensic practice. All autopsied cases of death due to this bullet in Denmark since 1975 were investigated by studying autopsy reports and the bullets retrieved by the police. With one exception, all bullets that were found in, or known to have passed through the body, had fragmented. This behaviour is assumed to be due to a lack of strength in the jacket causing it to break at the cannelure when hitting the target at high velocity. The fragments will increase the already sizeable lesions and may leave the body through several separate exit wounds, presenting problems both for the surgeon treating survivors and for the forensic scientists when defining the direction of the shot. The legality of this and similar bullets in view of the Hague Declaration of 1899 may be questioned, and we feel that the bullet should be redesigned. A programme to this end has been initiated by the Danish state owned ammunition factory. PMID:8217867
Dgedge, M.; Novoa, A.; Macassa, G.; Sacarlal, J.; Black, J.; Michaud, C.; Cliff, J.
OBJECTIVE: To classify the causes of death in Maputo City, Mozambique, using the methods of the Global Burden of Disease study, in order to provide information for health policy-makers and to obtain a baseline for future studies in Maputo City and provincial capitals. METHODS: Data were taken from the Maputo City death register and autopsy records for 1994. FINDINGS: A total of 9011 deaths were recorded in the death register, representing a coverage of approximately 86%. Of these, 8114 deaths (92%) were classified by cause. Communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders accounted for 5319 deaths; noncommunicable diseases for 1834; and injuries for 961. The 10 leading causes of registered deaths were perinatal disorders (1643 deaths); malaria (928); diarrhoeal diseases (814); tuberculosis (456); lower respiratory infections (416); road-traffic accidents (371); anaemia (269); cerebrovascular diseases (269); homicide (188); and bacterial meningitis (178). CONCLUSIONS: Infectious diseases of all types, injuries, and cerebrovascular disease ranked as leading causes of death, according to both the autopsy records and the city death register. AIDS-related deaths were underreported. With HIV infection increasing rapidly, AIDS will add to the already high burden of infectious diseases and premature mortality in Maputo City. The results of the study indicate that cause of death is a useful outcome indicator for disease control programmes. PMID:11436477
Carvalho Bricola, Solange Aparecida Petilo; Paiva, Edison Ferreira; Lichtenstein, Arnaldo; Gianini, Reinaldo José; Duarte, Jurandir Godoy; Shinjo, Samuel Katsuyuki; Eluf-Neto, Jose; Arruda Martins, Milton
OBJECTIVE: Pulmonary embolism is an underdiagnosed major cause of death for hospitalized patients. The objective of this study was to identify the conditions associated with fatal pulmonary embolism in this population. METHODS: A total of 13,074 autopsy records were evaluated in a case-control study. Patients were matched by age, sex, and year of death, and factors potentially associated with fatal pulmonary embolism were analyzed using univariate and multivariate conditional logistic regression. RESULTS: Pulmonary embolism was considered fatal in 328 (2.5%) patients. In the multivariate analysis, conditions that were more common in patients who died of pulmonary embolism were atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, and neurological surgery. Some conditions were negatively associated with fatal pulmonary embolism, including hemorrhagic stroke, aortic aneurism, cirrhosis, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and pneumonia. In the control group, patients with hemorrhagic stroke and aortic aneurism had short hospital stays (8.5 and 8.8 days, respectively), and the hemorrhage itself was the main cause of death in most of them (90.6% and 68.4%, respectively), which may have prevented the development of pulmonary embolism. Cirrhotic patients in the control group also had short hospital stays (7 days), and 50% died from bleeding complications. CONCLUSIONS: In this large autopsy study, atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, and neurological surgery were diagnoses associated with fatal pulmonary embolism. PMID:23778403
Asperti, André Marangoni; Reis, Paulo; Diniz, Marcio Augusto; Pinto, Mariana Dourado; da Silva, Edinésio Carlos; da Silva, Danilo Felipe Dias; D’Albuquerque, Luiz Augusto Carneiro; Andraus, Wellington
OBJECTIVES: This study used autopsy to evaluate the prevalence of cholelithiasis and its associated risk factors in a population of healthy, young subjects who suffered a violent or natural death. METHODS: This study is a prospective evaluation of autopsies of 446 individuals from 2011 to 2013 in Brazil. Of that sample, 330 (74%) subjects died from violent deaths and 116 (26%) died naturally. The presence of biliary calculi, previous cholecystectomy, gender, age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI) and alcohol use were evaluated. RESULTS: In the natural death group, 6.9% (95% CI 3.39 to 13.28) (3.08% of the male subjects and 11.76% of the female subjects) exhibited evidence of gallbladder disease. In the violent death group, only 2.12% (95% CI 0.96 to 4.43) (2.17% of the male subjects and 1.85% of the female subjects) of the subjects exhibited evidence of gallbladder disease. Age was correlated with the prevalence of gallbladder disease, but BMI was correlated with only gallbladder disease in the natural death group. CONCLUSIONS: This population has the lowest prevalence of cholelithiasis in the Americas. Dietary habits, physical activity, ethnicity, alcohol consumption and genetic factors may be responsible for this low prevalence. PMID:27464291
Subedi, Nuwadatta; Yadav, B N; Jha, Shivendra; Paudel, Ishwari Sharma; Regmi, Rajendra
