Volume 47, Issue 6 (November 2002)
Charred Body: Virtual Autopsy with Multi-slice Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The correct examination of a charred body is a forensic challenge. Examination, interpretation, and conclusion in respect to identification, vital reactions, toxicological analysis, and determining cause and manner of death are all more difficult than without burns. To evaluate what can be seen in the case of a charred body, we made an examination with the new radiological modalities of cross-section techniques, via multi-slice Computed Tomography (MSCT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), prior to performing the classical forensic autopsy. In a charred body case of a single motor vehicle/fixed object collision with a post crash fire, the radiological methods of MSCT and MRI made it possible to document the injuries caused by burn as well as the forensic relevant vital reactions (air embolism and blood aspiration). In conclusion, we think postmortem imaging is a good forensic visualization tool with a great potential for the forensic documentation and examination of charred bodies.