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Minerva Medicolegale 2015 December;135(3-4):61-73

language: Italian

Multi-phase post-mortem computed tomography angiography: a reliable and effective diagnostic tool in forensic medicine

Pascale N. 1, Grilli G. 2, Bello S. 1, Zizzo G. 2, Pomara C. 1, 3

1 Sezione Dipartimentale di Medicina Legale, Università degli Studi di Foggia, Ospedale “Colonnello D’Avanzo”, Foggia, Italia;
2 Unità di Radiologia, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti, Foggia, Italia;
3 Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta


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Post-mortem radiological imaging has proven to be a very significant tool to explain the cause of death as well as to plan the following autopsy examination, in particular computed tomography (CT) has been increasingly used in routine forensic practice and research. Despite the advantages of CT in terms of performance simplicity, data acquisition and cost effectiveness, this technique if performed without contrast agent injection provides little information about organic lesions and the vascular system. Multi-phase post-mortem computed tomography angiography (MPMCTA) has been developed to overcome these limitations and to increase the diagnostic value of CT. It is a standardized technique, which consists in the performance of a native CT scan (with no contrast agent injection), followed by at least three angiographic phases (arterial, venous, and dynamic phase). The purpose of this paper is to report the case history of the Institute of Legal Medicine of the University of Foggia as part of the research project on MPMCTA, with particular attention paid to a variation of the standard technique designed at our institution in order to better visualize the vascular axis of the lower limbs.

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