Abdomino-pelvic region is vulnerable to injury in various forms of trauma. This study was undertaken with objectives to study the pattern and type of external and internal abdominal and pelvic injuries and to identify the risk organs in abdomen and pelvis susceptible to trauma among the medico-legal autopsies at the mortuary of a referral centre in eastern Nepal during the period of one year (n = 80). Males constituted 80% of the cases and the mean age of the victims was 30.76 years. The cause of trauma was Road Traffic Accident in 82.5%. The manner of death was accidental in 87.5% and homicidal in 11.25% cases. Liver (57.5%) was the most common organ injured followed by spleen in 37.5% cases. Multiple organs injury was seen in 67.5% and absence of any external injuries was noted in 31.25% cases. Autopsy can play a role in establishing the missed injuries and be helpful to widen the knowledge of the medical faculty in early diagnosis and management of such injuries. PMID:23910883
Roberts, C S; Roberts, W C
Clinical and autopsy findings are described in 12 patients who had fatal aortic dissection with the entrance tear in the transverse aorta. The 12 patients represent 7% of 182 autopsies of spontaneous aortic dissection studied by us. The ages of the 12 patients at death ranged from 37 to 87 years (mean, 67 years). Eight were men; 8 had a history of systemic hypertension, and 10 had hearts of increased weight. Diagnosis of aortic dissection was made during life in only 4 of the 12 patients. All 12 patients died of rupture of the false channel within 2 weeks of onset of signs or symptoms compatible with dissection. The direction of aortic dissection from the entrance tear was entirely retrograde in 4 patients, entirely anterograde in 4 patients, and in both directions in 4 patients. Hemopericardium occurred in the first group, left hemothorax in the second group, and either in the last group. Of the 8 patients in whom the ascending aorta was involved, the retrograde dissection in each extended to the aortic root, 6 had pulmonary adventitial hemorrhage, and 4 had involvement of the arch arteries by dissection. In the 4 patients with strictly anterograde dissection, none had dissection in the arch arteries. Thus, tear in the transverse aorta causes a dissection that is usually fata, that often dissects retrogradely, and that may mimic dissection from a tear in ascending aorta. Aortic dissection from a tear in transverse aorta requires early operative intervention. PMID:2241339
Yuri, Takashi; Kato, Kouta; Hirohara, y; Kinoshita, Yuichi; Emoto, Yuko; Yuki, Michiko; Yoshizawa, Katsuhiko; Tsubura, Airo
An autopsy case report of Trousseau's syndrome caused by intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is presented, and seven previously reported cases are reviewed. A 73-year-old woman experiencing light-headedness and dementia of unknown cause for 6 months developed severe hypotonia. A hypointense lesion compatible with acute cerebral infarction was detected by magnetic resonance imaging. Abdominal computed tomography revealed an ill-defined large liver mass in the right lobe. The mass was not further investigated because of the patient's poor condition. She died of multiple organ failure, and an autopsy was conducted. Postmortem examination revealed intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, fibrous vegetations on the mitral valves and multiple thromboemboli in the cerebrum, spleen and rectum. Trousseau's syndrome is defined as an idiopathic thromboembolism in patients with undiagnosed or concomitantly diagnosed malignancy. This syndrome is encountered frequently in patients with mucin-producing carcinomas, while the incidence in patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is uncommon. We found that tissue factor and mucin tumor marker (CA19-9, CA15-3 and CA-125) expression in cancer cells may be involved in the pathogenesis of thromboembolism. A patient with unexplained thromboembolism may have occult visceral malignancy; thus, mucin tumor markers may indicate the origin of a mucin-producing carcinoma, and postmortem examination may play an important role in revealing the hidden malignancy. PMID:24987359
Hassan, Wael Abdo; Udaka, Naoka; Ueda, Akihiko; Ando, Yukio; Ito, Takaaki
Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leucoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is one of the most common heritable causes of stroke and dementia in adults. The gene involved in the pathogenesis of CADASIL is Notch3; in which mutations affect the number of cysteine residues in its extracellular domain, causing its accumulation in small arteries and arterioles of the affected individuals. Besides the usual neurological and vascular findings that have been well-documented in CADASIL patients, this paper additionally reports multiple neoplastic lesions that were observed in an autopsy case of CADASIL patient; that could be related to Notch3 mutation. The patient was a 62 years old male, presented with a past history of neurological manifestations, including gait disturbance and frequent convulsive attacks. He was diagnosed as CADASIL syndrome with Notch3 Arg133Cys mutation. He eventually developed hemiplegia and died of systemic convulsions. Autopsy examination revealed-besides the vascular and neurological lesions characteristic of CADASIL- multiple neoplastic lesions in the body; carcinoid tumorlet and diffuse idiopathic pulmonary neuro-endocrine cell hyperplasia (DIPNECH) in the lungs, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), prostatic adenocarcinoma (ADC) and adenomatoid tumor of the epididymis. This report describes a spectrum of neoplastic lesions that were found in a case of CADASIL patient that could be related to Notch3 gene mutations. PMID:26261665
Mehta, Rupal I; Mehta, Rashi I; Choi, Julia M; Mukherjee, Arnob; Castellani, Rudy J
