Volume 50, Issue 2 (March 2005)
Postmortem Non-Invasive Virtual Autopsy: Death by Hanging in a Car
A body was found behind a car with a noose tied around its neck, the other end of the rope tied to a tree. Apparently the man committed suicide by driving away with the noose tied around his neck and was dragged out of the car through the open hatchback. postmortem multislice-computed tomography (MSCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) indicated that the cause of death was cerebral hypoxia due to classic strangulation by hanging, and not due to a brainstem lesion because of a hang-man fracture as would be expected in such a dynamic situation. Furthermore, the MRI displayed intramuscular haemorrhage, bleeding into the clavicular insertions of the sternocleidomastoid muscles and subcutaneous neck tissue. We conclude that MSCT and MRI are useful instruments with an increased value compared with 2D radiographs to augment the external findings of bodies when an autopsy is refused. But further postmortem research and comparing validation is needed.