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Il Giornale Italiano di Radiologia Medica 2018 Luglio-Agosto;5(4):583-90

DOI: 10.23736/S2283-8376.18.00091-8

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Virtopsy: current knowledge and open questions

Federica FUZZI 1 , Francesco MONTEDURO 1, Milena PASQUALI 1, Francesco BUIA 1, Aldo SPAGNOL 1, Marcello RIDOLFI 1, Mattia GENTILINI 1, Maurizio ZOMPATORI 2

1 Unità Operativa di Radiologia, Dipartimento della Medicina Diagnostica e della Prevenzione, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italia; 2 Istituto di Radiologia, Ospedale San Giuseppe Multimedica IRCCS, Milano, Italia



Virtopsy is the set of all diagnostic techniques for post-mortem imaging, that assist the coroner investigations with modern imaging technologies to optimize and implement the documentation of classical autopsy. The most used techniques are X-rays and multi-slice-CT, thanks to their extensive availability on the territory. Due to the growing request of virtopsies by legal medicine, we tried to delineate a well-defined procedural-flow, that can meet both the organizational and logistic needs of this new path of virtopsy, as ratified by the resolution n. 16870 of 06/09/2017. As agreed between the coroner and the referring radiologist, virtopsy is performed in the Radiologic department closest to the autopsy room, after the last examination of the afternoon session, so that we can ensure priority to the regular activity. The body, placed inside a sealed bag, gets transported, placed and removed from the radiological table by the cemeterial operators, and has to be accompanied by the coroner, who attends the examination and the preliminary assessments of the Radiologist. The radiologist’s report will then be filed in the management software, printed and delivered to the coroner, which will attach it to the autopsy report requested by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. A radiologist, in order to properly execute a virtopsy, must receive a proper training, in both post-mortem imaging and on legal medicine issues; only a close cooperation between the Departments of Legal Medicine and of Radiology allows an adequate cultural growth of the team dedicated to the post-mortem imaging.


KEY WORDS: Autopsy - Forensic medicine - Diagnostic techniques and procedures - X-ray computed tomography

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