Hydrophilic polymers are commonly applied as surface coatings on vascular devices and have been shown to dissociate during endovascular use, causing hydrophilic polymer embolism (HPE). Adverse effects related to this phenomenon have been recognized and reported. The prevalence of this complication is unknown. We conducted a retrospective study to determine the prevalence of HPE among hospital autopsies over a 29-month period. Postmortem tissue was histologically evaluated for the presence, location(s) and extent of HPE. HPE findings were correlated with documented clinical and laboratory data and patient outcome. Of 136 hospital autopsies examined, 18 (13%) showed evidence of HPE involving the lungs (n = 18), heart (n = 1) or central nervous system (n = 1). Localized pulmonary HPE was seen in 12 patients (9%). Multifocal pulmonary HPE was found in 6 patients (4%) and was associated with clinical vasculitis (33%; P < .0001), suspected pulmonary ischemia (50%; P = .008), coagulopathy (67%; P = .002), and constitutional disease (83%; P = .01). Within affected lung, associated histopathologic changes included occlusive intravascular or perivascular inflammation (89%), intravascular fibrous response (56%), microthrombus formation (44%), vasculitis (28%), and/or pulmonary microinfarction (28%). Statistically significant differences in hospital days (P = .008) and number of vascular interventions (P = .01) were noted between affected and unaffected patients. We conclude that HPE is an underdiagnosed phenomenon with primary involvement of the lungs, where secondary vascular changes are common. Additional studies may be needed to clarify risks and to identify preventative strategies for this iatrogenic complication of catheterizations and "minimally invasive" endovascular techniques. PMID:25543660
Capaldo, Theodora; Peppercorn, Marge
Approximately 1000 chimpanzees are currently held in five federally owned, or supported, US laboratories. This study reviews 110 autopsy reports on chimpanzees who died from 2001-2011 in laboratories or in sanctuaries (but who were from laboratories), in order to glean information about their premorbid health and causes of death. The findings raise questions about the health status of the chimpanzees remaining in laboratories. Most of the chimpanzees currently held are not involved in active protocols. The Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection (CHIMP) Act 2000 states that chimpanzees "not needed" for research "shall" be accepted into the federal sanctuary system, but criteria for when a chimpanzee is deemed "not needed" are not given. The assessment of "not needed" lies with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who has left the decision to the discretion of the laboratories. This autopsy review revealed that the majority of the chimpanzees who died in laboratories had been suffering from significant chronic or incurable illnesses, and most often had multi-system diseases that should have made them ineligible for future research, on scientific, as well as ethical, grounds. The study's findings are significant in establishing the need for defined criteria for chimpanzee retirement to sanctuary. PMID:23215662
Kitayama, Hiromitsu; Yokota, Taro; Kondo, Tomohiro; Sugiyama, Junko; Hirayama, Michiaki; Oyamada, Yumiko; Tsuji, Yasushi
Clinicians generally suspect pulmonary tumor embolism (PTE) with uncontrolled carcinomas which often spread to lungs. We, however, experienced an autopsy case of diffuse microscopic PTE despite controlled liver metastases of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). A 66-year-old man with progressing respiratory symptoms showed almost normal chest findings on computed tomography. Although liver metastases were successfully shrunk by chemotherapy, the patient died from aggressive respiratory failure. An autopsy revealed small pulmonary vessels showing diffuse tumor emboli. TCC can cause PTE even if liver metastases are controlled. We must therefore be aware that PTE can manifest as respiratory symptoms without any computed tomography findings. PMID:27580549
Bamber, Andrew R.; Quince, Thelma A.; Barclay, Stephen I. G.; Clark, John D. A.; Siklos, Paul W. L.; Wood, Diana F.
Attending postmortems enables students to learn anatomy and pathology within a clinical context, provides insights into effects of treatment and introduces the reality that patients die. Rates of clinical autopsies have declined and medical schools have cut obligatory autopsy sessions from their curricula making it difficult to assess medical…
Mpimbaza, Arthur; Filler, Scott; Katureebe, Agaba; Quick, Linda; Chandramohan, Daniel; Staedke, Sarah G
To assess different methods for determining cause of death from verbal autopsy (VA) questionnaire data, the intra-rater reliability of Physician-Certified Verbal Autopsy (PCVA) and the accuracy of PCVA, expert-derived (non-hierarchical) and data-driven (hierarchal) algorithms were assessed for determining common causes of death in Ugandan children. A verbal autopsy validation study was conducted from 2008-2009 in three different sites in Uganda. The dataset included 104 neonatal deaths (0-27 days) and 615 childhood deaths (1-59 months) with the cause(s) of death classified by PCVA and physician review of hospital medical records (the 'reference standard'). Of the original 719 questionnaires, 141 (20%) were selected for a second review by the same physicians; the repeat cause(s) of death were compared to the original,and agreement assessed using the Kappa statistic.Physician reviewers' refined non-hierarchical algorithms for common causes of death from existing expert algorithms, from which, hierarchal algorithms were developed. The accuracy of PCVA, non-hierarchical, and hierarchical algorithms for determining cause(s) of death from all 719 VA questionnaires was determined using the reference standard. Overall, intra-rater repeatability was high (83% agreement, Kappa 0.79 [95% CI 0.76-0.82]). PCVA performed well, with high specificity for determining cause of neonatal (>67%), and childhood (>83%) deaths, resulting in fairly accurate cause-specific mortality fraction (CSMF) estimates. For most causes of death in children, non-hierarchical algorithms had higher sensitivity, but correspondingly lower specificity, than PCVA and hierarchical algorithms, resulting in inaccurate CSMF estimates. Hierarchical algorithms were specific for most causes of death, and CSMF estimates were comparable to the reference standard and PCVA. Inter-rater reliability of PCVA was high, and overall PCVA performed well. Hierarchical algorithms performed better than non
Mpimbaza, Arthur; Filler, Scott; Katureebe, Agaba; Quick, Linda; Chandramohan, Daniel; Staedke, Sarah G.
