Volume 48, Issue 6 (November 2003)
3D Surface and Body Documentation in Forensic Medicine: 3-D/CAD Photogrammetry Merged with 3D Radiological Scanning
A main goal of forensic medicine is to document and to translate medical findings to a language and/or visualization that is readable and understandable for judicial persons and for medical laymen. Therefore, in addition to classical methods, scientific cutting-edge technologies can and should be used. Through the use of the Forensic, 3-D/CAD-supported Photogrammetric method the documentation of so-called "morphologic fingerprints" has been realized. Forensic, 3-D/CAD-supported Photogrammetry creates morphologic data models of the injury and of the suspected injury-causing instrument allowing the evaluation of a match between the injury and the instrument. In addition to the photogrammetric body surface registration, the radiological documentation provided by a volume scan (i.e., spiral, multi-detector CT, or MRI) registers the sub-surface injury, which is not visible to Photogrammetry. The new, combined method of merging Photogrammetry and Radiology data sets creates the potential to perform many kinds of reconstructions and postprocessing of (patterned) injuries in the realm of forensic medical case work. Using this merging method of colored photogrammetric surface and gray-scale radiological internal documentation, a great step towards a new kind of reality-based, high-tech wound documentation and visualization in forensic medicine is made. The combination of the methods of 3D/CAD Photogrammetry and Radiology has the advantage of being observer-independent, non-subjective, non-invasive, digitally storable over years or decades and even transferable over the web for second opinion.