Volume 48, Issue 6 (November 2003)
Virtopsy—Postmortem Multislice Computed Tomography (MSCT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in a Fatal Scuba Diving Incident
The body of a 44-year-old scuba diver was examined using postmortem multislice computed tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and findings were verified by subsequent autopsy. The goal was to find out whether the important pathomorphological findings for the reconstruction of events and the identification of cause and manner of death could be identified using modern digital cross-sectioning techniques. The findings of a massive vital decompression with pulmonary barotrauma and lethal gas embolism were identified in the radiological images. MSCT and MRI were superior to autopsy in the demonstration of the extent and distribution of gas accumulation in intraparenchymal blood vessels of internal organs as well as in areas of the body inaccessible by standard autopsy.