To assess different methods for determining cause of death from verbal autopsy (VA) questionnaire data, the intra-rater reliability of Physician-Certified Verbal Autopsy (PCVA) and the accuracy of PCVA, expert-derived (non-hierarchical) and data-driven (hierarchal) algorithms were assessed for determining common causes of death in Ugandan children. A verbal autopsy validation study was conducted from 2008-2009 in three different sites in Uganda. The dataset included 104 neonatal deaths (0-27 days) and 615 childhood deaths (1-59 months) with the cause(s) of death classified by PCVA and physician review of hospital medical records (the ‘reference standard’). Of the original 719 questionnaires, 141 (20%) were selected for a second review by the same physicians; the repeat cause(s) of death were compared to the original,and agreement assessed using the Kappa statistic.Physician reviewers’ refined non-hierarchical algorithms for common causes of death from existing expert algorithms, from which, hierarchal algorithms were developed. The accuracy of PCVA, non-hierarchical, and hierarchical algorithms for determining cause(s) of death from all 719 VA questionnaires was determined using the reference standard. Overall, intra-rater repeatability was high (83% agreement, Kappa 0.79 [95% CI 0.76-0.82]). PCVA performed well, with high specificity for determining cause of neonatal (>67%), and childhood (>83%) deaths, resulting in fairly accurate cause-specific mortality fraction (CSMF) estimates. For most causes of death in children, non-hierarchical algorithms had higher sensitivity, but correspondingly lower specificity, than PCVA and hierarchical algorithms, resulting in inaccurate CSMF estimates. Hierarchical algorithms were specific for most causes of death, and CSMF estimates were comparable to the reference standard and PCVA. Inter-rater reliability of PCVA was high, and overall PCVA performed well. Hierarchical algorithms performed better than non
Uzün, Ibrahim; Büyük, Yalçin; Gürpinar, Kağan
We retrospectively analyzed the autopsy records of the Institute of Forensic Medicine during the five-year period between 1998 and 2002 to document the characteristics of fatalities resulting from hanging which is the commonest mode of suicide in Istanbul. Upon analysis of death scene investigation and autopsy reports together with the information gathered from the police, the cases of hanging fatalities of suicidal origin were selected. Seven hundred sixty one hanging cases of suicidal origin were detected and evaluated in terms of demographic features, the type of hanging material used for ligature, cause of death, internal findings in neck organs, other traumatic findings suggesting the use of another method for suicide, toxicological findings and microscopic findings in delayed death cases. In 364 of these cases suspension was complete and in 397 incomplete. Five hundred thirty seven of those (70.56%) were male and 224 (29.44%) were female. The preponderance of male cases in our autopsy population was also detected in suicidal hanging cases. There was no case aged lower 10 and the number of the cases in the age group of cases aged over 80 was the lowest (n=3, 0.4%). In 634 of cases, the place of hanging was the subject's own house, most victims selected rope (652 cases) for the ligature with the rest using sheet, belt, cable and necktie. There were traumatic findings showing attempts of suicide other than hanging in 24 cases (tentative marks in 22 cases and non-fatal burning in 2). In 23 of cases, there were bruises of different ages. In these cases females constituted the majority suggesting violence against women that is a social problem in various cultural subgroups of our country. This violence may have played a role in the decision of suicide. Superficial bruises were detected in 56 cases and were attributed to the trauma. Fractures in neck organs were detected in 446 of cases. In fracture-determined cases, fracture in hyoid bone was seen in 177, in
Michiue, Tomomi; Sogawa, Nozomi; Ishikawa, Takaki; Maeda, Hitoshi
Previous studies demonstrated possible application of postmortem quantitative CT data analysis of the heart and lung in situ to investigate terminal cardiopulmonary pathophysiology. The present study analyzed virtual CT morphometric and autopsy data of the heart to investigate terminal central congestion in forensic autopsy cases (n=113, within 3 days postmortem); the virtual total heart weight in situ was estimated using CT morphometry, and the difference from and ratio to the measured weight at autopsy were calculated as indicators of heart blood pooling and the cardiac dilatation index (CDI) before dissection, respectively. There were substantial differences between the estimated heart blood pooling in situ and volume recovered at autopsy, including a characteristic decrease in drowning, alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication and sudden cardiac death (SCD), possibly due to blood redistribution after thoracic dissection. The estimated in situ heart blood pool and CDI values were higher in SCD but lower in fatal hemorrhage and hemopericardium, as well as in acute mechanical asphyxiation and hyperthermia (heatstroke). In addition, there was a significant difference in heart blood pooling between mechanical asphyxiation or drowning and SCD. The CDI was significantly lower in fatal hyperthermia (heatstroke) than in drowning, fatal methamphetamine abuse, alcohol/sedative-hypnotic intoxication and SCD. These findings suggest the usefulness of applying the CDI and postmortem heart blood volume in situ as supplementary indicators of terminal central congestion, especially for investigating deaths from hemorrhage, hemopericardium, hyperthermia (heatstroke) and SCD. PMID:27115507
Kimura, Tadashi; Miura, Takeshi; Aoki, Kenju; Saito, Shoji; Hondo, Hiroaki; Konno, Takuya; Uchiyama, Akio; Ikeuchi, Takeshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Kakita, Akiyoshi
Idiopathic basal ganglia calcification (IBGC), or Fahr's disease, is a neurological disorder characterized by widespread calcification in the brain. Recently, several causative genes have been identified, but the histopathologic features of the brain lesions and expression of the gene products remain unclear. Here, we report the clinical and autopsy features of a 62-year-old Japanese man with familial IBGC, in whom an SLC20A2 mutation was identified. The patient developed mild cognitive impairment and parkinsonism. A brain CT scan demonstrated abnormal calcification in the bilateral basal ganglia, thalami and cerebellum. An MRI study at this point revealed glioblastoma, and the patient died 6 months later. At autopsy, symmetric calcification in the basal ganglia, thalami, cerebellar white matter and deeper layers of the cerebral cortex was evident. The calcification was observed in the tunica media of small arteries, arterioles and capillaries, but not in veins. Immunohistochemistry using an antibody against type III sodium-dependent phosphate transporter 2 (PiT-2), the SLC20A2 product, demonstrated that astrocytic processes were labeled in several regions in control brains, whereas in the patient, reactivity in astrocytes was apparently weak. Immunoblotting demonstrated a marked decrease of PiT-2 in the patient. There are few autopsy reports of IBGC patients with confirmation of the genetic background. The autopsy features seem informative for better understanding the histogenesis of IBGC lesions. PMID:26635128
Chan, Sandra S. M.; Chiu, Helen F. K.; Chen, Eric Y. H.; Chan, Wincy S. C.; Wong, Paul W. C.; Chan, Cecilia L. W.; Law, Y. W.; Yip, Paul S. F.
Charcoal burning suicides in Hong Kong between 2002-2004 in the 15 to 59-year-old age group were investigated using the psychological autopsy method. The psychopathological profiles of charcoal burning suicides (N = 53) were compared against "other suicides" (N = 97). The two groups did not differ significantly in the prevalence of "DSM-IV" axis I…
Mannucci, A; Casarino, L; Bruni, G; Lomi, A; De Stefano, F
On September 23rd 1993 Genova was flooded by heavy rainstorms and 4 people disappeared, including an elderly couple. Four days later a partially skeletonized body was found floating near the coast. No visual identification was possible. Autopsy findings were consistent with the medical history of a possible victim. DNA was extracted from a muscle sample and compared to paraffin embedded prostatic gland fragment taken by surgery. A positive identification could be made. On October 11th the body of a decomposed and partially skeletonized female was found. The visual identification was also uncertain and no clinical records were available. A blood sample from the son was obtained for maternal identification by the polymerase chain reaction. PMID:7599100
Unuma, Kana; Tojo, Akihiro; Harada, Kazuki; Saka, Kanju; Nakajima, Makoto; Ishii, Takeshi; Fujita, Toshiro; Yoshida, Ken-ichi
A woman in her mid-forties had repeated vomiting and diarrhoea accompanied by muscle weakness soon after she started taking seven different diet pills imported from Thailand. After she had taken the pills for 8 days, respiratory depression progressed rapidly to arrest. Blood tests at the Emergency Department showed severe hypokalaemia with metabolic alkalosis. We diagnosed that she had developed pseudo-Bartter syndrome from the findings based on ionic abnormalities and high renin and aldosterone levels, and hyperplasia of the juxtaglomerular apparatus. A postmortem blood analysis indicated subtherapeutic levels of furosemide. We concluded that the patient died from pseudo-Bartter syndrome, which was triggered by chronic self-administration of furosemide and aggravated by the diet pills. This is the first pseudo-Bartter syndrome autopsy report to show histological localisation of calcification in the kidneys. PMID:21686346
Sato, Hiroaki; Tanaka, Toshiko; Kasai, Kentaro; Kita, Toshiro
A 49-year-old male captain fell and unfortunately died in a hold tank where he had entered to rescue his fainting co-worker on the disposing waste fluid left there. An autopsy revealed that the captain died from drowning in the waste fluid. In order to clarify the cause of their falling in the tank, the gas in the hold tank was analyzed. The concentration of oxygen was 18.86 to 19.31%, carbon dioxide was 7.28 to 9.07% and the other gases, including hydrogen sulfide, were assessed to be under the normal level. It was concluded that the intoxication of carbon dioxide generated from the waste fluid fermentation was the cause of this fatal accident through loss of consciousness. It is necessary to recognize that carbon dioxide is a dangerous and deleterious gas in circumstances where the gas can be produced. PMID:20000009
Hayashi, Haruna; Eguchi, Noriaki; Sumimoto, Kyoku; Matsumoto, Kenta; Azakami, Takahiro; Sumida, Tomonori; Tamura, Tadamasa; Sumii, Masaharu; Uraoka, Naohiro; Shimamoto, Fumio
A 50-year-old man presented to a nearby hospital with high fever and anorexia. An abdominal tumor was detected, and he was referred to our hospital. A pancreatic tumor was detected by computed tomography and abdominal ultrasonography. He had high fever, leukocytosis, and high serum granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). We performed a tumor biopsy and histological examination revealed anaplastic carcinoma of the pancreas. Based on the diagnosis, we initiated chemotherapy using gemcitabine plus S-1. However, the tumor rapidly progressed and he deteriorated and died 123 days after admission. As immunohistochemical study showed positive staining for G-CSF in the tumor cell, we diagnosed the tumor producing G-CSF during autopsy. Anaplastic carcinoma of the pancreas producing G-CSF is very rare, with 10 cases, including ours, reported in the literature. PMID:27498938
Kiamanesh, Parvin; Dyregrov, Kari; Haavind, Hanne; Dieserud, Gudrun
This study explores suicide in relation to perfectionism among individuals who died by suicide with no history of treatment in mental health care or of suicide attempts. The study is part of an ongoing psychological autopsy study (PA-study). It aimed to produce a phenomenological understanding of the dynamics/processes from perfectionism to suicide among 6 men aged 22 to 58. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the interview data of 41 key informants. Based on the informants' narratives, it seemed that perfectionism left these men less able to cope with their (self-perceived) inability to meet their high expectations. Four themes emerged from analysis: 1) striving for success; 2) fear of failure; 3) keeping up the façade; and 4) rigidity. The results may be important in the prevention of nonclinical suicides, a group that is particularly difficult to identify, especially if the deceased have been regarded as very successful in many areas. PMID:25304870
Aruna, E.; Chakravarthy, V. Kalyan; Rao, D. Naveen Chandar; Rao, D. Ranga
Holoprosencephaly (HPE), a disorder which results from a failure of cleavage or the incomplete differentiation of the forebrain structures at various levels or to various degrees, is related to hereditary factors, chromosomal anomalies, cytogenetic abnormalities, and environmental teratogenic factors. We are reporting a case of a multiparous woman who was G3,P3,L2, who delivered a full term foetus with holoprosencephaly and multiple craniofacial anomalies. An autopsy was conducted. Multiple anomalies of the craniofacial bones, which include hypoplasia and synostosis of the frontal bone, anophthalmia, absence of the anterior cranial fossa, hypoplasia of the maxillae, an absent antrum, cleft palate, a central hare lip and arrhinia which includes absence of the nostrils and hypotelorism of the eye placodes, were noted. This case is being reported for its rarity and the available literature was reviewed in this respect. PMID:24086891
Kizza, Dorothy; Hjelmeland, Heidi; Kinyanda, Eugene; Knizek, Birthe Loa
Participants' perceptions of psychological autopsy interviews were investigated in post-conflict Northern Uganda. Data were derived out of their responses in the debriefing session after the formal interviews. These responses were subjected to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The majority of the participants were positive about the interview as reflected in the two broad themes: positivation of the situation through the possibility of helping others and opportunity for personal development through sharing. To some few participants the interview aroused guilt, self-reproach, and anger and reactivated painful memories. As regards suicide postvention, the findings implied that not much has been done to help the bereaved by suicide in this region, and few resources for such efforts are currently available. However, the bereaved are ready to contribute toward the fight against suicide in their communities. Hence, it is argued that a community-based mental health and Primary Health Care approaches should be encouraged in this context. PMID:21928598
Chikkannaiah, Panduranga; Mahadevan, Anita; Gosavi, Manasi; Kangle, Ranjit; Anuradha; Shankar, S K
Sirenomelia, a developmental defect involving the caudal region of the body, is associated with several internal visceral anomalies. We report a detailed spectrum of anomalies in an autopsy study of four fetuses with sirenomelia (gestational ages - 20, 21, 22.4, and 22.5 weeks). Three of the fetuses had single umbilical artery, with genitourinary and gastrointestinal anomalies. Central nervous system anomalies were evident in two of the fetuses, with alobar holoprosencephaly in one and lumbar meningomyelocele in another. The most common gastrointestinal anomaly was blind ended gut (imperforate anus), while esophageal atresia and omphalocele were noted in one case each. Renal hypoplasia was seen in two fetuses, renal agenesis in one and cystic renal dysplasia was noted in one case. Literature regarding pathogenesis of this condition is briefly discussed. PMID:24656289
Reviewing autopsy records of a ten-year period in the Department of Pathology of Szolnok County Hospital 1607 lung cancer cases were detected, in 1213 of which histological reexamination could be performed. The reproducibility of main histological groups was 73.4%, highest of all in small cell lung cancer. The cause of the relatively low reproducibility rate can be first of all the considerably changeable histological appearance and the frequency of transitional forms between terminally differentiated tumor types. One must not even leave lower diagnostic accuracy of frozen sections out of consideration, the basic method of first diagnosis. The light microscopic heterogeneity and transitional histological forms have been analysed in this article. PMID:2671857
Murder is perpetrated, suicide is committed and lethal accidents happen everywhere, even in the heart of the French country. In the 19th century, law often appealed to the lights of experts. During criminal investigation, improvisation and men's adaptation were important, although forensic autopsy was official and necessary. Sometimes the magistrates appealed to young people, not used to that kind of reports, who could only remind some bits of the forensic courses they had followed when they were students. As for the specialists, the circumstances often led them to examine--as Baudelaire would say--the "decaying carcass," in a dark and suffocating ruined house, on the kitchen table, and with a simple scapel. PMID:23038869
Sorlie, P. D.; Garcia-Palmieri, M. R.; Castillo-Staab, M. I.; Costas, R.; Oalmann, M. C.; Havlik, R.
Among 9824 Puerto Rican men, aged 35-79, participating in a prospective study of cardiovascular risk factors, there were 970 deaths during the period 1965-1977. About 14%, or 139, of these deaths had a protocol autopsy following the procedures of the International Atherosclerosis Project. The percentage of involvement with raised atherosclerotic lesions in the coronary arteries was higher in the urban deceased than in the rural. The coronary heart disease death rate was also found to be higher in urban than in rural men in this population. Serum cholesterol and systolic blood pressure measured from up to 8 years before death were related both to raised lesions in the coronary arteries and in the aorta. Age and previous smoking status were associated with lesions only in the aorta. These results lend support for an etiologic relationship between serum cholesterol and blood pressure and the atherosclerotic process. PMID:7234969
Oikawa, M A; Kamada, M; Yoshihara, T; Kaneko, M; Yoshikawa, T
To elucidate the current status of foal diseases in Japan, clinico-pathological analysis was conducted on 237 foal autopsy cases. As a result, bacterial infection was identified as an important cause of foal death. Most of the bacteria isolated from these cases were ubiquitous, opportunistic, environmental organisms, known to be non-pathogenic to mature animals. Most of cases with bacterial infection were diagnosed as having hypogammaglobulinemia, i.e., failure of passive transfer. In addition, the mean weight of thymuses in foals affected by bacterial infection tended to be lower than that of foals without infection. These findings suggest that the common cause of foal diseases were mainly due to the opportunistic bacterial infections associated with the weakened immune function, serving as precursor to or promotor of infection. PMID:1811113
Berman, Alan L; Sundararaman, Ramya; Price, Andrea; Au, Josephine S
Findings from 55 psychological autopsies of decedents who perished on U.S. railroad rights-of-way between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2010 are reported. Described are distal, proximal, and contextual factors of risk; understandings of why these suicides occurred on railroad rights-of-way; and opportunities for prevention of similar suicides. International comparisons of suicides on railroad rights-of-way are made to highlight distinct findings regarding U.S. cases. Decedents studied exhibited considerable predisposing risk for suicide, with a high prevalence of severe mental disorders and substance abuse. In addition, a number of acute risk factors were commonly observed, notably suicide ideation, hopelessness, anxiety, and anger. In the context of that acute risk, associated situational variables and a relative absence of protective factors are described. PMID:24946977
Hanada, S.; Mita, T.; Nishino, N.; Tanaka, C.
(/sup 3/H)muscimol binding and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) activity in the prefrontal cortex and caudate nucleus of autopsied brains from 19 chronic schizophrenics and 17 control subjects were investigated. In the schizophrenics, saturation analysis with varying concentrations of (/sup 3/H)muscimol revealed an increase in the number GABA/sub A/ receptors, but there was no significant difference in the affinity. In addition, the enhancement of (/sup 3/H)muscimol binding by diazepam was significantly greater in schizophrenics than in controls. GAD activity did not differ between controls and schizophrenics. The possibility that GABAergic mechanisms might play a role in case of chronic schizophrenia should be given further attention.
Takase, Izumi; Koizumi, Takako; Fujimoto, Ihoko; Yanai, Aya; Fujimiya, Tatsuya
We present a fatal case of intoxication due to insufflation of acetyl fentanyl. His blood concentration of acetyl fentanyl was 270ng/mL, and the manner of death was classified as an accident. This is the first report of an autopsy case of acetyl fentanyl delivered by insufflation, rather than intravenous administration. He had been snoring loudly for at least 12h prior to death, and transport to a hospital during this time and treatment with naloxone may have saved his life. In this sense, it can be said that his death was preventable. This case reemphasizes the risk of death associated with drug overdose and the narrow range of acetyl fentanyl between the effective dose (ED50) and lethal dose (LD50). The case should also raise awareness among medical professionals of the effectiveness of naloxone and the need to establish a comprehensive system for toxicological analysis while keeping the possibility of use of 'designer drugs' in mind. PMID:27497332
Kizza, Dorothy; Knizek, Birthe Loa; Kinyanda, Eugene; Hjelmeland, Heidi
The psychosocial circumstances surrounding men's suicide in postconflict Central Northern Uganda were investigated using qualitative psychological autopsy interviews. Records of 17 men who died by suicide were identified through police and local leaders in Internally Displaced Peoples' camps of Amuru and Gulu Districts. Two to five significant others were interviewed around each case. Data were analyzed by interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Lost dignity and social value, lack of hope for the family's future, overwhelming family responsibility, and mental illness were circumstances found to have preceded the suicides. The protracted war in the Northern region of Uganda left men in rural communities feeling disempowered and disenfranchised. This may have contributed to suicidal behavior in some of them. Suicide prevention in this area needs to be multidisciplinary with an emphasis on helping both men and women understand and deal with the many social changes that have evolved over time and affected their traditional roles and responsibilities. PMID:23075801
Oka, Kuniyuki; Sarashina, Gen; Yonekawa, Nobuo; Watanabe, Osamu; Miyao, Yoshiko; Hashimoto, Toshio; Yatabe, Yasushi
This study reports a 54-year-old man who was a carpenter by occupation. He suffered from left chest and back pain and left pleural effusion. Peripheral blood showed granulocytosis and high serum titers of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and CYFRA. He died 20 months later. At autopsy, a pleural tumor located around the left lung and thickening of the pericardium, diaphragm, and esophagus by tumor infiltration was seen. The tumor proliferated in papillary and solid alveolar patterns by neoplastic cells. They were positive for calretinin, D2-40, CK5/6, HBME-1, G-CSF, CK19, and E-cadherin. He was diagnosed with G-CSF-producing epithelioid malignant pleural mesothelioma. PMID:21911431
Ota, Kyoko; Matsuyama, Masashi; Kokuho, Nariaki; Masuko, Hironori; Hayashi, Hiroki; Iizuka, Takashi; Hayashibara, Kenji; Saito, Takefumi; Kawabata, Yoshinori
A 67-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital because of progressive dyspnea, cough, bloody sputum, and backache. Chest radiography and CT scans showed bilateral diffuse interstitial shadows, bilateral pleural effusion and dilatation of the pulmonary artery. Echocardiography indicated pulmonary hypertension, and the serum tumor marker levels were elevated. We performed right cardiac catheterization, and withdrew some blood from a pulmonary artery catheter in the wedge position. We confirmed moderate pulmonary hypertension, and adenocarcinoma-like malignant cells were seen in the aspirated blood. The patient died of progressive respiratory failure despite supportive care. In addition to PTTM and lymphangiosis carcinomatosa, autopsy of the right lung revealed interstitial pneumonia and lipoid pneumonia, both of which were not reported before to be associated with PTTM. PMID:19601530
Harada, Kazuki; Kuroda, Ryohei; Nakajima, Makoto; Takizawa, Ayako; Yoshida, Ken-ichi
The decomposed body of a 53 or 57-year-old male was found with a gun in a locked car parked in a coin-operated parking lot. During autopsy, the entrance wound in the frontal bone showed a characteristic keyhole defect with internal and external beveling. There was no exit wound. The fragmented bullet traveled downward within the calvarium and struck the right orbital plate. Two independent linear fractures were observed away from the entrance. These were believed to be secondary fractures resulting neither from internal ricochet of the bullet nor from direct blunt force to the head. Although decomposition complicated the evaluation of the gunshot wound characteristics, microscopic examination confirmed large quantities of soot along the wound tract, supporting our conclusion that the range of fire was contact. PMID:22633563
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a range of birth defects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most serious form of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Infants with FAS are prone to death because of various physical abnormalities. Consequently, infants with FAS may be presented in the medicolegal investigation as a form of sudden unexpected death in infancy. The author reported a 6-month-old male infant who was found dead at home. The history of maternal ethanol consumption during pregnancy was obtained. The infant was diagnosed with FAS at the autopsy because he was presented with postnatal growth retardation, multiple facial abnormalities, and abnormal brain structures, which met the criteria of FAS. The cause of death was severe aspiration pneumonia. The purposes of this case report are to show an uncommon manifestation of sudden unexpected death in infancy case for the forensic pathologists and to emphasize on the national healthcare problem. PMID:26730801
Amaral, Felipe Gomes Campos; Lima, Luiz Guilherme Cernaglia Aureliano; Hatanaka, Veruska Menegatti Anastacio; Siqueira, Sheila Aparecida Coelho
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a lymphoid neoplasia with the B immunophenotype, which corresponds to the leukemic form of lymphocytic lymphoma. This entity is characterized, in most cases, by immunosuppression due to impaired function of immune cells, hypogammaglobulinemia, bone marrow infiltration, and immune dysfunction due to the neoplasia and the chemotherapy, when prescribed. We describe the case of a 63-year-old woman with a previous diagnosis of advanced CLL, refractory to treatment, who presented respiratory failure at the emergency department and died soon after hospital admission. The autopsy examination showed a large retroperitoneal mass compressing large vessels and abdominal and pelvic organs; generalized lymphadenopathy; and liver, spleen, bone marrow, heart and kidney infiltration. A Gram-negative bacilli bronchopneumonia with diffuse alveolar damage was detected, which was likely to be the immediate cause of death. PMID:27284536
Behera, C; Sikary, Asit Kumar; Krishna, Karthik; Garg, Aayushi; Chopra, Saurav; Gupta, S K
Foeticide and the abandonment of newborns are important, albeit frequently neglected, issues. Concealment of childbirth is often seen in the setting of unwanted pregnancy which has been recognised as one of the most important factors in both cases. This study highlights the medico-legal autopsy findings of 238 abandoned foetuses and newborns over a period of 17 years (1996-2012) from the region of South Delhi, India. There was no sex predilection. The majority of the cases were full term. Nearly 35% of the foetuses were still born, about 29% were live born and the remainder were non-viable. Among the live born, death by homicide was more common than a natural death and most were left by the roadside. The abandoning and killing of newborns needs urgent attention, and strict measures are needed to save thousands of innocent lives. PMID:26857075
Moore, G. William; Hutchins, Grover M.; Boitnott, John K.; Miller, Robert E.; Polacsek, Richard A.
It has become increasingly cost-effective to produce primary medical records as electronic documents. However, access to these documents by disease-concept is limited by the user's knowledge of the classification system (ICD, SNOMED, MeSH). We have developed a system of algorithmic translation between medical natural language and MeSH titles, by respelling common word roots. Using the list of 17,494 words harvested from all autopsies performed at The Johns Hopkins Hospital between May 28, 1889, and June 30, 1987, a set of 2,310 respelling formulas converted 10,200 words into 659 distinct MeSH titles. Results show that respelling formulas can be used to translate medical natural language into MeSH titles, and thus improve the access to the database.